The Call – Peadar O’guilin | Discussion + Review

The Call Book Cover The Call
Peadar O'guilin
horror, dystopia, fantasy, young adult
David Fickling Books
August 30th 2016
312 pages


Dear reader,

I will write as much as I can without giving away too much of the plot.
I don't know much about the Irish folklore but what I gather from the book is that a few hundred years ago, the Irish and the Sidhé (Fay) signed a treaty that banished the Sidhé to a place that the author refers to as The Grays (or hell). It is a foul jail for the Sidhé. One that lacks color and other earthly pleasures like bees and sunlight.

Needless to say, the Sidhé are miserable and want revenge on the Irish folks. They don't care that generations have passed and the ones that banished them are not the ones they are punishing. One day, 25 years ago, the people of Ireland find that all the planes and ships that were headed out of the country have disappeared. Others that try to leave the country also disappear and there is a thick mist surrounding Ireland, blocking the rest of the world from view. There is no Internet access or any other kind of connection to the outside world but, the lack of Internet, something that would likely cause a meltdown among the youth of today, is not a threat that our protagonist, Nessa, faces. This threat is of a much grim nature.

As she celebrates her 10th birthday, she is introduced to the unfathomably horrific reality of the world they live in by her sobbing parents. Along with the connectivity block, the Sidhé/fair folk/Fae/fairies would also call upon the adolescents at random for three minutes and four seconds into the world that lacks color. If they survive this time in the Grey, they come back to their own world and are never called again for the rest of their lives.

Like it is in most Fae stories, this world also has a time relatively issue between our world and the Grey land. While the called child would be gone for three minutes and four seconds in our world... in the world of the Sidhé, the call takes palace over twenty-four hours.

Survival in the Grey lands is not just about fighting to live as the Sidhé, in their need for revenge (and entertainment), like to 'play' with (mutilate) the children.
The odds of survival are 1/10 and even the healthiest and the strongest of the adolescents fail to escape the Sidhé.

So how could Nessa when she has a rare disease that has erased all her chances of survival? Nessa has polio. She also has determination like no other.

And Nessa is determined to live.

If all this seems like something you would enjoy reading, I would definitely recommend you to pick this one up. You will not regret it.

With love,


The call booktalk

I discovered this book, like many others on my shelf, on booktube. I’m a massive follower of the community and I always make it a point to put the books that are popular in the community on my tbr because they’re my kind of reads more often than not. The booktube community introduced us to our now favorite author of all

The booktube community introduced us to our now favorite author of all time: Sarah J Maas; and other writers that we have thoroughly enjoyed reading. Needless to say, I soon went ahead and joined the Goodreads reading clubs and saw that “The Call – Peadar O’ Guilin” was the October book of the month. That looked like kind of a big deal and when I read what the Goodreads description had to say, I got thoroughly intrigued. Everyone in the review section had nothing but amazing things to say about it. I had to read it. And I had to recommend it to Riya.

We went in with high expectations and boy did a book ever meet them. If you like YA – dystopian – horror – fantasy novels then you need this one on your shelves and in your life.

If you’ve already read the book, this next section is for you and if you haven’t read the book, I would suggest that you bookmark this page and come back to it after you have.

We find out, a few pages into the book, that Nessa has Polio. Something she suspects she has because of the combination of neglect and the fact that her father was too old and weak when he became a parent. This sucks but Nessa’s determination is something that I can never applaud enough. She decides that she is not going to let this disability stand in the way of her survival and she works on strengthening her upper body in an attempt to make up for her lower body.

Up until the time that she gets called (and a good paragraph or two into it), I did not believe that Nessa could survive it. No matter how strong her arms were and how quickly she could make those crutches, there was a very slim chance that she could outrun the initial pursuit of the Sidhé. So when she is lying on the floor in the Grey land with a burning building to go back to, I supported her decision. What’s the point, I thought?

