Don’t let the word “dystopia” make your hands go up and your interest wane. This is not your typical futuristic post-world’s end novel. The Calling certainly falls within the popular genre, but the underlying message and depth of truth woven into the story makes this a superior read in the category.
Back last May, some friends gifted me The Choosing, the first book in this series. They thought I might like it, because I was a fan of the author’s dad’s books. Rachelle Dekker is Ted Dekker‘s daughter and I can tell you right now she has no need to capitalize on his popularity because her writing is going to do that for her all by itself.
We quickly discover the main character of this second book is Remko who married the previous book’s main character, Carrington, and they have a beautiful new baby girl. A year and a half has passed since The Choosing ended and much has happened. Remko has unintentionally fallen into the leadership position of the Seers, the continually growing group of families and individuals who have left the city to seek and find truth and freedom. His struggle with the weight of this position and his new emotions of having a wife and daughter to care for “team up” in a threat to break him.
Dekker skillfully depicts the ups and downs of Remko’s thoughts and feelings — particularly his struggle with fear which “crippled and served as a handicap against seeing truth.” The story line moves fast and keeps the reader in suspense many times over. Throughout it all, Remko fails to embrace the freedom offered by God if only he were to surrender his fear and let go. He really battles many fear issues as things seem to spiral out of his control and he places much blame on himself.
“Fear is real; we know this, but it only has the power we give to it. Take away its power and what is it? Let go of your fear; don’t resist it or fight against it. Don’t shove it down or pretend it doesn’t exist. See what you are afraid of and trust that your faith and your Father are bigger. All that is supposed to happen will happen.”
Over and over, people in Remko’s life try to explain the truth to him, but for most of the book all he hears is riddles, letting his anger get the best of each situation. Note that I’m speaking very generally about this book because I don’t want to give anything away!
“Living isn’t about flesh and bone and breathing. It’s about faith. Faith that surpasses fear. Faith in something bigger than yourself.”
I connected with the characters more in this book than the first one, but I think I enjoyed the actual story of The Choosing better. It’s a close call, though… However, I will say Kate really annoyed me! 🙂
When asked to give encouragement to those who have loved ones that don’t share their faith (a theme of The Calling), Rachelle Dekker says:
“Everyone needs to take the journey. For some, truth comes more easily, and others have to struggle to see it. It can be incredibly hard to watch someone you love miss the truth right in front of them, but don’t forget that the Father is still God, and He holds them in His hand. So love those that struggle restlessly and trust that the Father is ever-present, even in the darkness.”
And her hope of what readers will take away from the book is:
“I hope they take a moment to see themselves as children of the Father. I hope they see that true freedom and fearlessness rest in surrendering, and that when they stand with the Father then nothing can stand against them. There is incredible peace in that truth, and I hope, like I am beginning to experience, that readers feel that same peace.”
The book ends with enough resolution to make you not tear your hair out, but certainly enough unknown to keep you on the lookout for the third in the series. This author is going somewhere. God has blessed her with a gift of not only good storytelling but with the ability to teach His Truth through it all. Check her out on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram.
I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale House Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.