Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Chloe saw ghosts as a child, so her mom gave her a necklace to chase them away. Now Chloe is a teenager and past believing in ghosts. She has moved around a lot since her mom’s death with only a housekeeper as her main caregiver. Her dad has promised that she can finish out her high school years at the school for the arts where she can pursue her passion of becoming a film director. Her big plans are interrupted with the surprising beginning of puberty and visions of a persistent and violent ghost, which leads to her mental breakdown. Her dad, with the help of Aunt Lauren, find Lyle House, a group home for mentally disturbed children. Chloe is diagnosed with schizophrenia and must take medication if she is to ever get back to a normal life.
Quickly Chloe begins to have questions as to the motives of the people who run Lyle House and the other kids living there. Simon is cute and seems completely normal but, his foster brother, Derek is big, scary and smelly. Tori is the epitome of a horrid catty girl. Chloe becomes friends with Rae, who is obsessed with fire. When Chloe’s roomate suddenly disappears and the ghosts won’t stop talking, she starts looking for answers. Derek suggests that Chloe look up more about a “necromancer”.
Some of these drugged paranomal kids decide that they have to escape Lyle House. They discover a conspiracy and they are the pawns for a game that they don’t understand.
Adult Point of View
The Summoning has the feeling of fingers running across your neck leaving a ghostly chill running down your spine. Armstrong has woven together several themes into a fairly cohesive whole. She has combined the paranormal, teen angst and a conspiracy into a quick moving tale in a way that becomes believable when the reader steps into the character of Chloe. I thought it was a bit annoying when Chloe would step out of herself to look at her life as if it was part of a movie, however, it was not a big distraction.
I also really enjoyed the teen angst of Derek and thought his character was one of the most multi-dimensional. I found some of the details of the cause of death of the ghosts to be too graphic for my comfort for a young teen demographic. There is also some romance, but mostly just at the crush level in the first novel. In subsequent novels there is more kissing. The plot does not get resolved in the first novel and will leave you wanting to read the rest of the series.
The Summoning is not directly related to the world of Twilight, but I did groan when a werewolf had to be included as one of the characters. After the Twilight phenomenon I predict we will continue to see vampires and werewolves in a lot of YA book.
If some of the violence is edited out, The Summoning is a fun book for kids as young as 13, without being edited it is better for high school. I would give it 2.75 out of 5 stars.
– the Mother
Teen Point of View
I thought The Summoning was a wonderful, exciting book. I loved it and had to read many parts over again to relook at its awesomeness. I loved the romance and all the little details about her life. I didn’t like how Chloe related to movies, it seemed too cheesy. Lots of action and fantasy. I liked all the characters and their personalities. I think this book is better for girls since it has to do with girly puberty problems. All in all I loved it and almost everything about it. The Summoning is a fun read for girls all around.