Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Review: The Summoning

The Summoning (Book one in the Darkest Powers series) by Kelley Armstrong
Published: 3rd July 2008
Publisher: Orbit (UK)
Buy/Add to wishlist: Amazon UK/Amazon.Com

Description (from Amazon):

All Chloe Saunders wants is a life like any normal teenager - the chance to get through school, make friends, and maybe meet a boy. But when she starts seeing ghosts, she knows that life will never be normal again.Soon ghosts are everywhere, demanding her attention. When Chloe finally breaks down, she's admitted to a group home for disturbed kids. At first Lyle House seems okay, but as she gets to know the other patients - charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek; obnoxious Tori; and Rae, who has a 'thing' for fire - Chloe begins to realise that something strange and sinister binds them all together, and it isn't your usual 'problem kid' behaviour.And they're about to discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home, either . . .

My thoughts:

I've never read anything by Kelley Armstrong, despite her work always being on my radar. I believe this is the first book she wrote for young adults, but don't quote me on that. It took me a while to get into this book, but I think that might be because I read it in bits and pieces rather than over one sitting like I usually would. I liked Chloe, at first her character seemed a bit cliche, but I grew to like her. I wasn't sure how I felt about her reaction to her 'schizophrenia' diagnosis,I thought she reacted a little weaker than a person normally would, but maybe that's because she subconsciously knew it wasn't true and therefore never fully accepted it? Or maybe Kelley Armstrong is trying to break the mental illness stigma (it did seem that way at points, which, whilst admirable tended to pull me out of the story slightly.) 

I wasn't sure about Simon either really, he seemed a bit...nothingy. Kind of like a half hearted attempt at writing a love interest. I did like Derek though, and I enjoyed the various twists that came with his character. And I loved Rae, she's so cute. 

Plot-wise not the most original, it reminded me a bit of Maximum ride, but it definitely picked up more to the end, and about 3/4 of the way through I started to really enjoy it. I didn't expect a couple of the plot twists, and I thought they were well written despite being fairly typical. I liked that Chloe was a necromancer, which I think is a bit more unusual than most YA books-someone that can control the dead rather than just seen ghosts/find dead bodies etc. 

All in all I give it...3.5/5 I think. It was enjoyable and interesting and I expect the plot will pick up more in the second book, which I'm looking forward to reading. 

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