True Calling (True Calling #1)
Published: 28th July, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Romance
Age: Young Adult
Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17 year old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.
As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.
Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.
What I liked: I thought the idea behind the book was really interesting, and it read a bit like a dystopian society masquerading as a utopian society in the beginning with how “perfect” everything was. While there are parts I’m confused about still, the way the society is set up reminds me a bit like a cross between The Selection (dating that also is shown as a reality TV show), and at times The Hunger Games (sections/districts; government that is making questionable choices for its citizens; underground unrest that the main character’s not aware of at first). I did enjoy how all the pieces, when they were put together, ended up making a really interesting story that I enjoyed and was surprised by a few times by it. Zane was, personally, my favorite of the characters. I’m not sure if it was because from my perspective so much of Ariana’s story was more about her worrying about the whole The Calling and arranged marriages and the romance she had and such, but something about his part of the story, and his character in general after we actually meet him, that made me like him more than the other characters.
What I didn’t like: I wasn’t aboard the whole Ariana liking Cal thing simply because she denied liking him so much at first and then she flipped to saying she did within just a couple of chapters. I don’t understand why she couldn’t just either admit she liked him the entire time, or just always be irritated with him, because sometimes animosity between two people is just that. Animosity. Or, if through the dating process that The Calling involved, they grew to like each other out of the animosity. I just find that the romance between them just really wasn’t something I could really get behind during the story. That, and for the most part I just really didn’t like Cal and the way he acted. I also disagree that Ariana being so concerned about The Calling being a selfish act, I mean, its her entire life, her entire future being defined in a way that she can’t control. Married around seventeen and three kids by twenty-two? I’m nearly twenty and I can’t even begin to think about being married and having kids already, it takes a certain kind of woman to know she wants marriage and kids by my age.
Overall Review: While I still do have plenty of questions about how things work in certain aspects, I think they’ll be answered in the coming books and I’ll gain some insight and possibly some answers to those questions. While I did have trouble with the narration style, especially in the beginning, and how not all the information I was looking for was there, those were pieces that I was looking for personally and did affect how I saw the novel. While overall it is a good book, it does drag in the beginning but it does get better the longer you read which is a good thing.
Recommend?: This is a good book, and it looks like this series has some good potential. If you’re curious about it, give it a shot and see if its your thing.
My Rating: 3.7/5
Beyond Reach (True Calling #2)
Published: 30th April, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian
Age: Young Adult
From: NetGalley; Lola’s Blog Tour
Back on Earth, Ariana is caught in a dangerous crossfire between clandestine rebel organization Clementia and the power-hungry government. Refusing to divulge the location of the secret information entrusted to her by her late father, she desperately tries to bargain for her Mom, Lily, and Cal’s rescue. She’s fighting a losing battle, and the clock is ticking.
Presented with evidence of her fiancé Cal’s apparent betrayal, she loyally defends him despite her concerns. With her emotions in turmoil, matters become even more complicated as she grows closer to her ex-boyfriend Zane.
When the stakes are raised, a succession of shocking revelations rocks her world, setting her on a path that will not only change her destiny but the fate of humanity.
Confronted by a memory so abhorrent comes a truth she would do anything to forget.
But some things just can’t be undone.
What I liked: Compared to the first book, I found the writing in this book better and it helped me connect with the characters better and helped me get drawn in quicker at the same time. Like the first one, we have a section of the story where we see what’s going on from Zane’s point of view, and I have to say I actually liked this one better to. While I liked him in the first book, I liked him somewhat more in this one as well. The secondary characters felt less like secondary characters in this one, and felt a little stronger and I actually liked a few of them. The action was great, and I got really absorbed at times, and the descriptions were mostly able to help me with the story. There were quite a few surprises in this book, and I found them both enjoyable and ones that pulled me more into the book when they happened. Plus, not everything was as it seemed, and I learned as the book moved forward and everything became clearer as pieces were put together before the end.
What I didn’t like: I didn’t like the seemingly nonsensical animosity between Ariana and Isla, one of the girls we meet in this book. It just seemed to be there, and while I did get to understand the reasoning behind it in a way from Isla’s standpoint, I do wish that Isla hadn’t been so aggressive about it and instead had taken the chance to get to know Ariana. I feel like that whole shenanigan could have been avoided more easily if Isla had been able to keep herself in check.
