Dark Calling

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Dark Calling
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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.


Since rebuilding his eyes, Kernel has been able to see new lights that he cannot move, and which seem to be whispering to the Disciples, manipulating them. However Kernel realizes that he is unable to tell anyone of his concerns as no-one else can see the lights. When the whispering lights lead them to a ship where the group meet their most terrifying foe yet, 'The Shadow', Kernel guards the portal and is approached by a ball made up of the whispering lights, which tells him to leave his friends and follow it. Kernel is unwilling but is forced through the window by the sphere of lights. The sphere takes the shape of Art (Artery) - the boy Kernel once thought was his brother - to gain Kernel's trust, and reveals itself to be one of the Old Creatures.

"Art" then tells Kernel that he is needed to save the universe and is taken to the point where the Demonata's and humanity’s universe meet. Kernel is told that both universes were once a single, chess board shaped cosmos, the white squares belonging to the demons and the black belonging to the Old Creatures, the sections separated by the Kah-Gash. However a war between the two groups broke down the Kah-Gash and its soul split into three pieces. He also learns that the Kah-Gash will not destroy a single universe, but will instead bring both back to their original state. The demons and Old Creatures (being creatures of the original universe) will continue to exist thereafter, but every other living thing will be wiped out.

Having learnt this, Kernel tries to escape, but "Art" is killed and another light sphere appears, taking the form of Raz, another dead Disciple. He tells Kernel that the boy has been chosen to be 'Noah' and protect 'the Ark', a planet to which the Old Creatures have brought the best of numerous intelligent species from this universe for protection from the demons. Kernel chooses to go back and help Grubbs and Bec beat "The Shadow" (now revealed to be Death). However before Raz leaves he warns Kernel that Bec's piece of the Kah-Gash may have been corrupted by Lord Loss' possession of it (Bec’s piece was stolen from Lord Loss in the fourth book of the series) and to beware of her.

Kernel returns in the midst of a huge battle between the Disciples (including Bec and Grubbs) and an army of the Demonata. He is initially frightened of Grubbs' newly wolfen form, but soon grows used to it. Everyone exchanges stories, but Kernel senses that Grubbs is hiding something. The band of fighters and mages successfully attempt to use the Kah-Gash to defeat the oncoming hordes of demons.

Bec and Grubbs begin disagreeing over whether or not to search for Beranabus' soul, and when Kernel thinks of Beranabus some lights begin to pulse - indicating that his soul can be found. Grubbs is still not happy about the idea, but when Bec reveals that Bill-E Spleen may be trapped in the same place as Beranabus, Grubbs jumps at the opportunity to save his brother. Kernel begins opening a window, but also catches a glimpse of a world where Lord Loss is talking to millions of demons. He shrugs this off and continues to build the window which leads them to a world engulfed in shadow, which they discover is in fact the 'body' of Death. The Disciples realise that their magic works differently in this place, and although sound does not travel, they can communicate telepathically thanks to Bec. Kernel can see differences in all the shadows, which then turn out to be the spirits of people, all of which seem to have gone insane, all screaming "free me!" Kernel locates Beranabus, and they talk about how to defeat Death. They are told by the ancient magician that it is impossible, after which Bec has a private discussion with Beranabus, making Grubbs and Kernel wary of her. Beranabus tells them how to set the spirits free, thus unravelling death's physical form, but says that it will come back stronger. When Grubbs asks Kernel where Bill-E is and if Kernel could lead him to him, when Beranabus tells them quite flatly that it has taken all his effort for him not to go mad in Death and it is impossible for someone with such a weak mind to stay sane. Death then becomes aware of their presence inside it and begins to attack them, after which the group run to a side of death and begin to claw and attack it. Its body unravels and the spirits trapped inside quickly escape including Beranabus and what's left of Bill-E. The shadows disappear and the heroes fall into the world Kernel had seen before. They are surrounded by demons, with little hope of escape. Bec, Grubbs and Kernel join to form the Kah-Gash, and create a shield, however Grubbs refuses to give it more power as it would mean he was no longer in control of it. Most of the group fight the demons while Kernel begins working on forming the window back to their universe, defended by Dervish as he does so. Meera Flame is fatally wounded but as her final act, kills herself and Juni Swan, who now has no hope of return as Death is incapacitated. Kernel opens the window and calls to everyone to follow, however Bec is in the clutches of Lord Loss and tells them to leave her.

Before they escape Kernel notices that Bec and the demon master are not fighting as violently as before, and suspects Bec of betrayal. When the remaining warriors return Dervish is in very bad shape, and asks to be taken outside to die. Kernel tells Grubbs he is returning to the ark. Grubbs says he understands and asks if Kernel would save the world "regardless of the consequences", Kernel agrees. Grubbs tells Kernel that he will hate him for what he is about to do, and then destroys Kernel's magically formed eyes and tells him that he needs him to stay. Kernel begins to warn Grubbs about Bec, but Grubbs has taken his uncle outside. The story ends with Kernel blind and alone, imagining Beranabus telling him that this is the end of the universe.

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.