Thursday 15 September 2016

The Call by Peadar O'Guillin

On her tenth birthday Nessa overhears an argument in her parent's bedroom. She knows nothing about the Three Minutes yet. How could she? The whole of society is working to keep its children innocent. She plays with dolls. She believes the lies about her brother; and when her parents tuck her into bed at night - her grinning dad, her fussy mam - they show her only love. 

Published by David Fickling Books in September 2016

Pages - 334

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?

I'll be honest, I had no intention of reading this book, but when I was trying to figure out which books to take on holiday, so many people recommended this one and I'm so glad they did. Kudos to social media!

This is a very dark book which makes you believe there is very little hope of our heroine surviving till the end. Not only does she have polio, which makes moving fast extremely difficult but she has to fight for her life against the Sidhe who only wish to play with her cruelly. 

Nessa is the unlikely heroine of this book. She will not let her condition hold her back. She is determined to beat the odds which are extremely low. Nessa watches as many of her friends as well as enemies return from their time with the Sidhe, either extremely disfigured or dead. She refuses to give up hope. 

Nessa isn't just fighting for her survival against the Sidhe, she is also fighting against Conor and his gang, who are determined to kill her before she even enters the Sidhe world. 

The Sidhe want revenge. They've watched their world taken from them and they will stop at nothing to get back what is truly theirs. They are wicked, hunting these kids for fun and distorting their bodies like they were made from Playdoh. 

The idea of spending your whole life training for three minutes of pure hell, which in the Sidhe world is more like twenty four hours, is frightening. The teenagers never really know when they will be called and they need to be permanently ready for hell. 

At times this book is gruesome, enough to make you feel really uncomfortable. But the story is so gripping, you can't put it down. You have to follow Nessa on her unfortunate journey.

The ending is brilliant. Such an excellent twist, which I honestly didn't see coming. 
I hope that the author returns to this world, because I'm certain the Sidhe have unfinished business. 

If you loved the Hunger Games, this book is definitely for you. Think The Hunger Games meets The Lord of the Flies. Truly an original.  Survival of the fittest doesn't necessarily ring true. Survival of the smartest is the only truth. 

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