Teen Review: The Summoning

The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1) by Kelley Armstrong
Release Date ~ July 1, 2008
Doubleday Canada ~ Random House Canada
ISBN-13: 978-0385665346
Book borrowed from library
Goodreads Synopsis
Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for disturbed teens.

At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems…? Chloe realizes that if she doesn’t uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse…? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?
Recently, Brenna and I had the privilege of going to one of Kelley Armstrong's book signings.  There was a question period, and after hearing all these questions about her other series, The Darkest Powers, I knew that I had to read it.  I had some time on my reading schedule to read whatever I wanted, so I chose this book.  I am so glad I read it because I think it's AMAZING.

  1. Chloe's Character Development:
    When the novel starts, Chloe is very...  Weak.  She is very much a damsel in distress type, and there's nothing really that special about her.  At the beginning I only thought Chloe was alright as a character, but as the book progressed, I saw her change.  A lot of really creepy stuff happens to her at Lyle House, and you really see her mature as a character.  She begins to become more confident in herself, and far braver than she was in the beginning.  I liked seeing how the different experiences that she went through shaped herself.  I thought that this was really good because she's just 15, which is the age where many normal teens go through a lot of changes in finding out who they are in life.  I liked how Chloe started growing up a little bit, and I found that it made her character more real.
  2. Super Creepy Lyle House:
    I've always kind of liked creepy things.  I kind of like getting scared and a bit disturbed.  I was a bit surprised when Lyle House was creepier than I was anticipating.  Armstrong does a fantastic job at describing the different situations, and building up tension.  I started getting scared with the characters, and wondering what they were going to do, or even what they could do.  As you might have guessed from the plot synopsis above, there are ghosts in this book.  The ghosts were really well done.  There was a whole variety of friendly, strange, and downright disturbing ghosts.  I liked how this book had just the right amount of creepiness, without being too over-the-top.
  3. Cliffhanger ending:
    If there's one thing that Kelley writes really well, it's a cliffhanger ending.  They're really effective in that, I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.  She cuts off the book just at the peak of the drama, and the action, and the plot twists.  I don't find them to be really annoying, they just make me excited for the next book.  The cliffhanger at the end of this book kind of reminded me of the end of the first book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, because they both end just when things are getting really exciting.  I'm so glad that I'm reading these books now, because if I read this as soon as it had come out, I don't think I would be able to wait that long for the sequel.
If you are a fan of the Darkness Rising series by the same author, and you still haven't read this series, or you're looking for something a bit creepy, but also exciting at the same time, you will like this book.  I can't really think of any complaints for it, except I hope that we find out more about the other characters in the next books.  Other than that though, no major complaints.  I really enjoyed this book and I'm so glad that I finally read it.

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YA Book Queen said...

That's great that there's good character development...and I'm very intrigued by the books creepiness!

Nice review :)

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I loved everything about Lyle House, it was a great setting for this book. And you are so right about the cliffhanger ending. It was such a shock, I still need to get the second one. Great review :)

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