Author: Peadar Guilon
Genre: Young Adult | Fae | Horror
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Imagine a world where you might disappear any minute, only to find yourself alone in a grey sickly land, with more horrors in it than you would ever wish to know about. And then you hear a horn and you know that whoever lives in this hell has got your scent and the hunt has already begun.
Could you survive the Call (goodreads)?
The Call is a unique take on the fae folklore that doesn't hold back!
Plot: Nessa lives in a world where all teens are "called" to the fae land before their 18th birthday. What feels like three minutes in our world is 24 hours in the fae world, and most children don't survive those three perilous minutes. At the end of the three minutes, either a mutilated corpse returns or a live person who will forever be haunted by what they saw in the "Grey Land." As a result, survival schools have popped up all over Ireland in hopes of teaching adolescents the necessary skills to evade the bloodthirsty fae.
In The Call, we follow Nessa as she returns to Year 5 of her survival school. This is a critical year for her because most children are called before their fifteenth birthday. This year is different from other years, though. The survivors are coming back in terrible ways and the fae seem to be closer to Ireland than ever before. I liked The Call because it portrayed the fae as manic killers - not the usual ethereal beautiful love interests we are used to. They are beautiful, but with beauty comes pain. The Call's format is told from multiple perspectives. Nessa is the main perspective, but there are also chapters told from the perspectives of the students who are Called. I enjoyed those chapters the most because they're brutal and dark. These poor teens are truly tortured in this land and your heart feels for these kids because you know most likely they're going to meet a terrible end - but you're still so hopeful!
Characters: Nessa is a character that you wouldn't expect to survive. She suffered from polio and despite all the pitying looks - she is determined to outlast the Grey Land. Like every boarding school setting, there are the "mean girl" characters and the villain who just seems to thrive on hurting people. Despite my initial eye-rolling at some of the characters and their interactions, I grew to care about the secondary characters and fear for them as they were called to the Grey Land.
Worldbuilding: Guilon's take on fae thrilled me. I mentioned earlier that they were the fae bent on destroying mankind, but they had a good reason too. I loved how Guilon outlined the history of man and fae and I really felt as though I were a part of the Irish landscape.
Short N Sweet: The Call is both hopeful and heart-wrenching, this is a great read for anyone who is interested in the brutal side of the Sidhe.