The Calling Paperback – July 21, 2009
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About the Author
- Publisher : Gallery Books; First Edition (July 21, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1416579923
- ISBN-13 : 978-1416579922
- Item Weight : 9.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,306,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The main character, Tom Nash, leads a pretty ordinary life: he owns a cranky red pickup truck, lives in a modest house in Pennsylvania, is married, and is expecting his first child. One thing has always set Tom apart, though, and that is his ability to hear prayers. When he hears a prayer, Tom is compelled to help. Usually this means little more than driving across town to help someone with something trivial, but everything begins to change when he hears the prayer of young Phaedra Doyle.
"Please, God...don't let them kill me."
Those seven words would jump-start Tom's adventure to a whole new level. The bulk of the plot takes place in arguably the most exciting place in the world: New York City. Tom's journey turns into a heart-pounding race against time as he must fight gangsters, elude the authority, and escape impossible situations to save the kidnapped girl. Along the way, he learns that he is more than he thought he was. His paranormal abilities make him one of an entire hidden culture of people--a culture bathed in supernatural war.
Though this novel is as exciting as any, the depth of writing could be accused of being slightly "shallow." There was nothing that made me stop and think, "Wow, I can't believe I just read that!" Mack offers very little intellectual, emotional, or existential material for his characters or his reader to think about. This is something that I thought could have been explored more, especially since the basis for the book is built around the fine line between religion, spirit, and the physical realm.
Nevertheless, Mack did an excellent job with The Calling. It was an exceptional first outing, and I sincerely hope that he continues the story in future works.
Tom Nash is your everyman who happens to have a mystical gift. In his case, this gift is the mechanism by which he is Called into the service of a force for good. The very nature of his existence is so set in opposition to all things fantastic that it sets up a powerful conflict between his need to stay in his life's paradigm while struggling through a serious adventure into the fantastic. It's refreshing to see a Urban Fantasy author who can understand how really difficult it could be to have your frame of reference thrown completely out of balance.
Tom Nash is not terribly exciting as a character, but that's the point. The story is not so much about Tom as it is about anyone who could be placed on this path away from reality. How Tom reacts, his ability to apply real-world skills to the challenges he faces, and his willingness to adapt, but not cave in to the temptation to toss aside his morality when faced with something completely different.
Tom leads us on quite a chase back an forth through New York City trying to answer the prayer of a young girl in need. David Mack doesn't stick with just his perspective. We are shown how the story evolves through at least four different sets of eyes, but this doesn't give you an omniscient view, it just fills in some blanks. Mack is very good at this and he also does a really good job of creating tension. I almost felt like I was reading a thriller novel instead of Urban Fantasy.
For the first book in what appears to be a new series, I was very impressed. David Mack writes very well and gets the story moving at a pace that keeps you interested without blowing through too much too quickly. His characters are believable for the most part and in this genre that's important to keep any sense of realism. I strongly recommend this as a quick read with the hope that more will be soon on it's way.