Title: The Calling (Gateway Series #1)
Author: Louise G. White
Summary: On the run and hiding from ‘the suits’, Carolyn’s life is far from straightforward. After her mother and brother go missing in a most extraordinary way, (through a hole to another world which appears in the kitchen wall!), she is determined to track them down and bring them home. But life is never that easy! Rescued and protected by a group of unusual and like minded ‘people’, Carolyn hones her magic and fighting skills. Whilst answering a ‘call’ to retrieve a human from another world she’s faced with a quick decision and ends up bringing a demon back with her. Little did she know what effect this demon would have on her. As each day passes her strengths grow and her magic develops to assist her in her quest to track down her family, but there are decisions to make that will affect the rest of her life.
Carolyn is only 15 years old when her world suddenly turns upside down and she must live with bizarre, magical changes to herself in a strange world that includes a variety of underworlds. Carolyn is a strong personality, yet she retains some of her teenage habits even as she learns of her new responsibilities.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: This is the kind of story that could get bogged down in complicated details - but it doesn't. Right from the beginning, which ignited my curiosity, the author smoothly explains the fantastical, confusing details. You always know enough not to get frustrated, yet still wonder exactly what is going on, which motivates you to read on. Understanding this world is, as Carolyn says at one point, like doing a puzzle, gradually putting pieces together. The development of most characters is good and it's easy to care about what will happen to them.
I didn't realize until the end that there would be a sequel, but I would definitely read the next book. There are a few things from Carolyn's early years that need to be explained. I also didn't realize that it is advertised as a YA book, because all ages can enjoy it, as I certainly did.