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The Call by by Peadar Ó Guilín

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Young Adult

By Sophie O'Loughlin

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“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?”

When my friend gave me this book for my birthday, needless to say I was quite excited. As a big fan of dystopian fiction I’m always on the lookout for unique and interesting dystopian books and, needless to say, The Call did not disappoint.

Gripping and engaging from the very beginning, The Call follows a school of teenagers as they wait to be “called” to a fairy land beneath Ireland and be tortured and chased for 24 hours. At this school they are taught how best to survive. The “call” as a concept is not fully explained in one go, instead it is revealed gradually to us which amps up the mystery and excitement.

The second the school was mentioned I was reminded of Hogwarts. I happen to also love books involving school life in a school that is far from ordinary. However, this school is nothing like Hogwarts. It seems more like a military training camp than a charming boarding school full of spells and fun. The children are put through brutal physical training in the hopes to keep as many of them alive as possible once they’re called. It reminded me more of the Cherub book series with the intense exercise regimes and harsh punishments.

I was interested to see that the main character had a disability- in my opinion, this is what makes the book so interesting. Unable to fully use her legs, Nessa is not expected to survive the call and has an even harder time with the training. However her ingenuity and determination to survive really left an impression on my mind and made the book more memorable and intriguing.

The Irish folklore aspect also interested me; as an Irish person, I’m always interested to read books set in Ireland or dealing with its history and stories.

I must admit, I sat down with this book expecting to spend half an hour reading and then move on to do other things that needed doing, but I just had to keep reading. I ended up reading it all in one sitting so be warned; you may need to clear time for this or you’ll end up putting things off!

I give this book a 9.5/10- it’s a fast paced read perfect for fans of books such as The Hunger Games and other dystopians.

(c) Sophie O’Loughlin

Order your copy online here.

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