The Call by Peadar O’ Guilin

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The Call


Author: Peadar O’ Guilin

Published on: September 2016

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Paranormal

Pages: 334

Format: Paperback

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★★

3 minutes and 4 seconds. The length of time every teenager is ‘Called’, from the moment they vanish to the moment they reappear. 9 out of 10 children return dead. Even the survivors are changed. The nation must survive. Nessa, Megan and Anto are at a training school – to give them some chance to fight back. Their enemy is brutal and unforgiving. But Nessa is determined to come back alive. Determined to prove that her polio-twisted legs won’t get her killed. But her enemies don’t just live in the Grey Land. There are people closer to home who will go to any length to see her, and the nation, fail…

I picked up this novel hoping that I will get a good scare since ‘The Call’ does sound dark and twisted, almost like a horror novel. Well, ‘The Call’ is indeed dark and twisted. Extremely so, in fact. However, I didn’t manage to get a ‘good scare’, which I’m looking for.

‘The Call’ is a really quick read for me. I breeze through the novel in just 1 day. Despite the dark and twisted element in the novel, I’m not particularly blown away by the plot or events which occurred. Nothing in particular really leave a deep or lasting impact on me. When I read novels which have such a dark element to it, I tend to prefer the novel to have the element of surprise such that I have the ‘thrill’ in reading it. ‘The Call’ didn’t manage to do that. I think this might be because I’m used to watching dark and twisted anime shows.

Nessa isn’t the typical protagonist everyone would expect her to be. Despite having polio and being weaker physically as compared to her comrades, she is mentally stronger than all of them and is determined to survive the call no matter what. It is her unending determination to survive which causes me to respect her. I’m looking forward to her calling throughout the novel. Simply because I know that Nessa will survive the call since she is the protagonist. I’m just curious how and what she will do in order to survive her call. With that said, her calling isn’t particularly mind-blowing. I kind of expected that to come.

The world building for the grey land is extraordinary. It is so well-crafted that I will probably pee my pants from fear if I were to ever end up there. Just picturing the place in my mind while reading the novel is sufficient to send chills down my spine. I doubt I will even survive 10 seconds in that place. It really seems impossible to escape the grey land no matter what you do. It’s as if they will still be able to find you no matter where you hide.

All in all, ‘The Call’ is a dark and twisted novel. I will recommend this novel to others who love reading a dark and twisted novel. Give this novel a chance as although this novel might have failed to scare me and/or mind-blown me, it might not be the case for you. After all, different people have different reading preferences.

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