The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1)

 
0.0
 
4.1 (14)
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The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
July 01, 2008
ISBN
0061662690
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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.

User reviews

14 reviews
 
36%
 
50%
 
7%
 
7%
1 star
 
0%
Overall rating
 
4.1
Plot
 
4.2(14)
Characters
 
4.3(4)
Writing Style
 
3.8(4)
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A YA Urban Fantasy With Promise
Overall rating
 
3.3
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
As YA urban fantasies go, this series debut has some promising attributes.

The writing is solid and the first-person experience is brought to us by a quick-study heroine, who presents as neither whiny nor prone to wallowing in her own self-absorbtion. And the author's voice is appealing enough to carry the reader along through some of the more plodding points in the pacing. The continual references to movies and directing were a consistent and approachable plot device, which seemed effective in alleviating some of the obvious believability concerns.

I was also pleased to find more personal depth and substance explored than much of what I normally see in YA of this genre. There is a poignant consideration granted to mental illness, while a clear separation is defined between it and the supernatural angle.

The most pleasant surprise was Derek's character. Not the eye-candy obvious hero material that so many YAs would have the reader fall for--he's more of a stalwart anti-hero with a lot of developing potential.

On the downside of things, this reader perceived a nagging lack of detail to the physical and setting descriptions--which kept certain scenes from fully coming to life. It also seemed to take longer than necessary to get to the point. As a result, the worldbuilding felt stunted and draggy. The cliffhanger ending didn't score any bonus points in this reviewer's eyes, either.

I suspect that, once you make it through this first book, the series must really pick up steam. I liked it just well enough that I might consider reading one or two more to confirm this, but I wouldn't say I have an urgent NEED to read further. (Although, a cheap cliffhanger-with-no-resolution ending tends to annoy the need right out of me. :P)
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Is Chloe hallucinating? Or does she see ghosts?
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Chloe Saunders is fifteen years old. And she can see ghosts. Of course, when she starts freaking out about something that's other people can't see, they assume she schizo and stick her in a group home: Lyle House. Chloe soon realises that there's a lot more to Lyle House than meets the eye.

This was great. I stayed up still about midnight reading it because 1) it was really good and I didn't want to put it down and 2) because it was really creepy and I wanted to find out the ending. It was creepy. And it doesn't help that I have a bit of an overactive imagination. Like, when she was talking about that ghost with the melted face, and those rotting corpses... yep, that gave me a disturbing image.

One thing that bugged me during the story was that Chloe was always either 1) in denial, 2) paranoid or 3) unable to come up with her own ideas. That annoyed me. She couldn't come up with her own ideas. When they told her she was schizo, she was in denial, and then believed it. When Simon and Derek told her she was a necromancer, she was in denial, and then she believed it. It kind of went on like this...

Anyway, overall, this was a really good book.
Good Points
- Good
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The Summoning
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Overall, I would give the whole series a 4.5
Good Points
It kept me interested enough to make me want to go on to the next two books. I read this book in December 2011
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Read this.
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Oh, wow-zah!
The Summoning is all sorts of good!
This book kept me up at night. Partially because I really wanted to read to find out what would happen next, and the other part was that I was so damn creeped out! (I’m scared of the dark too, Chloe!)
Oh, and is it weird that I have a crush on Derek? ;)
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Chloe Chloe Chloe What do you see? Hear?
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Mercedes

This is my first review. So be patient with me! I never really found another author i liked until i was given The summoning by kelley Armstrong as a gift. i'm so glad for this gift because i love the whole book and will continue to read the series in this 3 book series.

ok, Chloe is a 15 yr old teen who lost her mother at a young age. Due to bad experiences as a child she doesn't want to acknowledge she can actually hear and see dead people. She trys to avoid it in most of the book but all the ghosts want is help from her because she can hear them. She is thrown in a house called the lyle house with other unique teens because everyone thinks she is "crazy". At first she was made to believe that she has schizo. She starts to think she is a freak but she isnt at all. just a unique teen who can actually communicate with the dead. I dont like spoiling the ending for anyone. so, you should pick up the book at a local store and read it! it's a wonderful read and trust me worth the money. I am on book 2 in the series now(more intense)..once i read it all...ill try my best to do a better review. i'm new to this. If you like books about the unknown...this is the series for you! Have a great week everyone and a lovely Thanksgiving!

mercedes
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The Summoning: Really Good!
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Nikki

This book was slow at the start, but then it got REALLY good....The ending suprised me so much, I read the last 100 pages in like an hour! I really did like this book.

