True Lies and the End is Nigh So Hold On Tight (The Dark Calling – A Book Review)

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles #5)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2018

Dark Calling

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

We watch. We endure. We prepare for the future. One day this game will end, and we’ll be ready.

Evie Greene is still reeling from news that will change her life and the lives of everyone she knows. It could even change the entire game, but she doesn’t quite believe it. And nobody believes her when she comes forth about it. Something is wrong. Really wrong. Somebody she trusts is lying to her.

With doubt crawling into her head, Evie makes a break out into the Ash because it’s no longer safe in the castle. With unlikely allies, she searches for anything that could help her find answers to many of her questions, including whether or not Jack really did survive Richter’s quake.

With a strange power falling over the Arcana, Evie may have to invoke the red witch to save those she holds dear. Her next move in this deadly game could give her what she needs to defeat Richter or…end her life.

In a world teetering on the edge…With enemies at every turn…Darkness beckons.

Reviews to the books previous to this one in the series are listed below.

Poison Princess

Poison Princesshere

Endless Knight

Endless Knighthere

Dead of Winter - SR

Dead of Winterhere

Day Zero

Day Zerohere

Arcana Rising

Arcana Risinghere

Congratulations to the first book ever to drive me to drink.  Well, not alcoholic status, but I did need a few drinks after this. The farther this series goes, the more I get wrecked. And baby, this installation to the Arcana Chronicles wrecked the living hell out of me. As my best friend said, “Isn’t that a good thing?”

Dark Calling

The great and dangerous game of Arcana has shifted. Evie Greene’s life is in even more peril as she learns of a great change in herself and in others, including Aric. With her life in danger, she flees, desperate and alone until she runs into unexpected acquaintances. With Joules, The Tower, and Kentarch, The Chariot, they move fast to figure out what has come over their allies and enemies and what’s turned their cards upside down.

On the verge of death out in the Ash, they run into old friends and new enemies. The Hanged Man finally comes into play and he’s not holding back. Taking many of Evie’s friends under his power, they must find a way to free them while also worrying about when Richter, The Emperor, may attack next. But, Evie’s powers are on the fritz and she may have to turn to her alter-ego, the red witch, in order to stay alive. She’s still confused about whether the one person who can pull her back from that dark abyss is alive or not.

The Dark Calling may take them all…

These characters have come so far and grown a great deal. I couldn’t be more proud of Evie. Sure, she’s still got that girly touch where she isn’t the greatest or most powerful fighter, but when she unleashes her powers she is the most deadly thing in the room, hell, on the planet. She is not somebody to trifle with. The bomb that was dropped in her lap at the end of the last book, Arcana Rising, really amps of the stress level for everyone, especially me. The young woman is a champ.

Aric’s past feelings really came back to haunt him and Evie. I have a big feeling that bothered many people, but I’m not one of those people. I figured he had lingering doubts and issues with his and Evie’s past lives and it’s why I’m not a major fan of their relationship. I can see what she sees in him, though, so I understand why she can’t fully toss him away. It’s the history. It’s always the history.

And Jack…fate has it out for this one. I couldn’t have been more excited about his return. He’s still the hothead I know and love, but he’s not the same guy he was in the very beginning when he first met Evie. He doesn’t fly off the handle as he once did. Only on those that threaten him and his. He’s more focused on the big picture: Evie and how much he cares about her.

While still incredibly young, these characters have been incredibly strong and have struggled through so much that they’ve each been on the brink of death more than once, and Cole is having me feel way too much about them.

Many reunions happened during this book and I was beyond ecstatic. So much giggling and happiness that I couldn’t contain myself. Everyone has been so scattered over the last two books and it’s had me a bit torn up.

The plot twists twisted my guts up into all kinds of interesting shapes. If you recall, I mentioned I might’ve been wrecked because of this book. The plot twists would be one of those big reasons why. I read this book from sunup to sundown on one of my only days off last week. I could not put this book down. It was amazing and heart-pounding. I’m still picking my guts off of the floor.

I’m still very convinced that Jack has a major part to play before all is said and done. He was brought into this from the very beginning for a reason. And while I am theorizing (and geeking out) here, a part of me thinks he’s part Arcana. Like, he’s been accidentally created. While human, he’s been brought into this game of life and death chess. Many Arcana have fallen, but he’s somehow still standing. I’ve got such a fuzzy feeling about him. I’m still working on my theory.

Dark Calling

The book moves fast, though over the span of weeks, just like the books previous. And you still follow through the POVs of Evie, Aric (Death), and Jack (The Hunter). The new POV that I got a new glimpse through was The Hanged Man. The man is a total creep and downright vain.

Dark Calling

The imagery always gets me. Activating my senses and putting them on high alert. The use of onomatopoeias really pulls you in closer. Cole also uses short and to the point sentences to show how quick the action scenes move, adding to the intensity of the story. It’s one of my favorite things! And the setting is all new! Evie and her gang of misfits (which they really are) travel out to the ocean, or what’s left of it anyway, and discover Jubilee; a settlement where the last remaining waters of the ocean is, and where ships have collided and capsized. This community isn’t the godsend that it seems to be. People are being offed on the plank and plunged into the dark, cold depths of the water. But, with no place else to go, Evie has to take her chances here to regroup. This place really reminded me of exploring the Titanic under water because that’s how this place works. You scavenge and get paid for it. It’s dangerous and there are always people that don’t make it back. There’s also a strange magic hanging over the place that is dangerous, so Evie and the other Arcana have to be careful with their powers.

Dark Calling

I highly recommend this series. I really do. The action, paranormal angle, romance, angst and that feeling of always being unsure which day will be your last is all encompassed in it. Cole really kept it all original here. I’ve never read anything like this. I’m enthralled and probably on an unhealthy level. So many of my heartstrings have been broken, but also mended…and then broken again. I can’t get enough. I know that when this series comes to its end I will be a complete mess. I’ve never been so in love with a series like this.


“Go. Out into the wastelands.” (p. 11)

“Remember: Your mind has dominion over your body.” (Kentarch to Evie, p. 113)

“My hope lied to me, whispering in my ear, ‘Believe these men, and you will reunite with your wife.’ Tell me, Empress, do you trust the whisper of your hope?” (Kentarch to Evie, p. 115)

“Noble cuts like a blade to the heart.” (Jack to Evie, p. 138)

“Now, where were we? Oh, yeah, I was telling you how every Emperor gets an Empress. Which means you ass is mine.” (Richter to Evie, p. 156)

“My mother once told me that diamonds were born of pressure, but I never understood what she meant until I met you.” (Evie to Jack, p. 180)

More to comes soon…

P.S. Song today? Into Dust by Mazzy Star.

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

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