eBook, 477 pages
Published 1st August 2014 by Siobhan Davis
★★★☆☆– 3.1 stars
I wonder which situation is hardest.
Mine, because I remember everything, or hers because she can’t.
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. Forced to flee to Novo two years previously—to avoid the succession of natural disasters which have ravaged Earth—Ariana and her family are part of the chosen few who have been carefully selected to share in this new existence. Other survivors reside in a technology deprived post-apocalytic America; under the constant scrutiny of the ruthless regime, and deliberately kept in the dark about life on Novo.
The new government are strategically focused on the continuation of mankind and development of Novo society. They consequently announce the introduction of a televised e-pageant, ‘The Calling’, which forces every seventeen year old into impending marriage and parenthood.
Devastated at the removal of her free will and forced abandonment of her desired military career; Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her. As a series of tragic events tear her family life apart, Ariana feels progressively more isolated and alone.
Her growing feelings for much-admired, fellow Cadet Cal Remus, intensify as ‘The Calling’ gets underway. Hot-headed, but fiercely loyal and protective, Cal shares knowledge which appears to indicate that the fragile fabric of their new society is disintegrating in front of their eyes.
Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase—which has stolen her memories of those left behind on Earth—Ariana is struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane.
Discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.
This book started out pretty mediocre and reminded me of a mixture of Divergent, The Selection and The Hunger Games all rolled into one. But, I have to admit that as the book went on True Calling started to become its own story. It did have some aspects that were very similar to the previous three books mentioned, but it was easy to forget about that and loose yourself in the story. Originality aside, I did enjoy this book despite its faults.
The plot revolves around a pageant called ‘the Calling’, which is primarily a televised event where all seventeen year olds are partnered up to ensure that the population on Novo remains stable. There is also another stage of the pageant where the population choose an ultimate couple who will become like ‘capitol darlings’. The book explains ‘the Calling’ in more detail, but I do feel that at the very beginning of the book there was a lot of info dumping that felt unnecessary and that it could’ve been integrated into the story more slowly- allowing the idea to sink in more slowly. This did leave me a little confused at the start of the book, but I managed to get my head around it later in the novel.
Ariana was an ok protagonist for this book. She protect her family, made tough decisions and was incredibly selfless at times. But nothing about her particularly jumped out to me, making me connect with her and her situation. She also had a typical ‘rebellious streak’ which was to be expected. Her speech occasionaly felt forced and sarcastic to characters when it should be natural and true. However, I didn’t feel that this was as much of an issue at the end of the novel. There was also a love triangle in this book. But- and it is a big but- I felt it was original and this is when it began to claw back some stars lost at the beginning at the book.
This book was told in three parts. The first was from Ariana’s point of view and I assumed that this was how it was going to told throughout. So when part two rolled around told from Zane’s point of view it knocked me. But as I read on, I saw that it was written prior to when we left Ariana and worked its way back up to present time, it knocked me even more. Part three was once again written from Ariana’s point of view and continued where her voice left off. I felt that this aspect of the book could’ve been dealt with slightly better; I think it should’ve been written mainly in Ariana’s voice with the occasional ‘Zane’ chapter to keep the reader enticed about his character and situation and not in parts.
Overall, I did feel as though the whole book was a build up to a climax that didn’t really happen. It was hard at times to stay invested in the characters and the story and I don’t think that this would be at the top of my list if someone wanted me to recommend a sci-fi-romance. It did feel almost unfinished but, for me, the relationship between Ari and Zane definitely kept me invested and I really want to see if it prevails in world where love is seen only as a necessity to keep the race going.
.Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.
* This book was sent to me by a publisher in return for an honest review