Dark Calling by Darren Shan

The Demonata, #9


The Disciples are being manipulated by beings older than time. Only Kernel Fleck knows that something is wrong. But he is in the grip of a creature who cares nothing for the fate of humanity. Voices are calling to him from the darkness and he's powerless to resist. Kernel has already been to hell and back, now he's about to go further.

I did a weird thing and reviewed these out of order, and then waited too long to review it. Oh well.

Anyway, Dark Calling isn't the best of the Demonata books, even though it is still creative with its storyline and where its aiming to go. Kernel is on his own a lot in this one, outside the human world and the creepy Demonata lands. I'm still deciding if I liked that weird development and probably will be undecided until I die. It ties into the big bang end of the series and wraps up a lot of plot lines, but it almost feels too large in scope for my taste.

Dark Calling just kind of lags. We have this fantastical element introduced of other worlds and leading space aliens and The Old Ones or whatever, which should be sort of interesting in itself, but it got a little boring. I feel awful for Kernel with his eyes too - this story doesn't shy away from brutalizing its characters.

It's expected that through the horrors and trials that Grubbs would become hard and jaded, but he's a little more one-dimensional now and I can't bond as much with him. Kernel is still a favorite but I feel frustrated when he's on page - kind of wish he could one-up Grubbs for a second. Bec is sort of just there as part of the powerful Kah-Gash, until a twisted end surprise with her that I actually enjoyed and appreciated.

Lord Loss is still creepy to a degree, but the story and villain have been wearing down for some time. It didn't feel like the same sense of suspenseful tension or emotional oomph as the others. Dark Calling is more of a filler book that exists to lead into the ending.

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From author's website: A demon by Any Other Name!....

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