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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I don't know that I have ever read any books that were set in Ireland. That changed with this book. Ireland is cut off from the rest of the world and when kids reach a certain age they receive the call and have to enter in a contest where it is very hard to win. Nessa is the main character and she is handicapped. She doesn't want to be helped and doesn't play the woe is me card. This book takes some of the irish legends and uses them to make the story even more compelling. I loved this book.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
charlen cox
I would gave it a five for creativity, it’s a fantasy, dystopian, horror, thriller? I’d love to see more fantasy dystopians!

Before I even start to review this, let me start off by telling you what I THOUGHT this book would be like…

The Call was most definitely NOT what I was expecting, and I’m not going to say that in a good way. I started reading The Call expecting a thriller about a girl with Cerebral Palsy who was going to be hunted to the death, a girl determined to live even though her family was pretty sure she was going to die. I was expecting a thriller with maybe a hint of magic, but not a lot… I was NOT expecting a messed up horror story.

Because this book was really, really messed up.

BUT to be fair, I didn’t see the goodreads summary, I only went by what the sampler said, which wasn’t much.

The Call is NOT your typical thriller. It wasn’t about a girl being hunted, it was about the human race being hunted (randomly called by the Sidhe) to be brutally killed, oh but before they kill you, they also do some seriously messed up stuff. If you’ve seen Full Metal Alchemist, this is on the level of Nina and Alexander times 10. I wont even begin to tell you what they did to the people because it was so awful, so disgusting, so incredibly DISTURBING, that I DNFed this book at page 63. When I started to read about the poor kids who get called, I nearly passed out/threw up because it is so so so so so so SO disturbing. LIKE REALLY BADLY. I can’t even begin to describe how awful/messed up it was, so I am hoping you get the point right about now.

This book is not for the faint of heart, which is why I DNFed it. So don’t read this book if you can’t stand human mutilation (fusion?) which will probably make you feel sick to your stomach, I recommend you avoid this book. Stay far, far away. But if you like a messed up horror, here you go.

The writing in this book… I can’t even explain it. I’m not hating on the author but I ADORE third person, but this was present tense third person so it was kind of strange for me to read? I’m not used to it, AT ALL. There were multiple point of views, it seemed, but it was always an abrupt change from characters. Like you’d be reading about Nessa and then in the middle of the chapter it’d be some random guy who got called then a girl and it was just weird. I am exaggerating a little bit, but you get the point, right? It changed POVs without telling you that it did, not a fan of that.

I didn’t like the writing in this book. Not just the POV but the style (maybe I’d like one of his other books?)…but to put my thoughts in words… The
Call was really boring. It wasn’t very descriptive until the characters where called. Other than that, it was straight to the point with not a lot of details… from what I read at least.

The beginning was really hard to get into. It was very slow, a bit confusing and kind of info dumpy? I don’t know, I was not a fan, but it might have been the third person present tense randomly changing POVs that did it. I only read 63 ages of this until I was like NOPE.
So the short of the short: THIS ISN’T FOR THE FAINT OF HEART! THIS ISN’T FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T HANDLE GRAPHIC SCENES OF HUMAN… I can’t even think of the word. Just imagine something really awful, like Nina and Alexander from FMA. Trust me, it was freaky, nightmare inducing, disturbing. *shudders*
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amberlee dingess
The Call is a brilliant fantasy book full of imagery both beautiful and bleak, a story line that manages to horrify at the same time that it enthralls with its originality, and characters that are fully fleshed out and complex. The only negative thing I have to say is that the sequel doesn’t come out until March 2018. Crom, lend me strength!
The Wild Robot :: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition) :: All Your Perfects: A Novel :: Brideshead Revisited :: More Than This
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a terrifying, electrifying delight. I stayed up all night to finish it in one go--I _could not_ put it down. It's a magnificent, horrific joy to behold, full of danger and love and betrayal and loyalty, all of it profoundly affecting in the midst of some of the most urgent action sequences I've read in a long time. Do not miss this one.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
The Call was recommended to me by a person in a book group to which I belong. Unfortunately, I cannot say that this recommendation was a good one.

The premise sounded interesting. Just a few short sentences about a different take on the fae. Very dark, very European, not of the whole new take on the fae wherein they’re ultimately good “people” underneath. No, this seemed as though it was something straight out of the old legends, and I was looking forward to it very much.

