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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review of The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

~After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…~


I am a long-time fan of Ms. Kelley Armstrong. I first discovered her while doing some research on Canadian female writers. I quickly rushed out to purchase her first book, Bitten, and devoured it in a night. It had one of the most realistic descriptions of wolf shifting I had ever read. It made me squirm, but in a good way. It didn't take me long to catch up and read the whole series.

I have to admit, I was a tiny bit worried when I heard Kelley had written a YA series. I avoided it for a long time, not wanting it to ruin my thoughts about her writing. The only reason I finally picked up The Summoning was because it was one of the choices for my 2011 YA Summer Challenge.

Of course I should never have worried...

The typical Kelley Armstrong writing style I have come to know and love was just as strong in her YA novel as it has been in her adult novels. I was a little worried she might tone it down for the youngins, but she didn't. She didn't hold anything back at all.

The storyline was very intriguing, and kept me reading even through the slower sections. I could easily see and understand the need for the build-up, and therefore it didn't bother me as much as it does in other books where the build-up leads to a whole lot of nothing.

I felt parts of the story were very predictable, but that was equally balanced by events that surprised the heck out of me, even though they shouldn't have. I mean as I have already mentioned, I read a lot of Kelley Armstrong, and I know how she writes her characters, and when certain "symptoms" are there, I should know what's going to happen. I don't know how I missed it, but I'm glad I did. It was a wonderful little surprise.

I loved all the characters, even the evil ones. They had so much depth to them. I immediately fell in love with Derek, even though I feel like Kelley tried so hard (too hard) to make the reader not like him...I just knew that meant he was a character that would win our respect and adoration in the end. Chloe reminded me of a young Jamie Vegas (necromancer and celebrity medium from Kelley's Women of the Otherworld series).

Everything was going so well...the end was coming...things seemed to be pretty tied up...I knew there were two more books in the series, but it felt like book one was at a nice, and mostly neat end...

...and then...whammo....

...evil cliffhanger of DOOM!

I hate that...but of course I will read the other two...eventually...after my rage has subsided...

My rating?

4 super scribble spiders out of 5!

4 comments:

  1. I felt the same way when I read The Summoning. Love Derek, love - as always - Armstrong's crisp writing style...but oh, the cliffhangers. Grr.
    What is it with YA and cliffhangers? It's like an epidemic...

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  2. My thoughts exactly, except Divergent. Divergent was perfect! A hint that there would be more, but tied off neatly enough not to drive me crazy.

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