111. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Darkest Powers, Book One

Pages: 390
Ages: 14+
Finished: June 19, 2009
First Published: July 1, 2008
Genre: YA, paranormal, fantasy
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

Mommy forgot to warn the new babysitter about the basement.

Reason for Reading: I've been wanting to read this author for sometime now but her adult series has a number of books in it and with all the series I already have going it's a daunting project and I thought this new YA series would be a great place to start and see if I liked the author before trying her adult books. I received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Comments: Chloe was a normal teenager until the day she sees a very scary ghost of a janitor in the girl's bathroom and runs screaming down the school hall. Next thing she knows, she has woken up in an exclusive home for mentally troubled teens. She's told she has a mental condition and they only want to help her get better. The handful of other patients all seem nice enough, well except a couple who have major attitude problems, and she begins to adjust to her diagnosis. But Chloe (and the others) begin to realize that something isn't right. Chloe can still see dead people and the kids don't think it's because of any mental illness. In fact, quite a few of them seem to have rather special talents. Why are they always being threatened with transfer? What's so bad with being transferred? Why can Chloe see the girl who was transferred?

This is an absolutely amazing read! You need one of those rubber page-flipper thingies on your finger so you can turn the pages fast enough when you read this. Kelley Armstrong has created an amazing world, which her website reveals is the same one in which her adult books are set. The mental home the teens live in has that boarding-school feel to it but with a much closer, tighter, oppressive atmosphere. While three of the teens stand out as main characters at this point, all six of them are fully realized and each given a background and believable personality.

The plot starts off with a bang and just keeps going from there. Event after event keeps the pace moving very quickly then reveal after reveal towards the end will have you gasping in shock. There is an overhanging darkness throughout the book which we are briefly let into and by the end of the book we have some idea of what it is but no real knowledge of its depth except that it has evil intentions.

The book does end basically mid-paragraph though not exactly with a cliff hanger as we know what is coming immediately next but it is one of those "to be continued" endings that I'm not partial to with everything left just at the crucial moment and leaving the reader dying to read the next book. Fortunately, I have the next book on hand and don't have to wait a year to found out what happens next but I do fear that book two will leave me in the same position. However, the book is just too darn good to take any marks off so it gets a full rating from me! This is the best teen novel I've read since A Great and Terrible Beauty (which I loved!) and this is by far the better book. If you read paranormal books, whether they be adult or teen, you'll love this. Go get it now! Highly recommended.

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  1. I loved this as well. Can't wait for the next one to come out!

  2. I have this one queued up on my iPod - I'm so glad to hear that you liked it!

  3. My parents just finished this and have been pressuring me to read it. I think I'm going to have to take them up on the offer sooner rather than later. It sounds amazing!

  4. Alaine - I'm loving book 2 already! 2010 is going to be a long wait for the 3rd.

    Darla - I'm sure this is going to be right up your alley!

    Memory - Sounds like you've got pretty cool parents with good reading taste. I agree with them. You'll like this book.

  5. If you loved this than you should definitely read her adult series. I liked this book, but I love her adult series. :)

  6. Wow you gave it full marks, impressive. I love her Women of the Otherworld series and once I have caught up on the latest two I will start this series.

  7. I am something of a Kelley Armstrong fangirl, but haven't read this series yet. Looks like I will have to rectify that.

  8. Kailana - I am chomping at the bit to read her adult series now! I've just finished book 2 of the YA series. I'll probably wait till the new year but I'm definately going to commit to making it a priority.

    Rhinoa - I absolutely loved this! But I haven't read the Otherworld books so I don't have anything to compare it too. Being a seasoned reader of hers you may not be as blown away but for an introduction to her, it's certainly made me a fan with just one book under my belt!

    Marg - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  9. I'm almost finished listening to the audio version of this, and it is SO exciting. I will be sorry when it's over - but I'm glad to hear you're loving #2.


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