And then I started reading. There were many scenes in which the pronouns were confused. It was difficult to follow which “she” or “him” was being referred to. And then it got worse. The thing is, though – I do a great deal of work in assisting writers for whom English is a second language in polishing their work, sounding more American, or English, depending on where their target audience is. This book read as though someone stuck it in Google Translate and then never bothered to polish it, to edit it, to give it the attention it deserved. It is for this reason that it gets two stars, not one, because it doesn’t appear to be the author’s fault that the story comes across in this manner. But it does make the story very unreadable.

Ultimately, I gave up on reading it, because I wasn’t quite sure who was still alive, who was dead, and who was changed. It would be akin to saying that George, John, Paul, and Ringo walked into a bar, he got a soda, he got a beer, he got a basket of pretzels, and he got a whiskey, with each of those things being pertinent to the story, yet never knowing who got what or, subsequently, who choked on a peanut. All in all, if done with a proper editor, this could probably be a very good story. Unfortunately, it just didn’t end up there in the hands of the current editor.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shelagh smith
When I read a review of this book back in August, I knew immediately that it was right up my street. From time to time, I delve into the ‘young adult’ and children’s genre for a break from heavy texts. Often, I find that these stories offer something different and something more enjoyable. I would even so far as to say that this genre truly represents the genesis of storytelling. The Call is a classic example of a tale that could be told on a cold, winter’s evening by the fireside to scare the youngsters (and oldies) before bed. Within this book, there are more than enough scares to haunt your dreams.

The basic premise of the book is introduced early on to settle the reader into a terrible alternate reality. Ten year old Nessa hears her distressed parents arguing outside her room. She soon finds out that her childhood is effectively over as she is now eligible for ‘the call.’ The call can come at any moment. It comes once in your life but only one in ten survive. It is the ancient fairy people of Ireland who summon you to their dreadful world for a day of fun and games. Meanwhile, those back at home, anxiously count down the three minutes before your return.

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lawrence a
The Sidhe want their world back. Humans took it. Holy moly. I love this. The world created is frighteningly fabulous. The Humans trying to prepare to survive meeting the fey...the Sidhe taking Humans out one by one, twisting them, hurting them. Well-written. Great characters. A wonderful creepy and scary look at what could happen if the fey find their way here.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
russ colchamiro
OK, so apparently in Irish mythology, humans and fairies used to cohabitate in Ireland. Then there was a war or something and the fairies were banished somewhere. I believe that's the basic version of the authentic Irish mythos.

In O'Guilin's version of events, the fairies, or Sidhe (pronounced shay), were banished to a hellish dimension known as the Grey Land, where they have plotted their vengeance for centuries. And their time apparently has come. Ireland is magically cut off from the world, its youth subject to a grisly rite known as the Call. At any moment during his or her teenage years, a child may vanish from our world and appear in the Grey Lands, naked and unarmed. There, the Sidhe will hunt them, torture them, and kill them, then send the desecrated remains back to the human world. The Call lasts for only three minutes, but three minutes of our time is an entire day in the Grey Lands. Even those who survive the Call often return maimed, their sanity shattered.

To ensure the survival of the nation, various "survival colleges" have been established across Ireland, where teenagers learn about hunting, wilderness survival, and hand-to-hand combat. Nessa, a plucky lass with polio, has been written off by both her classmates and teachers but is determined to survive her Call.

If I've made this book sound good, then I've misrepresented it. It's not horrible, but it is fairly dumb. Nessa's survival college is clearly modeled after Hogwarts, but where Harry Potter learned about potions and quidditch and studied under such luminaries as Hagrid and Professor Snape, Nessa learns how to make crutches and jog in the nude under the tutelage of various forgettable professors, including one called Frankenstein.

The characters are flat as four-leaf clovers, and with apologies to Ireland, the Gaelic names and terms (e.g. Sidhe, Aoife) are a pain. Even the colorful curses just come off as lame, incongruous attempts at humor. To O'Guilon's credit, the imagery in this story is high-octane nightmare fuel, but then again, that doesn't mean it's actually scary. There's a difference between forcing ghastly images upon the reader and actually letting genuine horror seep in organically. O'Guilon's idea of horror is jumping out and going "BLAH!"

Of course, Nessa's Call doesn't come until near the end of the book, and by that time you've read about so many of her classmates' terrors in the Grey Lands that you're desensitized to it. The denouement is quick, poorly thought out, and largely unsatisfying.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
guerino mazzola
THIS is what young adult, sci-fi, fantasy should be. This was a page turning, rollercoaster of emotions and action. I love the fact it is based on Irish lore, but with a dystopian twist. Peadar O'Guilin is my new favorite author and I can't help but wonder why he isn't more popular or why his books aren't more readily available. The Call was amazing and I am off to read the rest of Peadar's books!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
s ren
The idea behind this story was very creepy! I will definitely give the book that. However, I had read and heard about how "terrifying" this book was, how so many called it a great "horror" story... but I was super let down.

