Fifteen-year-old Carolyn’s life has completely fallen apart. Her mother and brother have been pulled into a hell dimension and she is on the run from the mysterious “suits”. Now living a feral existence, and trying to control magical powers she doesn’t understand, Carolyn is determined to reunite her family. But there is far more at stake than just Carolyn and her family. Rescued by people who say they want to help her, Carolyn discovers she’s not only a demon hunter, but that she’s also The Destroyer and has more powers than she could possibly imagine. Now there are demons looking for her and if she has any hope of seeing her mother and brother again, she has to learn to master her abilities.
I’m not sure which I loved more in this book, the worldbuilding or the characters. The Calling begins in contemporary Scotland where poor Carolyn loses not only her brother, but witnesses her mother being sucked into this portal that appears in their kitchen. Completely traumatized, and inexplicably developing serious superpowers, she leads a solitary, wild life for two years where she does nothing but hunt down gateways and demons. She meets a nice demon named Notechis, who’s sweet and absolutely devoted to her. Their developing relationship is a pleasure to watch. You see, in this expansive world that Louise White has created, there are good and bad demons. There are also different races which are absolutely fascinating. “Note” belongs to a group of snake-like demons but he takes on the physical qualities of a good-looking human boy when he passes through the gateway into our world. Carolyn begins as a wild child because of what she’s been through, but she has tremendous inner strength. I especially liked her feelings for Note, no matter his appearance. She has trust issues, which is not surprising, but she begins to accept people as the story moves along. By the end of this first book, she has developed into the warrior she is meant to be. There is the possibility of a love triangle but I hope it doesn’t develop because I love Carolyn and Note together, and I really don’t like Ethan. He’s a mage who helps rescue Carolyn, and is extremely jealous and resentful of Note and I found him rather obnoxious. The only reason I’m not giving this 5 stars is because everything happens so quickly right from the beginning, that I was left a little confused at first. There’s a particular reason why Carolyn’s mother is taken and I’m looking forward to more about what has happened to her and Carolyn’s brother. There is a huge cliffhanger ending, but since the second book, Chasing the Demon is already out, I don’t feel frustrated. All in all, I found this to be an exciting and original YA book that will appeal to teens and adults.