Book Review : The Calling
By Ken Altabef
An insatiable fever demon…
A restless Wind spirit…
A treacherous shaman…
A golden walrus…
And one courageous young girl.
In the frozen north, a land of deadly weather and unforgiving spirits, the shaman is all that stands in the way of disaster. When Alaana is called upon to become shaman for the Anatatook people she discovers a kaleidoscopic world where everything is alive, where the tent skins whisper at night and even the soapstone pot has tales to tell. She faces vengeful ghosts and hungry demons as she travels the dangerous path to becoming a shaman.
And there’s just one other problem. Girls aren’t allowed to be shamans.
(Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I felt completely swept into the arctic world of ice and snow. Through the whole book I kept saying to myself, this is really different. I liked the fact that the setting is on Earth, but feels so alien that it is shocking. The description of the food eaten was horrifying to my suburban sensibilities, and probably very accurate of the Inuit people. I was fascinated by the culture and the mythology.
The Calling is also a coming of age book for Alaana. She is faced with self doubt from the social strictures of her tribe. As a called shaman she is expanding the boundaries set for girls. She is very uncomfortable with her role and even her own family doesn’t know how to handle the change in status.
I would like to see tighter editing. There are long dream sequences and I would like to see a faster pacing.
3 out of 5 stars
- the Mother
If you liked this one try The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.