Sunday, 8 March 2015

Dark Calling by Darren Shan (Demonata, #9) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

Can you hear the voices...?


Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 216
Chapters: 23
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


It's the book we've all been waiting for, well, apart from the final one. In Dark Calling exposition is rife, but instead of being overwhelming, Mr Shan does a great job of breaking it up with action and suspense. Almost all questions are answered in this instalment, and the sense of events coming up to the finale's precipice is almost palpable. It also sees the welcome return of Kernel as our point of view. I'm glad we got one last adventure with him, it's been six books since we last inhabited him as our viewpoint.

I'm pumped for the last book!


Ever since the the loss of his eyes and the construction of his new pair, Kernel's powers have altered.
He can still see the panels of light that allow him to swiftly piece together portals to other places.
But new patches have appeared to his vision.
And he can't control them.
So when they start to whisper to him, control him and everyone else, Kernel is fearful of the new force pulling the strings.
A force no one bar him is even aware of...

Like I said, Dark Calling is the explanation novel, with the majority of it filling in the blanks about the mythology and history of the series. Sprinkled thankfully with an action-packed pace, the information sinks in easily. It's fascinating. So far we've become accustomed to the ways in which this series' world works, but this entry gives us its origin story. And then some. Not only do we get the birth of the universes explained to us, we also get a surprise when we find out what came before the beginning.


There's also a more prominent appearance of the Old Creatures, the powerful beings we've seen only a couple of times within the series. The reason for them leaving Earth is given to us, and you can't help but understand and even sympathise with the poor creatures. Humans are fighting to save themselves from the demons, but these ancient beings are fighting for every organism and species in the universe.

I hadn't realised how much I'd missed Kernel until we were back in his shoes. He's a much different character to when we first saw him in Demon Thief, but in Dark Calling we finally see the extent of that. He's followed a much similar growth to Grubbs, a reluctant hero who, if he could, would abandon fighting and seek some safe haven. But surprisingly, Kernel is much more hopeful. Whereas Grubbs will stubbornly fight to the end, Kernel holds a nugget of hope that's brighter than the sun. He wants to do the right thing, whereas Grubbs sometimes comes off as wanting to do the easy thing.

Plus, that final battle is epic! Most of this entry is just overall epic!

Meera is especially bad-ass!

And just when you think everything has settled into its final position for the finale, something happens to throw it all into disarray. The end is shocking, brutal and a not very pleasant omen of what's to come.

A dark, dark tone has been set for the last book in the series...

Previous Instalment: Wolf Island
Next Instalment: Hell's Heroes

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