In the world of Elipsom, the ability to Call, or summon objects, is a coveted, crucial skill, revered among its people as both a powerful tool and an essential way to sustain life. But despite an elite family history, a phenom for an older sister, a best friend who is set to join the Council of Callers, and his mother's steely insistence that he learn to Call, Quin doesn't have the gift - an embarrassment made worse when his mother gets his sister to cheat for him on his Calling exam.
But everything changes in a moment of frustration when Quin, instead of summoning an object, makes something disappear. And what's more, he quickly discovers that the objects Callers bring into their world aren't conjured at all but are whisked away from another world and a people who for years have had their lives slowly stolen from them. Now Quin must team up with Allie, a girl who's determined to stop this unfair practice, and decide whether he should remain loyal to his family or betray them - and save the world.
A huge benefit of working in a bookshop is when you get advanced copies of books to read, there's a slight thrill to knowing you are one of the few to read a book before it hits the shelves. When checking out the latest pile of goodies, this book caught my eye and the premise immediately caught my interest. Quin is finding things tough, he is the youngest in a long, family, line of Callers and he simply can't, no matter how hard he tries. His mother, a high member of the council has his sister cheat for him so he can pass the test and not let the family lose face and in his frustration when back home, he makes something disappear. This sets off a huge chain of events which leads Quin to learn that his people's history and the prestigious ability to call items, isn't all it seems.
He meets Allie, someone directly affected by people calling items, and he starts to learn the truth about his world. Thomas has written a well-paced book, having only started it the previous day, I was able to finish the entire book in one afternoon, and I wanted to keep going (always a good sign). This book tackles a few big issues, such as exploitation and colonialism and does it well so that this just feels like a good adventure fantasy book and isn't too heavy for a younger reader. The book has been left open for a follow-up, which I would be interested in reading, though it does feel a little rushed to tidy up what it can before we reach the end. I feel that this is a book that could have benefited from having just another chapter or two to really give some more character growth and lengthen the finale a bit more, hopefully something that could happen should there be a second book.
I really enjoyed this book and will be passing it on to my mother and a workmate, assured that they too will enjoy this.
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