THE SUMMONING - Kelley Armstrong


After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, and meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…
- Goodreads description


Oh man. I am NOT good with creepy. Bloody, violent, scary? Sure. Criminal Minds? No problem. Creepy rotting corpse ghosts? I'm hiding under my blankets and never ever ever coming out again. I realized in the first chapter that this book might be tough for me. By the time I got about a quarter of the way through I had to stop and have a stern discussion with myself. Big girl panties were mentioned. By the time I was halfway through I seriously considered admitting I am way too much of a scaredy cat for this book and quitting. But I needed to know what happened, so I kept reading. It's possible I now need therapy. Thanks, Kelley. Thanks a lot. Like I didn't already have enough mental issues.

 Who, me, crazy? No way.
One good thing to come out of my current state of quivering mess-itude is that I can now wholeheartedly recommend this book to those who enjoy a bit of creepy dead stuff in their books. In fact, they'll probably read it and tell me it's not even remotely scary. You know, to anyone but me. And all have a good laugh. You're welcome. Now that you're done laughing at me, let's get on with the review, shall we? 

The premise of this book was intriguing - if totally terrifying. For more than one reason. Other than the obvious (seeing gross dead people), Chloe's condition brings with it another source of terror. That the majority of the world won't understand her ability, and will think she's either lying or suffering from hallucinations. Which is basically what happened. 

So I felt for her. I felt for all the kids at Lyle House. You get the feeling pretty early on that there's something odd going on there, and Armstrong did a great job of slowly building the suspense and tension. She doesn't jump right in with the supernatural stuff. She gives the reader time to decide what they want to believe, and she slowly reveals more and more. She did this in The Gathering as well, and it was one of the things I really liked about the book. It worked well here too. 

She also developed the characters expertly. They've got layers, and they're not perfect angels or villains. She gives you reasons to feel for each of them - and reasons to be wary of them. Particularly given that these are kids who are in an institution for things we don't know about, it's a realistic portrayal of how I imagine it would feel to adjust to such a social setting. 

I don't trust any of you people.

There were definitely lots of twists and turns in the plot that I didn't expect (along with a few I did, but that's fine) and it moved along without dragging. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who's as big of a chicken shit sissy as me, but if you've got a strong constitution for horror, you'll be totally fine, and you'll really enjoy this. 

Oh, and make sure you've got book two (The Awakening) on hand, because this ends on a cliff hanger, and you're gonna wanna know what happens next!


Book Title: The Summoning
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkest Powers #1
Edition: Paperback
Published By: HarperCollins
Released: March 31, 2009
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Supernatural
Pages: 390
Date Read: January 6-9, 2014
Rating: 7/10


  1. I love love love this book. Thought I wouldn't like it as much as I did but I was pleasantly surprised, I'm ok with ghosts and creepy things as long as I'm not watching it, silly I know.

    Glad you liked it :). Can't wait to see what you think of the other books.
    Also what did you think of Derek?

    1. I'm such a scaredy cat! I have a super vivid imagination, so anything ghosty or creepy and I'm out. I watched The Grudge years ago and couldn't sleep for like two days. Or close my eyes in the shower. *shudder*

      Have you read the whole series? This is the only one I've read so far - not sure if I'll continue or not.

      Derek... I started off being creeped out by him, then I felt sorry for him, now I'm worried about him and feel like he's probably the most capable of all the kids. He knows how to handle himself, and he's smart. Really hope he either escapes or gets rescued!

    2. haha bless you, I'm like that but with movies, for some reason reading about them doesn't bother me. Ah The Grudge, I'm not a fan haha (might have something to do with the fact that it scares the hell out of me) I can't watch any of the Paranormal Activity moves past one, which is silly because the Saw movies are some of my favourite. Gore any day, just not ghosts haha.

      I have read the series (in a few days, I liked them that much haha). And I would recommend you carry on with them, the other two aren't as bad as the first one, promise. Not many creepy things or ghosts in them, plus the story really strengthens in my eyes.
      Honest opinion would be to push on and read the others because they are worth the read.

      I love Derek, I like you was pretty creeped out by him at the start, but the reason he's like the way he is will make its self known, and will make sense, in the next book ( at least I'm sure its not at the end of number one, don't want to say what it is in case I'm wrong). He's pretty much my favorite character of the series :) haha


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