But I did cry. I cried for Anto who would, after losing Nessa, never be himself again. Anto, the sweet boy who wouldn’t hurt anything that was not trying to hurt him. Who would rather be called weak and a pacifist than eat animals or bully other students. Easily my favorite character in the book.
I find it so cute when at the beginning of the book, Nessa is so much in denial that she thinks of the first time they kissed for ten full minutes, an accident. Yet, Nessa risks her life to do ‘that stupid Romeo thing’ for Anto on multiple occasions and even after Anto finds out, he doesn’t ask Nessa to stop this madness. They’re a couple of fourteen years old kids in love, after all.

Connor, on the other hand, has very different idea about this entire infatuation business. In a different world, he would have been a regular bully. Sticking gum in your hair, blocking your way to class, spilling your drinks, etc. The kind of things fourteen-year-old bullies like to do. But in this new world of survival and sorrow, this young bully has been trained to survive a very harsh environment and also, to kill. Being good at all this, he believes he is above all the rest and likes to think of himself as a King. And a king needs to be seen with a queen.

He fools around with other girls he thinks are worthy of his attention but the person he really wants is Nessa. I never realized how this is the one thing that the plot would keep coming back to. Many people would like to argue that this is just like numerous other novels which give too much importance to love and infatuation. So much so that it takes a portion of its charm away from the plot.
But love/infatuation is not the motivation for Connor’s actions.

Sure, at one point in the hallway he acts on his ‘animistic instincts’ and tries to force himself on Nessa but everything he does next, like everything he did before, is driven by his twisted sense of pride/authority and the delusion of being a King. Even though his fight with the fair folks was amazing, it left me wondering what kind of a sick person would think that they were meant for a world like this. Who would marvel at a garment made of human flesh? Who would sell his entire nation out in order to rule over a dying race?
I’m so glad Nessa killed that little punk in the way she did.

One thing that I really enjoyed about the book is the way it was written. The author drops hints about what is going to happen (sentences that would start with: little did he/she/they know) without revealing anything which would only add to the tension building inside of me.

He really made me care for the characters. I cared about Nessa and her hopeless determination. When she couldn’t hug her best friend, even though she thought about it because her habit was pinning her to the chair. I cared about Anto and his kind heart. How he would risk his life for one of his bullies. I cared about Meghan and her smart mouth. How she made a dozen Sidhé cry and made sure that her school got a very important message before she died. And I cared about Connor and how I would like to spill his insides on the floor.

I could strangely relate with Nessa. In a way that if I were in her shoes, I would make the exact same choices she did at every single turn. She’s a very smart and sensible protagonist, which is not very common in YA. She’s a fourteen-year-old who acts like an eighteen-year-old (except when it comes to love) which is completely understandable considering the world they live in.
All Peadar O’Guilin had to do to make me loathe Connor was to give me access to his thoughts. I can’t even. No.

I keep trying to imagine how the Gray world would look like. It’s supposed to lack any color and yet I am to imagine human skulls over a field: bleeding and crying for help, Giants in the water, little people and their poison, and most confusing of all… I’m to imagine how Dagda’s garment changes color from brown to green. In a world that lacks color. Maybe it does have a very short spectrum of color? It’s all very confusing.

Another matter that is fairly insignificant but I can’t seem to shake is when the first boy is called on the bus, Meghan points out that Nessa was banging her head against the window. Again. Yet it is never mentioned in the book again. What is mentioned, though, is how sensible Nessa is and how she keeps her emotions in check. How Nessa never loses her cool and is a master at controlling her panic.
All very contradictory to the first statement.

What I liked the most about this book is how the author would introduce a new concept before implementing it. Like, we learn with Chahal that some people meet others that are also called in the Grey lands and sometimes a noble sacrifice from one saves the life of another. Then it is later shown being implemented with Anto and Chuckwu.
Another example is when we learn of the human traitors and the oath they Sidhé have been making them take with Melanie but is shown being implemented with Connor.

The author did introduce the Sidhé villain in hiding as well when Frankenstein said “Your Darwin” but I didn’t pay much attention to it because I thought he was one of those people who didn’t believe in evolution and also happened to be interested in both sides of the coin when it comes to the war with the Sidhé. He was talking about forgiveness on both sides, after all. But then his flesh kind of exploded, revealing a Sidhé, I must say that I did not see that coming. I also find the entire concept of the Fairy Fort confusing but also very interesting. I would like to learn more about that.

