Second in the Darkness Rising urban fantasy series for young adults revolving around the St. Cloud cabal’s townful of experiments in Salmon Creek on Vancouver Island.
In The Gathering, Armstrong dropped the bomb which tied Salmon Creek with the events and characters in the Darkest Powers series (be sure to read Summoning, Awakening, and then Reckoning before starting this series—if you’re OCD like me about the chronology. It isn’t necessary to read it, but you’ll experience a bit more fear if you do!
I just love what Armstrong does with her series for young adults. She’s not condescending to her readers, instead she simply writes a good story with tension and drama and a good dose of excitement. This particular story simply tidies up what flared up at the end of The Gathering, although Armstrong still has us wondering at the end of The Calling. This has more the feel of a bridge novel and, I hope, will make the connection in The Rising when it’s published, hopefully, in 2013.
It’s an amazing journey and one on which the kids learn a great deal about each other, themselves, and the purpose behind the people chasing them. Sharing the information they gathered and that Mina Lee steered them toward gives them something to grab onto as well as a direction.
We pick up where The Gathering left off…with the kids getting on the helicopter to escape the fire, but they’re not safe yet. The bad guys are way ahead of them and when the chopper goes down, the kids escape into the woods. Where they are picked off one by one. Traps. Bait.
Maya Delaney has discovered she’s a skinwalker like Rafe and his sister Annie. She was adopted by her parents (the Delaneys) and it’s her Navajo blood from which this Gift derives. Kenjii is her German shepherd. Daniel has been her friend forever—I suspect he’s in love with Maya.
The rest of the kids on the chopper include Nicole, the mayor’s daughter and her cousin Samantha Russo, Mayor Tillson, Hayley Morris, and Corey Carling.
The Cabals from the Women of the Otherworld series are playing and experimenting in both Darkest Powers (Nasts) and Darkness Rising (St. Clouds). Dr. Davidoff (from Darkest Powers) came to Salmon Creek annually to conduct health exams. Calvin Antone is one of the “searchers” and he claims to be Maya’s real dad. With only Maya’s best interests at heart. Yup. Uh-huh…I ain’t believin’ this either… Moreno. Penny. Dr. Inglis is the head of the lab in Salmon Creek.
It’s a beautiful cover…all dark background with a soft focus closeup of Maya’s face. Her absolutely gorgeous face with its thoughtful look.
I can think of several interpretations of the title. The Calling could be the enemy that set the forest fire in Salmon Creek, the need the kids have to stay together, and/or Maya’s attraction to Rafe.