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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great YA novel!
I can honestly say that I REALLY enjoyed this book. I had it finished in 24 hours, and I work full time so that's only reading evenings lol it is young adult literature, which I usually classify as early-mid teens, and even though I'm in my 20s I still loved it. It was interesting and fast-paced, so I never found myself getting bored and going, "get on with it!" It's even...
Published on March 11 2009 by M. Jones

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3.0 out of 5 stars Frosy from Books Like Fairytales >> [...]
This book is very interesting and spooky I would say especially if you read at night before bed as I do. I really enjoyed reading this book; I literally couldn't put it down. Make sure you have the next book because you will be dying to find out what happens next.

Basically the first book starts with Chloe seeing ghosts and other events that happens in Lyle...
Published on Jan. 30 2011 by Effie


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great YA novel!, March 11 2009
By 
M. Jones "avid reader" (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
I can honestly say that I REALLY enjoyed this book. I had it finished in 24 hours, and I work full time so that's only reading evenings lol it is young adult literature, which I usually classify as early-mid teens, and even though I'm in my 20s I still loved it. It was interesting and fast-paced, so I never found myself getting bored and going, "get on with it!" It's even suspenceful and creepy, without being over the top. I found myself trying to predict the story along the way and I was almost always surprised. Even if I could predict an element, Ms. Armstrong still found a way to make it new. I think it's a great book about the supernatural, without all that touchy-feely romancy crap that seems to find it's way into almost every plot line.

I only have one complaint. To say that there was so much emphasis on Chloe's necromancy, I don't think Armstrong gave her NEARLY enough communication with the ghosts. Those were my favorite parts!

I am anxiously awaiting the sequel!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing short of brilliant, Aug. 7 2008
By 
ocelott (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
The Summoning is set in the same world as Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, but with a whole new cast of characters. Aimed at the YA crowd, the sex and violence themes have been toned down, but there's still plenty of meat for readers to dig into, and I never got the feeling things had been "dumbed down" for the younger readers. I blame my burnt dinner on the dark tone and the involving mystery, both of which kept me turning pages when I probably shouldn't have been.

Chloe makes for a great heroine. She's strong, smart, and easily relatable. I really liked her tendancy to stutter, a quirk I don't think I've seen used before in a protagonist, but it was a simple and effective way to portray the social awkwardness she feels. Chloe felt like a real teenager, with all the insecurities that go with the territory, but this wasn't 400 pages of whiny angst. She faced things that weren't fair, but then she turned around and did something to stand up for herself instead of crying into her pillow.

The story is full of smaller mysteries, all of them piling together naturally to create a bigger mystery that isn't solved by the end of the story. This is the first of a planned trilogy, and my only annoyance with the book is that I don't have the other two in my hands right now. It's very much a horror story, but with the hints of magic, romance, and teen drama, there's something here for everyone to fall in love with.

The long and short of it is, this book is everything Twilight wishes it could be and isn't. I highly recommend it to everyone who likes a little YA now and then, but you have to get your own copy. Mine stays here with me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, April 26 2009
By 
J. Scully "withagoodbook" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
Wow! That's my overall reaction to The Summoning, Kelley Armstrong's first foray into YA novels. In case you can't tell, I loved it! The Summoning is the first book in the Darkest Powers series, and tells the beginning of the story of 15-year-old Chloe Saunders, who like every teenager, just wants to be a normal girl with normal high school interests and problems.

At first it seems that Chloe might just be that normal girl. She has girlfriends, wants to go to the school dance, loves movies and is in the film club. Everything seems to be going according to plan, until one day when she starts seeing people that aren't there. At first Chloe assumes it must be her imagination, but when a mysterious janitor with severe burns chases her at school, Chloe understandably panics and reacts badly, landing her in a home for children with mental problems. Upon arrival at Lyle House, Chloe is relieved to see that it isn't so bad, and is determined to get well and get back to her normal life. But Lyle House turns out to be so much more than it originally appeared to be.

As always, Armstrong has created a well thought out, and completely believable world that despite being populated by supernatural beings, never feels unrealistic. And like her Women of the Otherworld series, she brings both the readers and the characters into the supernatural world slowly, giving the characters the same doubts that we as the reader would have if someone told us they could see people that weren't there. As everyone in the story struggles to keep their secrets, we're given little clues that let us know that things are not as normal as they may seem, but we're also kept guessing all the way along, making for an exciting and compelling tale.

