M.D. Neu was interviewed on WROTE in February 2021. To find out more about him and his work, check out Episode 308 – Oh God What Was I Thinking?
I read The Calling back in 2018, so I had to play a bit of catch up to grasp The Called, which is the second book in the series. Duncan, as referred to in the blurb for The Calling, is now Chris, as he had to leave his old life behind once becoming one of the Immortals.
This is an enjoyable second instalment, with Chris finding out who his real friends are and his burgeoning relationship with Kirtus happening quietly in the wings. In fact, the whole book is subtly done, without the brash colour of the first novel. The plot could also have been tightened up a little. It could be confusing at times and when that happened, I struggled to remain engaged with the story.
The story is much more character- than action-driven, and the characters are very likeable, with chemistry between the leads and a strong sense of the practicalities of being a vampire, without a sparkle in sight.
Although the tension could have been ramped up more, and it all felt somewhat low-key and a bit dour in parts, there’s a wry sense of humour running through the book, again so subtle some might miss it. I can’t help help thinking the author needs to shake loose a little and allow themselves to go all out, as the overall tone felt restrained. However, I’ll be very interested to see what happens next.
The world is changing quickly for Chris now that he’s part of the Immortal Community. With the events of his past finally behind him, he’s still having visions and true magic is gradually taking hold in the world. Chris is still new and has no real standing in the Immortal Community, but he is learning that nothing is what he thought.
Old enemies must work together and longtime friends may not be trustworthy. With Juliet, Amanda, and Kirtus by his side, they have to prevent the immortal and witch community from being exposed.
New friendships are made, and longtime alliances are called into question. How will The Called defeat these latest threats, and what does it mean for the world?