Overall, I enjoyed the ending. I found it very satisfying. There were some loose ends when it comes to actually defeating the Sidhé. I need to know how we’re going to do that. Maybe it’ll be by the involvement of the traitors that the Fae have in their world (like the one Meghan allied with) following the introduce and implement a pattern of the author. I checked the author’s Goodreads profile and there is a sequel set to release in 2017. Very excited about that.

Overall I would give this book an A (on a scale of C- to A+).
A very horrifying, quick and engaging read. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys the young adult horror and fantasy genre.

If you enjoyed this review/book, feel fee to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section.

Spread the love:

  • Somya

    Love it

  • Somya

    I will definitely read this. Thanks to shubhangi negi


      Thank you! You won’t regret it.

  • Looks intriguing, specifically with the way you described. Will read!


      Let us know what you think.

  • Ritika kadian

    I am going to read this book soon.. great job!!


      Thank you, Ritika. Let us know your thoughts when you do.

  • Ishita Singh

    Yes I loved the plot I would love to read this book.


      Haha good luck.

  • Shubha Pankaj

    Fascinating.Seems a good read. Will definitely read the book thanks to riya


      Thank you! Do come back to let us know what you think.

  • Éklavya Kaushal

    I definitely will read this book now.💯

  • anuradha gupta

    I shall shamelessly admit to stalking your instagram feed for book suggestions. A Girl On The Train was such a delight. And The Lee Child book titles I saw from one of your book hauls were worth every minute!
    I love how articulate you are with your opinions, in the above review. Will definitely check this one out! Keep up the great work! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed those books. We’ll be writing about A girl on the train soon. Watch out for that one.
      Have fun reading this one and do come back to share your thoughts.

  • Mrinalini Singh

    This one is definitely interesting like most of the books suggested by you. Looking forward to read it ASAP. You most certainly have some good taste in fiction I tell u 😉

  • Mrinalini Singh

    This definitely seems interesting like the other books suggested by you. I’ll read it ASAP. You most certainly have some good taste in fiction I tell you 😉

    • Haha thank you. I hope you’re enjoying Throne of Glass.

      • Mrinalini Singh


  • Jayant Yadav

    Another awesome selection by Shubhangi Negi. Thank you… Looking forward to read this ❤

  • Isha Sharma

    So well written! I am looking forward to more letters Riya!❤

  • nancy arora

    It seems to be like very interesting.. I will surely read this book.. Though i dnt like reading books but i always used to read ur articles,thoughts or whatever u suggest or write.. N i must say tere views thoughts articles all r like very awesome babe.. 😘😘
    Keep writing 😊😉

    • Aww thank you so much. We hope you do end up reading it. It’s perfect for the ‘Halloween season’. Which has past Haha but you can pretend it hasn’t for a little longer.

  • Anshul Shokeen

    WOW.! Now im so intrigued to read this book. Loved your precise and beautiful review.😁 Looking forward for more.😉

    • Thank you so much! Do come back to read the spoiler section after you’ve read the book.

  • Gandharv Mahajan

    Very well written review, will read the book as soon as i’m off my detox and high enough to imagine the scenes from the book vividly. Looking forward to more such reviews, and that is saying something considering i’m not much of a novel reader. Keep it up 🙂

  • Bhavika Sabharwal

    Really nicely described, just the adequate amount of information for the ones who haven’t read the boom, I’m looking forward to more letter riya di💜 And really eagre to read the book too now!

    • Thank you so much! Yes, we had to be very careful not to spoil anything in the spoiler free section. So glad you like it.

  • Ooh, Dystopian is my kinda thing! It sounds like a good book. Im always open for read suggestions so I’ll be expecting more of those letters.

    Subscribed. ^-^

  • Larry Stylinson

    The book seems vvvvv interesting. Im definitely going to buyy it . I was already craving for horror and you helped me
    Thanks a lot . Imma share it definitely ❤️

    • Haha glad to hear that. Have fun and do come back to read the spoiler section after you’re done.

  • Dhruv Dido

    I am usually not into reading but after coming across this review I have to definitely give it a read. And will also let you know about my opinions on this book….
    Keep up the good work! Kudos 🙂