Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Blurb: 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.You can find True Calling on Goodreads . You can buy True Calling here: - Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo - iBooks - Ciando ebooks - Copia books - Bookbaby
I found the present tense first person narrative refreshing, and different to the way most books of this type are written, but once I got used to it I really enjoyed it. I love first person anyway, and I feel the present tense does help the reader to identify with the characters. There is a fairly big info dump at the start of the book but it is skilfully done, and because of the way the book is written, did not seem particularly intrusive, and did help to fill in the background and make the events that followed more understandable
Having been screened for imperfections and implanted with tracking devices, and with their old memories erased, Ariana and her family have left Earth to start a new life on the planet Novo. However, Ari is haunted by vivid dreams of a young man called Zane although she can't remember who he is and how they knew each other on Earth, or indeed why he did not come with them to Novo. To add to her confusion, she finds her dislike of Cadet Cal Remus changing to attraction and he makes no secret of his romantic feelings toward her.
To ensure a swift populating of their new world, all teens once they reach the age of seventeen, have to participate in 'The Calling'. This again entails thorough testing, and assessment, before being assigned potential suitors. At the end of a publicly broadcast courting period, and numerous training sessions, and medical procedures to boost fertility, they are required to marry one of these suitors and produce at least three children by the age of twenty-two.
The switch from Ari's Point of View to Zane's, in Part II, threw me a little but I soon settled into his narrative and enjoyed reading from his perspective, and we learn more about Earth and why he was left behind. The quality of the writing and the richness of the characterisation had me turning the virtual pages of my Kindle in quick succession as I got more and more drawn into the story. I won't give away too much about the plot, so as not to spoil it, sufficient to say that there are several twists and turns, together with political intrigue and underground rebellion, and I was never quite sure if certain characters could be trusted or not, which all added to the suspense. I quickly grew to like the main characters and although I felt Ari was a little naive in some ways, I could see her character growing and maturing as the story progressed. The ending was a real cliffhanger and I just had to read Book II 'Beyond Reach' which will be featured on my Blog on the 20th May. All in all, I found 'True Calling' a throughly engaging read and one I would definitely recommend.
About the Author: Siobhan Davis is the author of 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 You can find and contact Siobhan here: - Website - Author blog - Book website - Facebook - Twitter - Google + - Goodreads