Title: The Summoning.
Series: Darkest Powers Trilogy, #1.
Author: Kelley Armstrong.
Publication Date: July 1st, 2008.
Format: Paperback, 390 pages.
All Chloe Saunders wants is a life like any normal teenager – the chance to get through school, make friends, and maybe meet a boy. But when she starts seeing ghosts, she knows that life will never be the same again. Soon the ghosts are everywhere, demanding her attention. When Chloe finally breaks down, she’s admitted to a group home for disturbed kids.
At first Lyle House seems okay, but as she gets to know the other patients – charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a 'thing' for fire – Chloe begins to realise that something strange and sinister binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual ‘problem kid’ behaviour. And they’re about to discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home..
Chloe is just your average teenager until the day she first starts her period - that same day she starts seeing ghosts. She ends up running and screaming through her high school and is admitted to Lyle House, a group home for disturbed kids. Lyle House isn't your usual group home, and the other kids aren't your usual disturbed kids either. When she gets to know the other teenagers in Lyle House, she ends up discovering that they too - have special powers - and that she, herself, isn't crazy or a 'Schizophrenic' like the Doctors are telling her she is. Chloe is special, she's what Simon and Derek call a Necromancer, a person who can summon and contact the dead. As the trio try to figure out the mysteries of Lyle House, they discover that no one is who they seem and they find themselves wanting to escape as quickly as possible.
I have to say, I was a little sceptical of the plot of this book, generally because of the whole 'psychiatric home/hospital' part. This is because in so many books and movies, they portray them in such stupid and ridiculous ways, and in real life, they aren't actually like that (I know from experience). However, once I'd started reading this book I was totally hooked.
Chloe's character is really interesting, she's just like your average teenage girl, but not overly dramatised like a lot of female characters I've read. I think she's pretty young and naive at times, even for her age, but she can be mature when it comes down to it. She told the story in the way a film producer would (her goal for her future) and I found it really refreshing. Simon's character annoyed me a little bit, sure he was sweet and kind and caring, but he seemed too kind - sort of in a degrading way. I'm sure this wasn't the way his character was supposed to come off, but it's the way I feel.
As for Derek, he was my second favourite character (after Chloe). He's a gruff and very unsociable guy, but obviously cares a lot for his brother, Simon and he doesn't seem to care about anything or anyone else. I know his character is a little rough around the edges, but I thought the way he was portrayed was great and right from the beginning I was rooting for Chloe and him to get together. The other characters weren't as well described, however we know that Tori, is a spoilt, rude, mean and obnoxious girl who is desperately seeking her mother's approval. As for Liz and Rae, they seemed pretty similar to me, and weren't as focused on in the book as the other characters so I can't really give an opinion.
The plot is very well thought out, flowing smoothly from chapter to chapter and leaving you wanting more at the end of it. The twists and turns of this book are great, and I couldn't put it down. The plot is also so different from everything else I've read and really original - it holds its own and doesn't seem to sway much from the main storyline like many books I've read in the past. Overall I thought It was an amazing book and honestly, I can't wait to read it again!