THE CALL Sídhe Vi­cious

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 336 pages | Hard­back Au­thor Peadar O’Guilin Pub­lisher david Fick­ling Books

You have to won­der if Peadar O’Guilin did a lit­tle vic­tory dance when he came up with the idea for The Call; if he did, it was jus­ti­fied. Set in an Ireland that’s been cut off from the out­side world for 25 years, it posits that the Sídhe (fairies) – who, long ago, were trapped in an­other realm by hu­mans – are now look­ing for revenge. De­ter­mined to wipe out the Ir­ish, the Sídhe are steal­ing teenagers for three min­utes and re­turn­ing them dead or hor­ri­bly mu­ti­lated. No­body knows when they’ll get Called; they just van­ish. So des­per­ate teenagers en­rol in train­ing camps to get ready – cos three min­utes here is a whole day of be­ing hunted in the Sídhe’s Grey Land, and only a hand­ful re­turn alive.

We fol­low the train­ing of po­lio-af­flicted Nessa, surely doomed be­cause she can’t even run. But we also find out what hap­pens to some of her un­for­tu­nate class­mates... and night­mares may be had.

This is chill­ing, bru­tal stuff, but also per­fectly re­al­is­tic; not only do the grue­some Sídhe hunts sear into your brain, but O’Guilin does a crack­ing job of paint­ing a group of teens you can be­lieve in. It’s slightly let down by the oc­ca­sional clunky change of nar­ra­tor, but this is a tiny is­sue when the whole is so de­li­ciously, dis­turbingly, ter­ri­fy­ingly meaty. Jayne Nel­son

In case you’re won­der­ing, “Peadar” rhymes with “lad­der”, and the whole thing is pro­nounced Pad­der Oh Gilleen.

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