Chloe is a 15 year old girl who can see dead people.  Before she knows what happened, she is put into a mental hospital, The Lyle House, and diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Along with her there is also Derek and Simon, who she befriends.

After doing some research on the internet about necromancing...she realizes that she isn't crazy..Now she has to get out before the people behind Lyle House get to her..
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I love these!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Nikki

I got this book as a gift, and when I started to read it, I was a little weirded out by the first chapter. I stopped reading i, but after a while I ran out of other books to read, and I decided to pick this one up again. I made a great decision there! It was a fantastic read, and I got the second one as soon as I could. I can't wait for the next one! These books are so gripping! I love them.
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Supernaturally Good
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Steph Su

On the day that fifteen-year-old Chloe Saunders finally gets her period, she sees the ghost, her first since her childhood. It freaks her out so much that she is sent to the hospital and then referred to Lyle House, a private home for mentally ill adolescents--otherwise known as a place to lock the crazy kids up in.

At Lyle House, Chloe takes medication for her diagnosis--schizophrenia--and attends to a strict schedule of chores and schoolwork. But she continues to encounter strange occurrences, such as the ghost who's attempting to contact her. It just might be that there's more to herself than she knows... and more to Lyle House and her housemates than others are letting onto. Chloe and her newfound friends may be in much more danger than they expect.

After hearing so much hype about Armstrong's upcoming sequel, The Awakening, I'm very glad I picked The Summoning up. It felt to me almost like Harry Potter with a female protagonist and fewer subplots. The strength of this series lies in its idea: these teenagers with supernatural powers are funneled into this peculiar house for possibly sinister purposes! The characters' interactions with one another are spiritful, the dialogue vibrant; the characters themselves, though, do not stand out to me in the heavily populated world of YA paranormal fiction.

The exception may be Chloe, who is wonderful, constantly changing and growing and doubting herself--all the things that a normal teenage girl should do, all without being petty or annoyingly shallow. I also found Derek interesting, and would like to see much more of him in the future. Perhaps there will be a romance between him and Chloe...?

But that's a minor complaint, for the story more than makes up for the less-than-outstanding characters. The Summoning ends on a suspenseful, slightly disappointing note as readers wait for the sequel impatiently to find out what happens to Chloe and her friends.


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supernatural mystery
Overall rating
 
2.0
Plot
 
2.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by mearley

There seems to be quite a trend in YA books lately, where characters discover that they have supernatural powers and/or are in the presence of supernatural beings. Of course, this discovery must be kept secret from the main character's parents and/or friends. Then the character must decide what do do with their new-found knowledge/skills. This was one of those books.

If you are a fan of this particular genre, you will enjoy The Summoning, and you'll be happy to see that it is the first in a series. However, there was nothing here that will appeal to readers outside of the genre audience.

Reprinted here with author's permission.
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Good Start to the Series
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by ambeen

In recent years I have been reading a lot more supernatural books and they're fast becoming some of my favorites. The Summoning is a great set-up for the Darkest Powers Series.

The pacing is pretty slow for the first 200 pages. The mystery of what is going on is drawn out to a considerable length. The main characters inability to accept whats happening is a hindrance as well that does not seem to want to let up. The character even dislikes being thought of as dense, but continues to remain so. Luckily, she is able to snap out of it for the second half of the novel.

The second half of The Summoning makes me think the rest of the series will be even better because all the introductory stuff is over now and we can get to the meat of the story without having to wait for the characters to catch up.

Another thing I liked was that the novel took place at a kind of boarding school. I have enjoyed every novel I've read that takes place at a boarding school. The Summoning is no exception. My streak with boarding school settings is still running. ;)

The novel ends on a major cliffhanger. I was a little mad Armstrong couldn't have given us a little more closure (frankly, I wondered if it wasn't to ensure sales of future installments after such a lackluster start). I look forward to the second installment and hope I'm able to read and review it as well.
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