Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning is something Chloe would rather have not happen.  After freaking out at school when she sees a ghost, Chloe is taken to Lyle House, a group home for mentally unstable teenagers.  Now she is doing everything in her power to convince them that she is coping with her illness and not actually seeing ghosts.  But when she and some of the other patients at the home uncover some dark secrets about the people who run Lyle House, she realizes she may need to accept her power to speak to ghosts in order to survive.

The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1)

Things I Liked:
The story really grabs you, right from the first page.  I thought it was a pretty refreshing take on the supernatural side of young adult literature.  Chloe was an interesting character, just enough spunk and personality to make her believable, particularly with her love of cinema.  Armstrong did an excellent job of leaving us guessing just what would happen next and I definitely didn't see some of the surprises coming.  The ending left me on the edge of my seat and eager to read the next installment.  I thought another of its unique strengths was the psychological aspect Armstrong brought in.  It was not easy for Chloe to believe in her supernatural powers.  She had to battle with herself and with her fear that she may just be mentally ill.  It lent the book an air of believability.  See here:

As much as I loved the world of cinema, I knew the difference between reality and story.  In movies, there are ghosts and aliens and vampires.  Even someone who doesn't believe in extraterrestrials can sit in a movie theater, see the protagonists struggling with clues that suggest alien invasion, and want to scream, "Well, duh!" p103
Things I Didn't Like:
The writing seems a little flat in places, but the book is carried entirely on the intriguing and mysterious story line to keep you reading.  I have high hopes that the second installment will be just as good, perhaps better.  I also have to admit I had pretty low expectations for this one.  It almost seemed like it would be a repeat of my disappointment with Evermore by Alyson Noel.  Perhaps those expectations made it easier for me to enjoy it.

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester

Dull Boy by Sarah Cross

s-factor: !@
some scattered throughout

mrg-factor: X
a few passing references

v-factor: ->
not violent so much as frightening images

Overall rating: ****

Have you had a pleasantly surprised read recently?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage,
I will get a very small percentage

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