Book Review: The Dark Calling

The Dark CallingTitle: The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5

Author: Kresley Cole

Pub. Date: February 13, 2018

Rating: ♥♥♥


In a world teetering on the edge . . .
When Evie receives life-changing—and possibly game-changing—news, she has trouble believing it. Why doesn’t she feel any different? Is it possible someone she trusts might be lying?

With enemies at every turn . . .
Tensions seethe inside the castle of lost time as Evie starts to doubt her own sanity. Answers can be found outside their stronghold, but will Death help her find them—or prevent her from learning the truth about her future and Jack’s possible survival?

Darkness beckons. 
A mysterious, sinister power begins to affect the Arcana in its path. Forced out into the wasteland alone, Evie must depend on unexpected allies. But as a battle with Richter looms, can her new alliance defeat the Dark Calling before hell reigns on earth


 Like with the majority of my reviews, the first part will be spoiler free, followed by a spoiler section.

The Dark Calling is the fifth book in the Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole. It picks up following the events of Arcana Rising. Tensions are high between Evie and Death as she fears that she can’t trust her own mind. Wanting Aric’s support, she begs for him to listen to her, to hear what she’s saying, but he doesn’t. A darkness is falling over the castle of lost time, turning Arcana against her.

Fleeing for her life, Evie leaves Death and her home, and tries to find answers outside his and the castles protected boundaries. Jack might be alive, and Evie is hell bent on finding out if he is, and if there is a way to stop the darkness that has fallen over the castle.

It’s a race against time. The influence of the darkness is ever expanding, Richter is on a war path, the Arcana game is coming to a close, where only one can triumph and there are so many questions that Evie needs answers to. Can Evie and her new group of allied Arcana defeat the Dark Calling before the games really begin?

Before The Dark Calling I was firmly on #TeamAric, but now I’m not sure. The problem I find with both Jack and Aric is – one: I love them both, two: they are both perfect for Evie in different ways. This makes it so incredibly hard to choose one or the other. Though having read this book a few weeks ago and have had time to think about it, I still think I prefer Aric, but I love a tortured heart.

I went into this book assuming it was the final, that the story would be wrapped up, and that would be The End. Turns out I should have looked on Goodreads, since, in fact, it’s not the final book – there will be one more. I didn’t know this until I was almost to the end of the book and feared that the resolution was going to be hastily tied up in the last forty pages. This knowledge, or lack thereof left me feeling very angry and confused and annoyed about how The Dark Calling was playing out. Here I was, sitting, thinking that this was the finale, and NOTHING was happening. Brand new places were being introduced half way through the novel, new characters, new plot lines, and less than half the book was left.

I was ecstatic and (to be honest) kind of pissed when I found out that there was going to be a final book. Ecstatic since I had just read a book where little to nothing happened, and pissed because for the second time, I felt like I had been deceived by this series. (When Arcana Rising came out, I thought that was the last book and binged the whole series in a week, only to find out that I would have to wait a year (ended up being two) to find out what was going to happen next). I’m definitely going to read the final book – I’m too invested not to, but this fifth book in this series fell way flat for me.

Evie and Aric are on the outs again. When she’s with Aric she does nothing but think about Jack, and when she’s with Jack she only thinks about Aric – honestly, I’m not Evie’s biggest fan. I wish she would just choose one. It’s not fair to any of them that she can’t decide which guy she likes more. She needs to grow up and make a choice. I’d choose Death. (wow that sounds dark, but if you’re reading this review, then clearly you know why I say that.)

I guess overall, this book was more of a letdown than a success for me. I’m not sure if I had known before starting it that it wasn’t the finale would have changed my opinion. It honestly just felt like a filler book, biding time until the finale. I’ve loved all the books up until this one, and if Aric doesn’t get the ending, the family, the love and commitment he deserves, then I’m going to be so pissed.

If Evie is going to end up with him in the end, she need to make the choice. Jack can’t have died, and that’s why she’s with him She needs to actively make the choice – and that goes both ways. And if she can’t choose, then have her die in the battle – The Empress has died all the other times, so….

Now for the spoiler section.

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Last chance!

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I really, reaaallly don’t like the fact that Evie is pregnant. I’m so against it, and it’s one of my least favorite plot devices. I get it, it happens, and I get why it happens in this book – I’m staring at you Paul (Hanged Man) – but I still don’t like it. It’s almost always an automatic turn off for me.

I know Aric was far from perfect in this novel, and while I love him, there were a few instances when I wanted to smack him for being kind of insensitive. I get how the notion of having a child is worth more than all the gold in the world to him – to have the family he never really got to have, it’s everything he’s ever wanted. Though with that being said, he really doesn’t listen to Evie when she expresses her fears and anger over this happening, because it shouldn’t have. Maybe in the future it could have, but it would have been on her own terms when she was ready. It really doesn’t help that Paul played a HUGE part in sowing the seeds…so to speak.

And then we have Jack – who somehow just never dies. I’m calling it now. He’s immortal. Boy has been through hell so many times it’s amazing he’s not insane. It is getting a little old though, that we mourn his death only to told “just kidding he’s still alive” and then it repeats. I mean, what really makes him that special? Most of the other humans have either gone crazy or have become slaves, but here you have Jack, who even on a bum leg can escape slaver mines and continue to survive? Also that happenstance meetup on the street? Seriously? How lucky do both Evie and Jack get? They just happen to be in

the same place at the exact same time, just as Evie is starving? Jack is suddenly there to rescue her? Maybe fate is playiDeath and Evieng a part, or maybe they are just reaaally lucky, or it’s just convenient, I don’t know, but it’s getting a little old. Do I want him dead, no, not really.

Paul. He’s horrible. End of story. Glad he’s dead. Not sorry to see him go.

I guess I expected more from this book, and it didn’t deliver which is a shame. I am looking forward to the next book in the Arcana Chronicles! Until then, I just stare at Charlie Bowater’s Death and Evie artwork.

Are you #TeamJack or #TeamAric?

Or do you have another ship?

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Dark Calling

  1. SAME on all the things you’ve mentioned in this post. This book made me so frustrated especially the fact that I went into it believing it was the last book as well. I feel like this series will never end!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was SO annoyed at the end of Arcana Rising when it ended on a huge cliffhanger and then had to wait. I love the story and the characters, but i feel like Dark Calling should have been the last book. What I think happened, was she intended for it to be the last book, got to writing it and figured out that (for whatever reason) there was more story to tell. I just want to know how it all ends.

      Liked by 1 person

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