Author: Kelley Armstrong
Release: July 1st 2008
Genre: Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, YA
#1 in the Darkest Powers trilogy
Sequels: The Awakening (#2), The Reckoning (#3)
My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost - and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? it's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House...before its skeletons come back to haunt me.
This was her debut novel, was it not? I think so. Well, if it was, it's pretty good, considering.
The Summoning has a nice premise, something about ghosts and necromancers and supernaturals. Since I haven't read many books about ghosts (about five, I think), I thought, Why not? Plus these books have very pretty covers and yes, I'm a shallow person and I may or may not take beautiful covers into consideration as well. Thankfully though, The Summoning's nice cover doesn't deceive.
Now, the story is a bit ... uninteresting, for the most part. It took roughly until page 250 for things to pick up, which isn't to say anything before that was bad, but it just wasn't as gripping. It's kind of like Wither, it all takes place in a mansion and is about the characters' lives there. Only I didn't enjoy it this time as much as I did in Wither. And it wasn't exactly a mansion, more like a group home for the mentally ill youth, and while I do think those can be more than interesting (Rachel Vincent pulled it off nicely in, I believe, If I Die; and Michelle Hodkin in The Evolution of Mara Dyer), Armstrong failed to pull this off the right way. It was still nice enough, but nothing extraordinary. Readable.
The fact the characters weren't interesting either probably wasn't a point in the book's favor and maybe that's why it made the group home stay dull. Again, the characters weren't exactly poorly done, but not well done, as well. Chloe was okay, she was able to make mostly the right decisions and she was clever enough to get by, Rae was badass at first, but later she became a maniac puppy desperate to stick out and be "special." Derek was a little creep and though he did start to appeal to me more by the end, I still don't like him. Not yet, anyway. Maybe that'll change. I was very pleasantly surprised though to see he wasn't the gorgeous, hot guy Chloe was to fall in love with while he helped her figure out her problems. And maybe she will fall for him after all even though he has acne and he's stocky and all that. It'd be nice to have a couple where the guy (and girl) isn't flawless for once. Tori was the standard bitchy character there to turn the protagonist's life to hell, being as 2D as you could possibly get. While she das get a bit of "back story" and a hint of a character arc, I guess, she still seems pretty flat to me. Simon was nice, though again, 2D. More 2D than his brother, but perhaps we'll got more of a character arc for him in the next books.
Writing was very nice, especially if this was her debut novel (pretty sure it was). I saw a couple spelling errors here and there, nothing too fatal although still annoying, but still — good job, Armstrong.
I'm excited to see where this is going next. There were a lot of surprised and intriguing plot twists by the end that I am eager to explore more. Another plus point for this book is the fact that it had something about it that kept me going "One more chapter. Dang it, I want to know what happens next. Okay, one more." during the middle part mostly. But still. I was tethering on 2.5 stars before that, but with being able to pull me along, it totally deserves its three stars. I'm now onto The Awakening.