Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Genre: teen fantasy and science fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Book #: one
Pages: 416
Synopsis: She sees dead people--and they see her. Chloe Saunders used to have a pretty normal life. But that changed on the day she met her first ghost. Locked up in Lyle House, a group home for troubled teens, she finds out that there's more to the home's teen residents than meets the eye. Will Chloe be able to uncover the dangerous secrets of Lyle House...or will its skeletons come back to haunt her?


Maybe my expectations for this book was too high, but this was not one of my most favorite books. It bugged me most of the time, and the ending left me going, "Are you serious?" Hopefully the rest of the trilogy will be better.

It starts out with a young Chloe and her encounter with ghosts in her basement. That's when I said, "This book is going to be amazing!" Then it got into Chloe's life as a teenager, undergoing school and such, and I thought, "OK, just giving me a feel for Chloe." But then she got sent to Lyle House and nothing happened. The entire time, she talked about Liz, Rae, Tori, Simon, and Derek (the other inmates), but there was nothing mysterious about Lyle House until they go into the closet in the basement and up into the crawl space. That's when I said, "This is going to get really lame if nothing interesting happens." And nothing interesting did happen until the last couple of chapters.

There were hardly any ghosts to! That's what probably bugged me the most of this book. It says, right up there, first line in summary, "She sees dead people--and they see her." But there are only the ghosts in her basement as a child, the burned janitor, and the one in the basement at Lyle House. Other than that, zilch! Three ghosts in a book about a necromancer (someone who can see and talk to ghosts). Another thing, Chloe was so willing to accept her "condition" even though the facts were staring her in the face that she wasn't mentally ill and that they were lying to her! Ugh, frustrating!

Over all, The Summoning was not one of the best books I've ever read. But I wouldn't be setting it aside just yet. As annoying and frustrating as Chloe is, the book had its strong points. The idea that the home is a place for paranormal teenagers is very creative. There is mystery surrounding the home itself, but Armstrong pushes it aside with Chloe's thoughts about the home and Chloe's conclusion about the home. The Summoning was frustrating, but the sequel (The Awakening) has been very interesting so far. I have hope for the trilogy yet.

The Cover:  This cover hardly has to do with the book. Chloe is described as a petite girl with strawberry blond locks with red streaks. Her necklace does pop up in the book, but it's only barely brushed upon and hardly comes up. I do like the models position, though. And I think it would get my attention at a library or book store.

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