The characters in The Summoning have more depth and personality than usually found in YA novels, and there are none of your standard jock, popular girl, and outcast stereotypes that often populate these novels, which is completely refreshing. The dialogue feels natural and flows well - with one slight exception. And this may just be a personal issue, but by the end of the novel I started to become frustrated by the fact that Chloe almost never gets to finish a sentence. This small issue in no way takes away from the wonderful story though.

The Summoning is a fantastic and original story that will keep you engrossed until the very end. And when you come to that end, be prepared - the story does not end with a nice little bow to wrap things up, but instead finishes on a bit of a cliffhanger. I'm really glad that I have book two of the series The Awakening on hand so I can find out what happens next, because I can't wait! I highly recommend Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning to everyone who enjoys a great supernatural tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!! If you liked Twilight, or the House of Night, then you'll LOVE this series!, May 19 2009
By 
S. Jackson (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
I love, love, love this series! It revolves around Chloe Saunders, a girl in high school, who gets shipped off to a house for troubled teens... only the kids at this house aren't what you'd expect. I don't want to ruin it for you, but if you liked any of the "Twilight" series, or the "House of Night" novels, then you will love this series! (I sooo can't wait for the third book to come out!) This is definately a must read! Trust me!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read all 3 and LOVED them!, July 29 2010
This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
Is she crazy, or can she really see ghosts? A great book that keeps you guessing and wanting more. Very interesting, to start, I had no idea what to expect. It actually took me the first 4 chapters to realize I was reading a different series than I intended, but I'm glad I made the mistake because I really enjoyed it!

I read the whole series, and loved all 3 books. The characters were so well written and Kelley keeps you on your toes to the very end. I love it when a story isn't predictable and it was certainly the case here!

Chloe was believable and age appropriate. She was totally likable and developed very well over the span of the series. I liked that she second guessed things and didn't just believe in the supernatural because someone told her it was real. She fought to understand the truth and made her own decisions.

Derik; the tough guy with loads of attitude. I had a soft spot for Derik from the start and was very happy with the way his character grew and came out of his shell.

Simon; cute boy who's sweet and artistic *swoon* what girl wouldn't crust on him. I really liked how Kelley handled his relationship with Chloe, I won't spoil anything but I found her approach very refreshing.

Of course there are so many other great characters in the series too. An awesome read, I wish that there were more than 3 books!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great page turner, not what I expected -but it's a good thing!, Jan. 24 2010
By 
Karoline (Richmond BC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
This book was great. I felt myself turning page after page and wanting to read more. Although the beginning wasn't what I quite expected, it wasn't such a bad thing and the ending was awesome and I am definitely going to add the sequel to my wishlist. The plot was great from beginning to end. It was well written, clear and had enough teasers, and although naturally all questions weren't answered some which bugged me the most were so I wasn't entirely left hanging. This book had a great way of gradually introducing you to the paranormal aspect of the plot, sort of as if you're Chloe herself and just learning about it with her. I like the way it's done as it makes it more realistic. The plot is darker than I expected and more serious for a YA book. The paranormal parts, especially when Chloe starts practicing her gift, has a skin crawling creepy effect and it's definitely well written to give you the goose bumps. The ghosts she sees, are also well done and their descriptions are chilling and menacing.

I'm not that attached to Chloe even though she's the main character. I found as I read later into the book I suddenly became much more frustrated and I wanted to hit her upside the head for her stupidity at times. I'm surprised Derek has managed to keep his temper in check with Chloe bumbling about sometimes. Although Derek may seem abrasive, I actually like him the most in the book so far. He's surprisingly mature despite his surly manner and horrible attitude. He seems to be the strongest character, I think in the book. Tori was horrible and I was hoping Chloe would clock her across the face. Perhaps sometime I'll be satisfied to see Tori in a horrible demise. She's just an awful person and I hope I never meet anyone like that ever. Chloe does seem to develop through the novel although I don't think she really matures yet. I think perhaps because she doesn't really have all the information and facts concerning her and her "condition/gift". So, she still has room for development which I am looking forward to seeing in the next book.

When I said the beginning wasn't what I expected, I meant that I expected a lot of paranormal activity to happen. It didn't. It was gradual, and even then there is bits and parts of it, but not as much as I thought. There's a lot of "real life" in the book and it adds realism to the plot and it's a refreshing surprise to read something like this. So it's not really a criticism, it was just interesting to read and something new to see, I think.

