My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Firstly, the cover is captivating. I absolutely love it!
Now onto the actual book.
True Calling is a science fiction dystopian novel that has a little bit of everything. Action, romance, mystery. I found it to be a real page turner myself, knocking out 75% of the book in one sitting, completing it in 2 days.
However, at the beginning as I read, the plot felt very reminiscent of, well nearly every dystopian novel I ever read. What immediately was brought to my mind was The Hunger Games. But don’t let that deter you because the book does have its unique points. Let’s face it, it is really hard, in my personal experience, to find books in this particular genre that are truly original. Everything seems to have been written already over and over to the point of exhaustion. So with that in mind, I am not too critical of the book having similarities with others because it is bound to happen with pretty much any book.
The reason this book gets 4 stars and not 5 is partly due to the fact that I felt as if the author spent a lot of time telling rather than showing. The first bit of the book was just explanations of everything, the world they live in, the old world they left behind, how things at Novo work. I felt like we could have learned much more about the world of Novo if there had been less telling, more description and showing. I think that would have helped make the world building even more interesting.
There was some predictable developments but there was also ones that caught me off guard, which is always good. I liked the characters though I am never quite sure how I feel about Cal. At first, he seemed kind of arrogant, but then I started to believe he may actually have true feelings for Ari. However, I can’t help but have this nagging feeling in my gut that something huge is going to go down in that relationship and by huge, I mean bad. Something awful. But, I’m no psychic, I could be totally wrong. And Zane, can’t forget him. I don’t want to spoil anything about his role but I do feel so extremely bad for him.
I really enjoyed how the story was told from both Ariana’s and Zane’s perspectives and that their views were divided into parts rather than alternating constantly in chapters. It made the story easier to follow this way and everything just flowed really well.
The whole concept of The Calling, the population regrowth plan is outrageous and honestly, I would feel the same way Ariana did. It does not seem very fair and there are other ways they could have gone about increasing the population. Thankfully though, this is just a story and not real life. The romance took up a lot of the plot which I was both okay and not so okay with. I would have liked to know more about Novo itself and all the secret plans going on, but I am also a sucker for romance so it wasn’t such a major deal for me. However, I have grown to strongly dislike love triangles because they sort of kill me inside, having to choose between two people, and gosh darn it there’s kind of one in this novel xD
Overall, despite how the book shared similarities with other novels in its genre, I really enjoyed it. I could not put the book down, refused to do anything else but read it; always a good sign, right? I am looking forward to the next book in the series.