Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: The Summoning

Book: The Summoning (Kelley Armstrong)
Stand-Alone or Series:  Series, Darkest Powers #1
Pages: 390
Genre: Young Adult
Preview on Google Books

Description (From Goodreads):
After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it 

isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either… 
 I have heard a lot of great things about the Darkest Powers Series. I love Kelley Armstrong's writing, so I figured it was about time to read The Summoning. I have to say, this is one of those wonderful cases when the book lives up to all the hype. 

Kelley does an amazing job, as always, creating a well-rounded, diverse, cast of characters. Chloe Saunders is the main character in this book and she soon discovers she is an necromancer. Chloe in a great character - she is loyal and determined, but still possess the qualities of an average teenager. I hate when books that are about kids and teens feature characters who act like adults. Chloe is constantly afraid of her surroundings and  reacts to situations in the way a normal girl would. Oh, and her stutter is ingenious and completely endearing.

The fact that Chloe is a necromancer is a huge bonus.  I have only read a few ghost stories, so the idea is still relatively new to me. The change in pace from vampires and other immortal characters was utterly refreshing.

The rest of Chloe's gang, if you will, are also fabulously written. There are two brothers, Simon and Derek who live at the Lyle House with Chloe. Simon is a sorcerer and Derek, well he is special in his own way; I don't want to spoil it for you. My favorite of the two boys is easily Derek. At first he comes off as a complete jerk, but he really isn't. He is just afraid. I love complex characters and Derek is definitely complex. I really hope that there is more, um, lets say interaction between him and Chloe in the feature books. I cannot tell you how hilarious I found the scenes when they pretend to be an item. For those of you who have read the book, you know what I mean.

The rest of the cast, Rae, Liz and Tori are more of secondary characters. All three of them live at the Lyle house with the rest of the teens; Rae and Liz become friends with Chloe. Tori, however, assumes the role of Chloe's sworn enemy. I enjoyed all of these characters as well, and I am excited to see more of them in the next book. 

Like most books that begin new series, there was a lot of build up weaved into the storyline. However, the author was able to keep the plot moving, while sewing seeds for future setups. Not once did I feel the urge to skip a paragraph or page, which is quite rare. 

The only gripe I have with this book, is the massive cliffhanger at the end. I cannot imagine how difficult it was for those of you who read this book back in 2008. I would not want to wait an entire year to see what happens next. In fact, I already placed book 2, The Awakening, on hold at library.  

As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed The Summoning. The characters were all beautifully written, the premise was exciting and intriguing and it left me eagerly anticipating the next book. I know that I am extremely late on the bandwagon for this one, but if you haven't read it yet, please do. You will not regret it.


Amelia said...

Hey Sarah!
wow, what a great review. I've heard a lot about this series but haven't read any of the books yet. I'll be sure to put this one on my TBR.

Tea and Tomes said...

I was pleased as punch when I read that book and discovered that unlike so many female main characters in YA paranormal stuff these days, Chloe was not a cardboard cutout masquerading as a real person. That alone endeared me to the series, and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of them (library doesn't have them yet, sadly).

I totally agree with everything said in this review. Right down to the annoyance with the cliffhanger ending! :p (I want to know what happens next!)

tessie said...

So excited to get this book!! it arrives in the mail tomorrow or the next day EEEPP!! cannot wait!

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