Overall Review: A better second installment in the series, Beyond Reach was a good story that kept me mostly interested and had characters who I came to like more than I did in the first book. It had great action and parts of the story kept me guessing until more things were revealed and answers were given, and even then it wasn’t always done because some things had more pieces revealed later on that brought more things to light.
Recommend?: If you liked the first book well enough, I don’t see why you shouldn’t try to read this one. I look forward to reading both the novella’s of the series as well as book three when it finally releases.
A really cool thing that the author is doing with the Beyond Reach tour is that, for each hosts that signed up for an excerpt we’re showing off a part of the story. If you haven’t yet, check out the excerpt being held by http://soulcleverbooks.blogspot.com and check it out!
It’s only then that I notice Be, stick tightly to the side of the wall, open-mouthed and terror struck. Blood seeps from an open wound in his shoulder, and his arms are folded firmly around his chest. While Agent Leena and Jax tie up the two Rangers, I move over toward Ben, careful not to startle him.
“Ben? It’s okay. Come one.” I tentatively reach out for him and pry his rigid arms free. Clasping his hand in mine, I join the others as we descend the last set of stairs, dragging him alongside me.
The entry lobby looks like something from a battle zone. Mounds of plaster, brick, and other debris litter the space, and several bodies lie inert on the floor. There’s a massive hole in the middle of the floor, and an expanding fire blazes in one corner of the room. Dense plumes of smoke shroud the air. Flames lick the walls and severe heat envelops me. Sweat beads instantly form on my skin, and my clothing sticks to my clammy body.
“Damn. You guys sure know how to rock a rescue. This place is going down fast,” Jax says, a look of awe on his face as he surveys the scene.
“Quick, everyone out now,” Agent Leena says, grabbing my arm and thrusting me forward. The temptation to stop and soak up the clean, fresh air is almost overwhelming, but I know that the cavalry are most likely already on their way, and it’s a luxury we can’t afford right now. I make a mental apology to my lungs.
Agent Leena and Jax are in a hushed conversation ahead of us. “Follow me,” he calls out, darting suddenly into a small alleyway on the right. I’m trailing slightly behind, struggling to manage Ben as he sways dangerously at my side. Zane drops back, griping Ben across the back and helping me tow him forward.
|Reading schedule for Beyond Reach excerpts
My Rating: 3.6/5
Everything changed the moment he found her…
Cal Remus is in love.
But the object of his affection barely acknowledges his existence. Worse: She acts like he’s the dirt sticking to the bottom of her shoe. Weaker men might give up. But not Cal. Hell no, he loves a good challenge and Ariana Skyee has made this the most intriguing challenge of all.
Having read his father’s confidential military files, Cal should be concerned about the seemingly fragile new world order on Planet Novo and the events back on Earth. But he’s distracted.
Securing Ariana’s love is his number one priority.
He’s going to win her heart, or die trying.
Ariana Skyee has been the center of Zane Anders’ world for years. They got together as a couple ten months ago, so Zane finally has the girl of his dreams. Life should be peachy.
But it isn’t.
Haunted by a shared secret that threatens to destroy their relationship and claim their sanity, Zane is on a one-man mission to prevent Ari from falling apart.
Then Commander Skyee drops the biggest bombshell of all, and everything Zane has taken for granted about the future is shattered overnight.
Always and Forever: That’s what Zane has promised Ari.
Keeping that promise is about to become the hardest thing he will ever do.
The final book in the True Calling
Check out the rest of the tour here!
About the Author
Siobhan Davis is the author of the YA science fiction romance series True Calling.
A self-diagnosed ‘teenager forever’-at least when it comes to books, music and movies; Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. Siobhan loves baking, crime novels, shoes, bags, make-up, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).
Siobhan has forged a successful corporate career, in Human Resources, over the last twenty years.
A member of the IWI writers group, Siobhan resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.
Contact Siobhan at: www.siobhandavis.com
- 2 ebooks of Beyond Reach by Siobhan Davis
- 2 $10 Amazon gift cards
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