‘The Call’ by Peadar O’Guilin.
Publisher: David Fickling Books.
Published: September 2016.
Page Length: 335 Pages.
Genre: YA, Dystopian and Fantasy.
“Your people drove them out of their homes. Thousands of years later they turn up again – and they’re gonna wipe you out”.
On her birthday, Nessa finds out the terrible truth about her homeland, Ireland – the truth that will change her forever.
That she and her friends must train for the most dangerous three minutes of their lives: THE CALL.
That any day now, without warning, they will each awaken in a terrifying land, alone and hunted, with a one in ten chance of returning alive.
And it is Nessa, more than anyone, who is going to need every ounce of the guts, wit and sheer spirit she was born with, if she – and the nation – are to survive.
The Call, by Peadar O’Guilin was intriguing and compelling right from the opening chapter. It grabbed at us from the start, tightening it’s grip as we turned each page. We just wanted to read more!
The entire speculation of a Dystopian Ireland against the Sidhe (fairies) wo were continuously bent on demanding revenge on the Irish population for banishing them into the Grey lands. It is also described as a colourless hell. The novel is original and greatly concealed in Irish folklore and mythology.
Peadar O’Guilin’s Ireland is one that is recognizable as well as one that has been ransacked by a 25-year-old threat. This threat is known as ‘The Call’. Children are taken at any time, only to reappear after a fight for their lives dead or agonisingly mutilated. One border is still known to remain – one that the Sidhe also known as fairies have placed around Ireland. No one can enter or leave!
In an attempt to save as many children as possible, training schools are set up to teach children how to survive. Based on personal experiences of those taken by ‘The Call’ who have fought to return alive. Peadar O’Guilin writes about the fears and insecurities of growing up; enhancing these fears through their daily threat of a torturous fate that may as well be worse than death.
The world building is exceedingly excellent. Teenagers are called to the grey land leaving nothing but their clothes behind to return to. According to the time in the grey land, you have 24 hours to try and escape. The mystery however, is that in the real world, you only have 3 minutes to return from ‘The Call’. If you come back any later, you are almost guaranteed to return dead!
This book has left us with a deep concern for the wellbeing of it’s characters. We found ourselves clinging to the pages of the book when our liked and disliked characters were taken. It was a tense nightmare of a read, leaving us with a huge adrenaline rush with it’s ending.
Nessa, as a character was one that we constantly stressed about when we started reading. She suffers with Polio. However, at no point did the author make us feel guilty or sorry for her. Nessa is portrayed as a strong and intelligent character who through Peadar O’Guilin’s writing techniques, you only hope she is one of the 1/10 children who make it out of ‘The Call’ alive!
If asked, we still wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly what the grey lands looks like as we were only able to see the image of the setting through each student’s experience. However, each in itself was different. We loved how Peadar O’Guilin portrayed this as there is this whole other world that we don’t fully explore. This allows our imaginations to take over!
We loved ‘The Call’ and it’s unique, thrilling horrors which allowed our adrenaline to run wild! It’s also a beautiful book in the issues it manages to portray in relation to love that never loses hope. You will not regret this action-packed intriguing read!
We highly recommend ‘The Call’ by Peadar O’Guilin to those YA readers who love dystopian and fantasy reads. If you can handle a little bit of horror, this is definitely a book for you!
Book Rating: 4/5