Dark Calling
Author Darren Shan
Series The Demonata
Publisher HarperCollins
Previous Book "Wolf Island"
Succeeding Book "Hell's Heroes"

Dark Calling is a book by Darren Shan in The Demonata series. It is the ninth book released of the series. The narrator is Kernel Fleck.

Plot Edit

It is revealed in the beginning of Dark Calling that Kernel is becoming increasingly aware that the "new lights" he is seeing with his reformed eyes, do not react to him. However they do whisper to him. They seem to be exerting some form of control over him, possibly through a spell, which prevents him from telling anyone about the whispers, or objecting to opinions that could lead to a trap. The most notable of this is when he spots Juni Swan on a cruise liner, sees it as a trap, but can do nothing from preventing his associates from going there anyway. Once there he is left on the top deck, keeping the window to the demon oasis open. He is shocked to see the "new lights" form into a solid ball of light which changes the color of the window and tells him to follow it into the window. Not wanting to abandon his friends, he refuses, but then the dead on board the liner rise and begin to attack. Kernel forms a magical shield to keep them out, but the ball of light possesses one of the zombies, breaks through the barrier and begins to wrestle with Kernel. It is at this point that we see the parallels between Dark Calling and Death's Shadow, when Bec emerges from the hull just as the zombie explodes, forcing Kernel back into the window.

The ball of light disguises itself as Art, the child Kernel believed to be his brother, (see Demon Thief), and reveals itself as one of the Old Creatures. It takes Kernel to the Crux (the point where the two universes meet) and tells him of the the original universe: a plane of 64 black and white squares, much like a chessboard, Old Creatures on the blacks, the Demonata on the Whites, separated from each other by the Kah-Gash. Kernel discovers how the universe was split in two, one for the Demonata, one for everything else, through an explosion caused by the Kah-Gash (i.e. the Big Bang). Art dies while evacuating Kernel from the Crux but is replaced on the other side on the window by another Old Creature bearing resemblance to Raz, another key Disciple from Demon Thief.

Raz shows Kernel a world inhabited by two of every species in the human universe. He then presents Kernel with a choice: stay and protect the ark as an immortal, keeping it safe from the Demonata and Death by opening windows to escape, or return to Earth to certain death. Kernel ponders this and decides, drawing on his experience in Demon Thief, to at least try and save the universe and not stay to wonder if he could have made a difference. It is revealed that the three parts of the Kah-Gash play a different part: Kernel acts as the Vision as he can see the lights, Bec is the memory due perhaps to her photographic memory while Grubbs acts as the Trigger, directing the power of the Kah-Gash to a specific target. Kernel decides that if the attack against Death fails, providing he survives, he will return to the Ark and fulfill his duty. He instructs Raz to wait and returns to earth.

He returns to a battle which he helps to win. He is initially surprised by Grubbs' new wolfen appearance. While everyone discusses what to do next he is able to make the lights pulse for Beranabus and Bill-E Spleen, suggesting that their souls still exist within Death. First off, Grubbs, Bec and himself test the power of the Kah-Gash with very positive effects. Kernel opens a window to Beranabus, and leads Bec, Dervish, Meera FlameKirilli Kovacs, Grubbs and his remaining entourage of werewolves. They enter a dark realm but are able to locate Beranabus and set the remaining souls free, inconveniencing but not destroying the Shadow. Beranabus makes it clear that they have no hope. Death disappears and they are plunged into a battle with millions of demons headed by Lord Loss and Juni Swan. Kernel manages to open a window while Meera sacrifices herself to kill Juni Swan and Bec appears to be consorting with Lord Loss. They make their escape and Kernel reveals to Grubbs that he plans to return to the Ark. Grubbs appears to be resigned to this but instead blinds Kernel, preventing him from patching lights together to reach the Old Creature. Kernel is left injured and blind on the floor of the cave at the book's closing.

Cover Competition and Revelation Edit

In May 2008, Darren Shan ran a competition in which he asked fans to describe a demon in which he will use in the book. Since that was the first time that was offered to fans, the response was overwhelming. After the submissions were over, the staff at Waterstones and HarperCollins narrowed the entrants down to a shortlist of ten finalists. After Shan himself read through the final ten entries, he chose the winning Demon created by Tom Woodhead. The winner created the Sligstata, which is featured on the front cover of the book. The runners-up for the competition are:[citation needed]

  • Craviji
  • Jaspreet Manoor — Abnormula
  • Dennis Wisdom — Scalefang
  • Josh Walker — Grendulamb
  • Elizabeth Dunford — Vaeloch
  • Claire Reeves — Quietus
  • Jacob Baylis — Intestine
  • Amanda Parker — Tourniquet
  • Alessandro Luca Pozzolo — Butterfang

The signed copy of the book had a typing error in the last few words and has become a collectible together with the first books sold before the error was corrected.Sometimes there can be an error on page 51, saying that the Shadow originated in the Crux, when it should be the Old Creatures.