By Siobhan DavisBlurb: 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.
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Publication Date: July 28, 2014
Series: True Calling (book 1)
My Rating: 2 stars
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I am conflicted with True Calling, because I really did get into the story, but the writing was not great at times, the random switching POVs was less than necessary, and Cal...oh god, Cal...somethings just weren't right with that boy.
First, the writing seemed clunky at times. The sentences were simple and not varied whatsoever. It was a lot of 'I said this, I did this, he did this, etc, etc.' There are also a lot of unnecessary details strewn about; I mean, do we really need a paragraph on how Ari has to check every single photo of herself because she blinks more than the average human and doesn't want to appear asleep/drunk? Let's double think that, please. Don't get me started on the amount of run-ons this book suffered from; it was downright distracting.
The best way to describe True Calling's world building was lacking. Not only did we learn most of our information about Novo through infodumps--I had trouble remembering all the information that was just poured out in paragraphs near the beginning of the book--a lot of the stuff just doesn't get properly explained. Like Ari's sixth sense, for example. I never fully understood it. And even stuff that did get somewhat explained I didn't get the logic behind. Why would the government turn The Calling into some weird Dystopian Bachelor? Despite any explanations given, I could never come to grips with the fact that couples had to be filmed and primped for this; it seemed like a waste of time and money. It would have been easier if they just skipped the televised part, in my opinion.
The dialogue, too, seems a bit forced at times. There are times when Cal was shouting (he did this a lot) and there just didn't seem to be any emotion in his words. It was hard to take the talking seriously when I didn't think it sounded realistic.
Now for the characters...well, Ari's a bit of a Mary Sue, honestly. There was no character growth, and if you put aside the previously mentioned fact that she apparently struggles with taking photos, she didn't have a lot of flaws either. I couldn't relate or connect to her in any way.
Cal had anger issues, and it was a bit concerning. He shouts and gets possessive of Ari a lot. Though most of the time he was sweet and loving, I thought his outbursts were concerning. I would have dumped him by the end of the story if he was my boyfriend.
I didn't like Zane. He was the Gary Stu to Ari's Mary Sue. Not only was his narrative incredibly boring (the POVs switched in the middle of the story, and it was the worst because Zane's story was snoozeworthy) he's as perfect as Ari! Not only that, this love triangle of sorts was just not fun to read about.
The plot, however, I really liked. The story was engaging, and had the characters been better developed, I probably would have eaten this book up, because it is really exciting to read about. The corrupt government, the strange dreams, and even The Calling (though I still hold to the fact that it doesn't make complete sense) make for a really thrilling storyline.
True Calling fell flat for me. It had a myriad of flaws that culminated and made this reading experience not that great. I wasn't a fan of this one.