The Summoning

The Summoning - Kelley Armstrong This book came to my attention highly recommended. I've had my copy for some time now, and I was waiting for just the right time to start it. I have to be honest, when I started reading I wasn't sure how much I was going to like it...ghost/paranormal suspense stories aren't really my usual venture...especially not creepy ones since I'm a chicken sh*t bit of a scaredy cat. It seriously doesn't take much for me to get completely freaked out, and ghosts are...usually creepy. Soon enough though I became invested in the story and it's characters. It almost reminded me a bit of like 'The Sixth Sense' movie, but YA and with a teenaged female protagonist and magical elements. And the more I read, the more interested and intrigued I became.

Overall I thought the plot was quite original; in the sense that I never once felt I had heard/read this story before. Some of the elements are certainly familiar generally speaking (necromancers, sorcerers, werewolves), but their specific combinations and traits felt fresh and honestly, fun. The same holds true where the characters are concerned. Take the protagonist Chloe; not once did she come off as another heroine from another YA novel. The combination of her powers mixed with her disposition (spoiler- jittery necromancer with a stutter) and her interests and temperament all melded together into a likeable and compelling heroine. At first when her family commits her into Lyle House, 'a special house' for 'troubled teens' the outlook of the story seems bleak. But we soon learn that Lyle house isn't quite as it seems...and neither are it's residents. I also really liked all most of the other kids at Lyle House. (spoiler- not Tori though, though we learn why she's a mega b*tch, and she certainly has reason too, she is seriously messed up.) Rae, the first person to be really nice and a friend to Chloe was sweet and supportive but also in a tough ''I'll defend my friends through whatever'' kind of way. I liked Simon, of course, who wouldn't there's nothing not to like. I was kind of surprised by how much I liked Derek right away though. It seemed like the author was going out of her way to have him come off abrasive and anti-social but I was left intrigued and sympathetic.

The Summoning is a quick and easy read, and let me tell you, author Kelley Armstrong knows how to build suspense. I was on the edge of my seat through more than one of the creepy scenes (spoiler-crawl space, zombies, the capture at the end... yikes!) and it certainly propelled the reading along nicely. I did find that Chloe's paranormal 'development' kind of took backseat at about the halfway point; with a few negligible exceptions, but I digress. The book ends in a horrible, torturous cliffhanger that really should be the end of act one because it's no ending at all, just a cruel pause for anyone who bought this book when it first came out and then had to wait MONTHS *shudder* till book 2. Luckily for me, book 2 is right besides me at this moment. So excuse me while I jump in! Easily a 4-star book, I'm excited/anxious to see what comes next!