I also wasn't a fan of the writing style. I didn't really care for any of the characters. The whole thing felt rushed to me.

Another "meh" book for me- not glad I read it, but not upset that I did either. Though I would not recommend this book.

Favorite lines:
She shakes hard enough to rattle the bed beneath her. Dad wraps her tight with his long, skinny arms, and for a moment it's like this hug is the only thing stopping bits of her from flying off.

But people like to shock with their words, don’t they?
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
megan haynes
I really loved the fact that the sidhe weren't all pretty and good and sparkly and nice - they were portrayed as they were originally imagined, as vicious mean and cunning. But there were times it seemed to take that into a cliche of evil that needed to be more dynamic.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Dark as anything and I loved it! Picture a messed up, gory version of Hunger Games. I'm into fairy tales and mythology and I loved that element of it! It was an incredibly unique story and so fast passed my heart was racing the whole time. very action packed and very well written. totally recommend!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The book is a very easy read and the story was interesting. I enjoyed the story but I did get lost here and there the story is not really scary just interesting. I really wanted to know what was going to happen and who would survive. Recommended.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
reneta dzivkova
2.5 stars. I expected to really enjoy this book. I enjoy stories that take place in Ireland, and the premise of this book was intriguing. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get invested in this book.

The characters:
The 'main' character in this book is Nessa. She is 14 years old, and attends a 'survival school' that is designed to train kids to try to survive the Call. She suffers from polio, and consequently cannot move her legs well.

I felt no connection to any of the characters at all. The story is told in third person, which is fine, but it jumps back and forth to like 20+ characters perspectives. Many of them aren't even mentioned before the story is given over to them and then they aren't mentioned again afterwards.

I didn't feel like ANY of the characters were fleshed out very well. Conor, the school bully, is never given any kind of backstory that may explain the way he treats other people or if he has always been like that. The slight romance storyline (it's pretty much non-existent) just felt thrown in and was never properly developed.

The biggest problem is that none of the characters had a specific voice to me, maybe with the exception of Conor. Unfortunately, he was incredibly one-dimensional, as were the rest of the characters. That, plus the fact that they kept jumping from character to character, made it confusing at times to follow the story.

The plot:
There really wasn't much in the way of a plot. There's a mystery thrown in about schools being attacked and all the children in the schools being killed, but this is all happening far away from our characters for most of the story. For the most part, we're just following these kids in their training and when they are called into the Sídhe world. Honestly, if the character development had been more solid, I wouldn't even care if the plot was so thin, because I like character-driven stories. But to have both of these aspects just be mediocre...makes the book mediocre for me.

World Building: The world building is okay, but for a story where we are going into a fantasy land, I wasn't super impressed.

When I was first hearing about this book, people were saying that fans of The Hunger Games would love this book. This book is nothing like The Hunger Games. Nothing. Not similar in tone, style, genre, or subtext.

