I love a good dystopian novel, and something about The Call spoke to me. I went into Waterstones to pick up some birthday treats, and this book just stood out. I don’t know if it was the cover art, the title, the tagline, or all three, but I had to get this book.
From the blurb:
Nessa and her friends attend Boyle College to train for the most dangerous time of their lives – THE CALL.
Without warning, each of them will wake in a terrifying land, alone and hunted with a one-in-ten chance of returning alive.
No one believes Nessa can make it, but she’s determined to prove them all wrong. And she will need every ounce of spirit and courage in order to survive…
Ireland has always been known for its beautiful landscapes and folklore about faeries, but no one really took the stories seriously. Then, 25 years ago, teenagers started disappearing, returning 3 minutes and 4 seconds later, naked. The returned children are dead or forever changed.
On the day of the first “Call”, planes fell from the sky, ferries ran aground and Ireland was cut off from the rest of the world.
The teenagers who survive tell of a grey land, where they are stalked by the Sidhe, the fair folk who were cast out of Ireland over a thousand years ago. They have found a way to reach out and pull adolescents through to their prison world, and they want to play…
Nessa was born in the time after the Call, when there are no more vaccinations and she contracted Polio. As a result, Nessa’s legs are deformed.
At Boyle College students from the ages of 10-17 train; they learn how to hunt, how to run for a full day, how to hide…
No one expects Nessa to survive; the person may only be gone from our world for 3 minutes, but in the Grey land it is a full day. A full day for psychotic faeries to hunt you down and torture you. As her friends and peers start to be called, Nessa starts to push people away. When 9/10 of your friends will die, is there any point in caring about anyone?
This book was amazing. Really grim, and dark, and bloody violent, but brilliant. I am going to recommend it to everyone I know. I love how the author uses Irish folklore, and that the Sidhe are so menacing.
At no point does this story become maudlin or saccharine, Nessa is a strong, determined young woman, and the fact that she is disabled isn’t going to stop her from kicking some Fairy arse!
I gave this book 5 stars, because it is brilliant.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.