March 7, 2013

REVIEW: The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1)

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1), by Kelley Armstrong
Published July 1, 2008
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Format:  Paperback - own
Genre:  YA Paranormal

Rating:  3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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.

The Summoning is one of those cases of a book that could've been great - almost was great - had it not been for the main character.

Our story starts in high school where 15-year-old Chloe Saunders starts seeing dead people and, as a result, gets placed in a home for kids with "problems." While there, she's diagnosed as schizophrenic by the home's psychiatrist. She also continues to see dead people and has problems getting along with some of the other residents.

I really loved the concept of this book. Chloe is a necromancer who is thrown together with other kids with other abilities. There's a lot of secrecy and intrigue as she tries to figure out how to control her ability and come to terms with it. And then, as she and the others in the house start to latch on to the bigger picture, it gets even more exciting.

My biggest problem with this book is Chloe. I liked her less than I liked the boy who is supposed to be unlikable. She is very immature and her language and mannerisms are proof of that. I realize she's only 15 and dealing with a lot of crap. But, this is a book, and a lot of times, unbelievable things happen in books. I mean, for cripes sake, she can resurrect the dead! The least Armstrong could do was to make her main character someone we all could get behind.

Derek, Simon - even mean girl Tori - had more depth and substance than Chloe did. More heart and more spine. It is because of Derek and Simon that I will continue on in the series. Well, that, and the fact that I already own all three books in the trilogy. I look forward to getting the full story on what happened with the boys' dad. And, The Summoning did end on quite a big cliffhanger. I just can't leave a good cliffhanger go.

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