THE CALL Sídhe Vicious
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.