Review: The Calling

The Calling
The Calling by James Frey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can see from the comments on Goodreads that this book draws some controversy, but I quite enjoyed it. It’s a solid 3.5 stars from me. The author’s name didn’t really ring a bell for me, so I had no preconceptions going into it, and the comparisons to The Hunger Games are really way off base. Yes, there are points of superficial similarity in the premise, but the story is entirely different. *Entirely.* It’s a fast-paced and quite gripping story in which you never know which characters will live or die, and the idea behind the plot is intriguing. It made me think back to books like Chariots of the Gods, which I read in my teens, and which probably shaped a lot of my ideas about life in the universe (take what you will from that). I listened to the audiobook and it was excellently narrated by Sunil Malhotra, who managed to give a diverse cast of characters very recognizable voices.

My only quibble was that some parts (long strings of words and/or numbers which the characters must decode) did not translate well for audio. Not sure how you’d fix that problem, but it serves to pull the reader out of the story, which you never want to do.

At any rate, I’d read the next one.

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