February 13, 2017 by Zoë
In The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín, Ireland has been cut off from the rest of the world and its teenagers are being called to fairyland one at a time. There they are hunted for a day. Most do not survive. Nessa, however, is determined to be one of the survivors, even if all the odds are stacked against her.
Fairies in the modern world are one of my weak points. Also mean fairies. Also dystopias. So this was a pretty good setup to get me into the book. Faerie, at least, does not disappoint. The fairies are wild and lawless and powerful and it’s great.
Also, Nessa is disabled, putting her at a distinct disadvantage in dystopian Ireland. She doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for herself, though. She works really hard. But, at the same time, there are things that she just can’t do and this is all portrayed very realistically.
I had a hard time feeling truly immersed in this book. I wanted to know what would happen next, mainly because of the fairies, but I had a hard time caring about any of the characters.
The pacing also felt a bit off to me. Scenes at Nessa’s school dragged while interactions with fairies were very fast-paced and intense. The ending also felt rushed and left a lot unresolved, though perhaps that was intentional in order to pave the way for a sequel.
I also had a hard time believing that any human could survive an encounter with the fairies because they were so, so powerful. The few times that this happened in the book it was glossed over and I just didn’t buy it.
This was a pretty quick read with an interesting set up, but I think it had a hard time sustaining itself. Better pacing and more exploration of the characters would have helped.
“If that isn’t a Fairy Road, Nessa thinks, looking at the torn metal, then nothing is.”