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” behavior. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…
The Summoning is fantastically freaky, in the best way possible. Not many books have the power to thoroughly creep me out, but with descriptive horror and intriguing plot twists, this was definitely an exception.
I thought this was an awesome start to a series; nothing too big plot-wise that will guarantee a burn-out in following books. The character introductions and backgrounds were the main focus, but the book still managed to weave a dark, foreshadowing story in between all of the common first-in-a-series beginnings.
Speaking of the characters, I was surprised at how much I liked them. All of them. Well, except maybe the staff of the house- I wasn’t too fond of them. Each has a purpose, despite their ranging personalities and powers, and even though I wanted to punch some of them in the face at times (*cough*Tori*cough*) I still managed to put the book down feeling somewhat appreciative of her character.
Another thing I really appreciated is that Derek isn’t described as dreamily gorgeous. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy good-looking literary hunks as much as the next book lover, but it was a nice change to read about a slightly less pretty, slightly more normal (well …) male character. I have a hunch that his acne and body odor might clear up in future books, but it was a pleasant change for now.
Overall, The Summoning was a wonderfully dark and twisted beginning to a hopefully amazing series. With a slew of ghosts, spirits, powers, and tons of other elements on the monster spectrum, it’s perfect for any paranormal lover!