Title: The Callers
Author: Kiah Thomas
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Published: 4th May 2022
Synopsis: CALLERS CAN CONJURE ANYTHING OUT OF THIN AIR.
BUT WHAT IF THE THINGS DON’T COME FROM NOTHING?
WHAT IF THEY’RE TAKEN FROM . . . SOMEONE ELSE?
In the world of Elipsom, the ability to Call, or summon objects, is a coveted skill. And yet despite being born into a family of Callers, Quin doesn’t have the gift.
But everything changes when instead of summoning an object, Quin makes something disappear. He quickly discovers that the objects Callers bring into their world aren’t conjured at all, but are taken from another land, and another people who have had their lives slowly stolen from them.
Now Quin must team up with Allie, a girl who’s determined to stop this unjust practice, and decide whether he should remain loyal to his family, or betray them-and save the world.
From dazzling newcomer Kiah Thomas comes an arresting, fast-paced and thought-provoking adventure about the consequences of wanting more than we need.
Quin lives on Elipsom, home of the Callers. He’s part of the Octavius family, who have been able to Call for generations – all of them have. Except him. His mother and sister are disappointed in him, and know he can’t call, yet are determined for him to sit the Calling test and be admitted into the community of Callers – all to maintain appearances in a society that seems to have many secrets – and that is hiding the truth. Quin can’t make things appear, however. But he has another skills – and one that he only finds when he meets Allie on Evantra – and he learns more about his world than he has ever been taught. Once he learns Calling is depriving another community, he agrees to help Allie – and hopefully, save the world.
This book arrived on my doorstep as a surprise. I thought I’d give it a go, unsure of it at first. But as I read on, I found it intriguing, that I wanted to know what was going to happen, because it was engaging and I think it was a well-thought out story. It allowed the characters – Allie and Quin – to grow into who they really were, whilst going on a journey of self-discovery and justice. It reflects the world of division that we live in – where a rich group takes what they want, and for the most part, there seems to be no consequences, and reflects on the concept of climate change and environmental devastation that is impacting our planet in many ways, and this novel presents these concepts in interesting ways.
I also thought the way it looked at the ideas around slave labour and control of two communities – one controlled through the slave labour, and the other controlled through clever deception and lies to the majority pf people – was intriguing. In doing so, I saw how the novel looked at abuse of power by governments, and what this means when one government has too much power – and how we can fight back and reveal the truth. I enjoyed Quin’s journey, and felt for him when he wanted to learn the truth. His drive to help Allie and Evantra was what powered the narrative – it was his story and Allie’s story. What really brought things to life was the way Allie revealed the history of Evantra and Elipsom to Quin – and how he found out about his own heritage – and what this meant for him and his life as a Caller and member of the Octavius family. It allowed the characters to shine and I think worked well as a stand-alone – we can imagine what happened in our own way, and sometimes this is the best thing, I think. Yet at the same time, a sequel so we find out what really did happen would be awesome as well – it’s one of those situations where I’m happy either way, and hope that other people enjoy reading this seemingly unusual but deeply satisfying story when it comes out.