Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Review: The Summoning by Kelley ArmstrongThe Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkest Powers #1

Published by HarperCollins on July 1st 2008
Also by this author: The Awakening, The Reckoning
Also in this series: The Awakening, The Reckoning
Pages: 390

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.

One of the easiest ways to be able to read more books without having to buy them is to go to the library. It’s been years since I went there and the time that I borrowed books was even longer ago. The English books department isn’t as extensive as I would’ve liked and it’s filled with popular thriller authors. I skip those and look for the lesser known fantasy and YA authors. Kelley Armstrong’s The Summoning was the one that peaked my interest and was a first in a series. (Most first books weren’t available…)

Chloe has seen ghosts all her life and after an incident at school, she’s taken to a group home where other troubled teenagers undergo treatment. I like the setting because it forces the characters to interact with each other even though they might not like or get along well with the others. It causes conflict and that makes things interesting. If this story was just about Chloe dealing with her diagnosis (schizophrenia), it would have been enough for me. The extra, paranormal, layer kept me reading and I finished it in one sitting.

The highlight is when Chloe learns to use her powers. She has no idea how strong she is and the results were worse than she expected. The event made her accept what she is and that the people taking care of her have been lying. A lot of things happen the few chapters after that. The book was a slow start, but the ending is full speed ahead and a dead stop. I would’ve liked it better if the pacing wasn’t as focused on the end.

The Summoning receives 3,5 stars, mostly because it ended abruptly. If it didn’t end during a scene, it might have scored four stars. I’m not against big cliffhangers (books that leave you wondering if one of the main cast dies or not), but this didn’t even seem like a big cliffhanger. Maybe if we were more invested with that particular character (no spoilers, just read the book), it might have been. I do wonder what will happen in the other two books and I like knowing that I can read those soon.

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