Sunday, November 2, 2008
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong Summary Chloe, the 15-year-old narrator of this opener in the Darkest Powers trilogy, Armstrong's (Women of the Otherworld series) first YA novel, hasn't seen ghosts since she was a little girl-until the day she finally gets her period and starts seeing ghosts everywhere. Almost immediately Chloe is sent to a small group home, Lyle House, and diagnosed as schizophrenic. Readers will forgive these familiar and even formulaic plot devices, however, given Armstrong's well-timed revelations of paranormal activity at Lyle House. What is the eminently sane Chloe to make of her new peers, especially the antisocial Derek and his foster brother, who offer their own diagnosis-that she is "supernatural" like them? Are they psychotic or scheming to get her in trouble, or could their idea help explain why certain disruptive teens are mysteriously transferred from Lyle, never to be heard from again? Drawing on elements dear to horror lovers (secretly buried corpses, evil doctors, werewolves, telekinesis), Armstrong adds a stylish degree of suspense. The ending, while still a cliffhanger, brings with it a chilling closure. Ages 12-up.
A young girl in one of my classes loaned this book to me after she finished it. She was angry and disappointed with the ending and frankly I agreed with her. The story flowed quite nicely right up to the ending and then it seemed to abruptly stop. It is clear that the book has been put together to just be a "chapter" in a series as opposed to a complete story on its own. This is disappointing. A book should tell a complete story from beginning to end. There are many book series that are written with each book having a distinct plotline with an individual climax and then the characters move on to the next book...but this did not happen here.
The characters were likeable though and the plot flowed along seamlessly and even created a shiver or two...but the abrupt ending spoiled it.
I gave this book a 2.5 out of 5.