The Calling (Rachelle Dekker) – Review

4-5 stars

Publisher’s Description
Remko Brant had never been so sure of anything as escaping the Authority City with Carrington Hale. But bravado comes easy when you have nothing to lose. Now a husband, father, and the tactical leader of the Seers, Remko has never had so much at risk.

As he and his team execute increasingly dangerous rescue missions inside the city, they face growing peril from a new enemy. Recently appointed Authority President Damien Gold claims to be guiding a city shaken by rebellion into a peaceful, harmonious future. But appearances can be deceiving. In order to achieve his dangerous ambitions, Gold knows he must do more than catch the rebels―he must destroy the hope their message represents . . . from the inside out.

With dissension in his own camp―and the CityWatch soldiers closing in―Remko feels control slipping through his fingers. To protect those he loves, he must conquer his fears and defeat Gold . . . before one of them becomes his undoing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt

Before Remko’s mind could register another thought, shame poured over him like tar.  It coated every inch of his skin and hung heavy around his shoulders.  What had he just tried to do?
[…]
His mind was unable to comprehend what his anger had fueled.  What kind of man . . .?
You could have been freed, you could have ended this, but you were too weak!
Pathetic.  You deserve to suffer.

Shame pounded inside his head as the voices dispensed more ridicule.
Failure is all you are.  All you’re good for.
You were a fool to think you could be anything more.
His body numb, his shame vengeful, and his will utterly broken, Remko let the darkness creeping into his mind rapture him.
Voices drifted in like soft, far-off noise that he hardly heard.
“We have to secure him.”
“Help me move him.”
“This is impossible.”
“The gun was fully loaded.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
Remko blocked out the voices completely.  He wanted to be alone in his suffering and shame.  He wanted to give into the darkness closing in, wanted to let go of the will to fight.
He might die like this – all those around him might die – but he couldn’t care anymore.  He wouldn’t.  Aaron had told him to let go, to surrender.  So he would.
He let go of the will to live and surrendered to the darkness around him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meet Rachelle Dekker!
pic_full_Dekker_Rachelle
 The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through storytelling. The Choosing is her critically acclaimed debut novel. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full-time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat, Blair.

Visit her online at http://rachelledekker.com.

The Calling is the second book in The Seer Series. Does it pick up right after The Choosing leaves off?
No, a year and a half has passed when we rejoin the characters in The Calling.

Remko struggles with his anger often throughout the book. Is this expression of anger connected to his fears? If so, how?
Anger is just a natural reaction to the circumstances Remko faces. Sometimes being afraid can stir up anger because it makes us feel weak or out of control. This is definitely true for Remko in The Calling.

In the book you talk a lot about surrendering to fear. What does this look like and how does this help us to not be afraid?
I think sometimes the natural reaction to fear is to hide from it, or try and push it away. It’s the idea that if we can’t see it then it must not be there, but we all know that unless dealt with the unseen things often come back to bite us. The only way to face fear is to walk through it; surrendering to Father God and letting Him reminder us of our true identity. Only then do we really see that the light within us is always greater than the fear we face.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My review
What is freedom? Most people would say it is the ability to do as you choose; to live without rules. When Remko escaped the Authority City with Carrington Hale he thought he was choosing freedom from the Authority’s rule. But Remko is beginning to feel that he has simply exchanged one prison for another. Each day is lived in fear of capture and execution by the Authority, and rescuing those who want to join the Seers or have been captured by the Authority is becoming increasingly dangerous. What kind of freedom is that, when your every move is dictated by fear? When each failure becomes another millstone around your neck until the weight is too difficult to bear? Aaron speaks of a path beyond the control of fear, but will they ever be able to live in a way where fear is not the driving force?

The rebellion lead by Aaron and the Seers must be put down, but Authority President, Damien Gold, knows that as long as people believe in free will there will be rebellion against authority. But what if you eliminate the desire for choice? What if you remove the memories that convince people they have rights and change the neural networks that are associated with freedom so that when faced with a situation where there is a choice to rebel, they won’t? That’s what Damien Gold, Authority President, is working towards. He calls the project, “Genesis.” A new beginning.

The Calling opens right in on the action, with a highly emotional rescue attempt; one of several during the first half of the novel. Through it all we can see the increasing strain that Remko is under, the dissension that begins to eat away at the fabric of the Seers.

I have to confess there were times when I felt that the first half of this novel dragged a little, mainly because the action was couched in quite a bit of expository writing, but as the novel moved on through the second half I was bracing myself, anticipating the moment the tension would reach snapping point. Even so, I felt as though the rug had been pulled out from under me when the snap occurred.

I think I was permanently wide-eyed as I read the last quarter of the book and it was at that point that I found myself thinking “There’s that Dekker brilliance I’ve come to know and love.” It was like rounding a corner and discovering Aladdin’s Cave, except instead of treasures, it was full of thoughts and questions waiting to be explored; thoughts about the nature of freedom and free will; thoughts that had not existed for me just a few steps ago; and questions about where we are being taken in the final book in the series, because there are some pretty big . . . well, ‘things’ that happen at the end of this novel (and yes, ‘things’ is a perfectly legitimate technical term!)

I don’t often give half stars, but in this case I will.  A bit slow for me in the first half, but the second had some real WOW factor that definitely warrants more than four stars.  I am eagerly anticipating the next novel in the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Buy from:          Amazon.com                   Amazon.com.au

Release date:  8 March 2016
Pages: 317
Publisher:  Tyndale
Author’s website:  http://rachelledekker.com

Previous book in the series:

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About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
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One Response to The Calling (Rachelle Dekker) – Review

  1. Pingback: The Returning (Rachelle Dekker) – Review | Fiction Aficionado

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