The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1)
HarperCollins (US: 31st March 2009); Random House (CA: 1st July 2008); Hachette Orbit (UK: 3rd July 2008; AU: September 2008)
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Puberty brings more than periods and acne in the first book of Kelley Armstrong’s new young adult Darkest Powers trilogy, The Summoning.
At fifteen, Chloe Saunders still hasn’t menstruated. But the day it hits coincides with the ghost of a custodian haunting Chloe at school, until she finally breaks down. Told she has schizophrenia, she’s sent to live in a group home for other teens dealing with mental illness. Or are they?
But Lyle House’s patients are here by no happy accident, judging by the supernatural happenings. As Chloe comes to terms with her necromancy, she learns her powers are much stronger than they should be. Ghosts have been more hindrance than help in the past, but there’s one particular ghost who could provide information the group needs. If only Chloe can figure out how to contact her…
Though this is a new supernatural YA series, it has the same “world rules” as the author’s adult Otherworld series. Yet on the whole this is the freshest, most compelling novel Kelley Armstrong’s written for quite some time, reinvigorating my passion for her books. This was mainly helped by the claustrophobic setting of Lyle House, which isn’t haunted per se…
The author’s stepped her characterisation up to a new level. While at first Chloe’s film-directing obsession and stuttering are annoying, I soon understood that these are coping mechanisms, and we all have them in one variety or another. And a particular character’s supernatural ability (appearing late in the novel) is a far cry from the glamorous versions usually populating paranormal fiction.
Then there’s the scientific element that I can’t wait to read more about. Indeed, there are a lot of unanswered questions, and a cliffhanger ending. But with two more books left in this trilogy, hopefully all will be explained. Now to be patient for the second installment, The Awakening…