I am not sure if this is supposed to be a series or just a stand-alone novel. They left it open for sequels, but even if they do, I don't think I will be reading them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bruce carlson
The book is not what you expect from what they offering.
Reading it, gives you several different options none of which convey what this book is.
The writing is crisp; the characters are believable enough for the book to work.
The story captivates, I read this in just over two days, and moves swiftly to a logical conclusion.
One of the reviews will tell you the back-story but it will not be me, which is part of the fun of reading the book.
Yes, this is teen fiction but so is Harry Potter.
I have not been a teenager for over 50 years but I love a well-done sci-fi horror story.
Get the book, sit back, relax turn off your mind and have a wonderful time!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
hallie b
It's hard for me to write this review because I am not quite sure what to write. The writing is very good. It definitely is frightening. The characters in the book are well-rounded. I loved Nessa and Anto. And there is a huge victory in the end but it didn't leave me happy in the end -- kind of feeling hopeless. This is a wholly different telling of faery land as most writers tell it. It is horrifying. And awful. And maybe that is the point. There's a lot of violence -- which is necessary for this story. And the good guys (kind of) win in the end. And prideful behavior is definitely not the right thing to do in this story. And that is good. But I guess I just didn't like the story. It is fast moving. That is great. But it leaves me feeling sad for this people. What a horrible existence I think. Just darn bad. If you like a book about faery land that is filled with violence and horrible faery people and a fast-paced story you will love this. I haven't read the The Hunger Games but I am thinking people who love the Hunger Games will love this book.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This book is an all around thumbs-down on my part. It's rated as a YA, but with deep violence, sexual references, homosexual undercurrents and foul language, I wouldn't recommend this book to youngsters. The plot SOUNDS exciting, but as you read on, all you'll really see is a blaze of all the youngsters being sucked into the Dark Fae world to be killed or spit back to our world as twisted monsters or deformed versions of themselves. It's not unlike watching a horror movie from the 80's where teens' minds are split between hot sex and surviving a pointless wave of continuous murders as the body count rises. The summary is misleading as we're made to think that Nessa is going to survive despite her disability because of her strength and cleverness--she will survive because of of a Fae deal gone really bad. If you don't mind intense darkness, and a mindless romp through a high school of soon-to-be victims raving in their hormonal frustrations, you won't mind this book. The only suspense is: who's gonna die next? Just cross your high school/college memories with dark, sadistic faeries, and you've got The Call.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Ideas bounce off of one another, feed on each other and today you can't read one title without having a few others come to mind. There's no such thing as an original anymore, not really, but "The Call" has a flare all its own.... FIND THE REST HERE, [...]
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
stephanie hajovsky
I am not scared off by dark fantasy or gruesome-ish books. However, the call was beyond my tolerance level. The bullying and cruelty of humans in the beginning towards Nessa, because she has a deformed foot, is replaced by the call and the hunt and it's kind of like a really big disjointed Marylin Manson Video, very dark, gruesome, and all over the place.

I couldn't finish it.. I found it alternately confusing, dull, brutal and gruesome
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
mari beth
I was really excited to pick up this book and start reading it. Yet, I found myself struggling to read the book. I started this book at night. The next two nights I could only read about 2 chapters and then I grew tried and put the book down. I could barely even comprehend what I was reading. I thought that it was just me and the wrong time of the night to be reading this book. So, I picked up this book again during the day and proceed to start reading it again. Sadly, it was not me. This book was not for me. The time spent at the school was boring, so after a while I jumped ahead to when the Sidhe appeared in the story and it was a race to survive. Yes, the story did pick up some but I still had a hard time getting into the story due to the fact that I had no interest in any of the character and therefore did not care what happened to them.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
During my reviewing history with the store (which by their count makes this review my 715th), I can only recall using the one-star (“I hate it”) designation a couple of times before. The reason for this, I’m sure, is because I really try to avoid categories or genres that I don’t care for. Occasionally, I slip up, and “The Call” by Peadar O’Guilin is an unfortunate example. Although I enjoy a number of fantasy books, this will not be listed among them.

The story is based on the classic Irish myth that the Sídhe (“little people”, faeries) steal human children, leaving changelings to replace them. There has apparently been a treaty between the Sídhe and Irish that has banished the former to the “Grey Lands”. However, instead of stealing infants as in the past, the Sídhe are permitted to “Call” teenagers to their domain. Via a time warp or whatever, the youngsters remain for 3 minutes and 4 seconds in the Grey Lands, but the duration of their stay there for them is a full day during which time they must elude capture or death if they can. Meanwhile the Sídhe chase, torture and do everything possible to destroy them. The minuscule fraction who make it back alive are typically damaged physically or mentally, and some have been co-opted by Sídhe and become spies or agents for the enemy. The Call seems to be totally random, and may occur anytime between puberty and young adulthood. No pattern seems to exist concerning the time of day or circumstances in which someone may be taken.

In order to (hopefully) improve the survival rate, “colleges” have been established to train and condition the children for their inevitable Call. In general, the strongest and most athletic youngsters are trained in these rigorous institutions, with severe punishments for falling short. They are required to spar with each other, set against one another in simulated hunts as hunters and prey, and so on. The main character, Nessa, is considered most unlikely to survive because she is crippled as a result of childhood polio. Long before she is called, she is bullied and harassed by the clique of the strongest youngsters, but has also befriended others about whom she cares deeply…not that this will be any consolation.

As the author said in the Acknowledgements, this is a grim book, but asserts it was not grim in the making. Sorry, but for me it was viciously grim in the reading. The descriptions of the “hunts” in the Grey Lands are absolutely awful. The depiction of the Sídhe themselves, as well as the monstrosities they perpetrate on the hapless victims, are unrelieved and utterly disgusting. For the reader whose taste runs to absolute gore and gruesomeness, let them wallow…but I will not encourage my friends or grandchildren to read this.
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