Title: The Summoning
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication Year: 2008
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
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.
I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy lately, but Darkest Powers is the first series that I’ve picked up that had anything to do with ghosts. It’s not usually something I’m all that interested in, but I’ve heard lots of positive things about Armstrong’s books over the years, and I figured I’d give them a shot.
The Summoning does a great job at making the reader unsure of what’s going on at first. You want to believe that Chloe is seeing ghosts, but then she’s diagnosed as mentally ill, as schizophrenic, and her “symptoms” seem to go away with medication. But that’s can’t really be the reason, can it? I found it an interesting take on things, something that isn’t usually touched on in fantasy novels. Plus, there’s the aspect of the book where there are multiple kinds of supernaturals, which also isn’t that big of a thing. I kind of like it, but at the same time, it makes the story a bit scattered. Why would all these different kinds of supes be in the same place? No spoilers, but it does eventually make sense. And eventually, I had a bit of a soft spot for more of the characters than just Chloe.
While this wasn’t the best modern-world fantasy novel I’ve read recently, it was still quite interesting. Something a little bit out of the ordinary, a little bit different. It’s also less romance-focused than most, which was kind of refreshing. If you’re looking for a coming-of-age book that includes supernatural elements, The Summoning might be just what you need.