April 01, 2012

REVIEW: The Darkest Powers Trilogy #1: The Summoning by 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, 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…

First of all, let me say that I accidentally read the second book first. Now I know that it's not really relevant, but I would not want you to do the same thing - all I can say is: "the prequel effect."
So; the book order:
1. The Summoning
2. The Awakening
3. The Reckoning

Overall, I thought that this book was a cute, light and fun read; like a paranormal version of chick lit. 

But, I did think that it was a bit cliched in parts: Derek and Simon just annoyed me, I thought that the other relationships in the novel were sometimes predictable also. 
Maybe it's just me, but I thought that the plot was a bit slow; the major, minor even, events were too few and far in between. Don't get me wrong - if the string of events picked up pace, it would probably be a great, action/ adventure/ paranormal/ slightly romantic teen novel.

So, if you don't mind looking past the slower plot pace, then you could definitely enjoy this easy read; it has it all, action, adventure, romance, drama, inmate rivalry and a little bit of the dark side. 

The downfall was that The Summoning's concept was great but not executed well. Necromancy, teens trapped in an asylum-type "hopsital", a little bit of romance and a bad boy. Hopefully if you know this, you can take it for what it is and enjoy those little moments.

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