Overall, a wonderful creepy page turner, mix in realistic life scenes and a huge cliffhanger ending, you'll want more from this series. A lot more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Twilighters Rejoice, Dec 29 2009
By 
K. Edwards (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
Chloe Saunders is going crazy. At least, that's what she's told after she sees a ghost at school and has a breakdown. She is pulled out of her art school, where she is pursuing her dream of becoming a director.

Chloe is then sent to a highly recommended group home for disturbed teens called Lyle House. It seems okay at first, even though the therapist keeps insisting she's schizophrenic.

But as she gradually gets to know the other teens at the home, Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn't your usual "problem kid" behaviour. How does Simon push people without being anywhere near them? Why is Derek so tense all the time? Why do objects move of their own accord when Liz is around? What's with Rae's thing for fire? And what really happens to the teens who are "released"?

Together, Chloe and her friends discover that Lyle House is definitely not your usual group home - and they might all be in serious danger.

Kelley Armstrong has written tons of paranormal fiction for adults, and her teens books are just as good. Although the characters all possess supernatural powers, they are all developed to the point that they're still believable.

"The Summoning" has a few scares, tons of action, a bit of romance, and a lot of supernatural power. Fans of "Twilight" will love this series, which is extremely popular with the teens at my library.

The sequel is "The Awakening," which is even better!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly cliche, but still a great read., Oct. 15 2009
By 
Trang T. Ly (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
Okay, so I read "The Summoning" while also reading LJ Smith's "Dark Visions" and I have to say that the main plot of both stories were VERY similar (teens that get shipped off to an institution/home for "experimentation" who turn out to be supernaturally gifted) but I have to say that I was really impressed with Kelley Armstrong's writing.

Though I have yet to finish Dark Visions (so I won't pass judgment on that one yet), I have to say that The Summoning was much more fast faced and forced me to finish the whole thing in one sitting.

I found Armstrong's writing to be truly creepy in the beginning parts of the novel (being well beyond my teen years, I still felt the chill at the mention of possible ghosts lurking in the basement) which of course wins The Summoning some points for drawing the readers into it's world - a definitely plus for ANY novel.

Secondly I liked the main characters of the story. They are all rather cliche (not at all multidimensional - each character gets a part to play and they stick to their labels) BUT, they get the job done and done right (no annoying love struck teens here that we would all rather see killed off...well, one but I'm SURE that's eventually going somewhere). I genuinely care that they get their happy ending...but whether or not they do is still to be determined in future novels. Which brings me to my next point...THE ENDING CLIFFHANGER!

My god, Armstrong could not have picked a more climatic part to end the first novel. I finished The Summoning last night and have the Awakening on my desk ready to go right now. All I can say is I hope The Awakening does not end as abruptly as The Summoning...there's still a long wait for the next installment.

The Awakening
Dark Visions: The Strange Power; The Possessed; The Passion
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5.0 out of 5 stars First Time Armstrong Reader is HOOKED!, June 20 2009
By 
Nicola Mansfield (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
Reason for Reading: I've been wanting to read this author for sometime now but her adult series has a number of books in it and with all the series I already have going it's a daunting project and I thought this new YA series would be a great place to start and see if I liked the author before trying her adult books.

Comments: Chloe was a normal teenager until the day she sees a very scary ghost of a janitor in the girl's bathroom and runs screaming down the school hall. Next thing she knows, she has woken up in an exclusive home for mentally troubled teens. She's told she has a mental condition and they only want to help her get better. The handful of other patients all seem nice enough, well except a couple who have major attitude problems, and she begins to adjust to her diagnosis. But Chloe (and the others) begin to realize that something isn't right. Chloe can still see dead people and the kids don't think it's because of any mental illness. In fact, quite a few of them seem to have rather special talents. Why are they always being threatened with transfer? What's so bad with being transferred? Why can Chloe see the girl who was transferred?

This is an absolutely amazing read! You need one of those rubber page-flipper thingies on your finger so you can turn the pages fast enough when you read this. Kelley Armstrong has created an amazing world, which her website reveals is the same one in which her adult books are set. The mental home the teens live in has that boarding-school feel to it but with a much closer, tighter, oppressive atmosphere. While three of the teens stand out as main characters at this point, all six of them are fully realized and each given a background and believable personality.

The plot starts off with a bang and just keeps going from there. Event after event keeps the pace moving very quickly then reveal after reveal towards the end will have you gasping in shock. There is an overhanging darkness throughout the book which we are briefly let into and by the end of the book we have some idea of what it is but no real knowledge of its depth except that it has evil intentions.

The book does end basically mid-paragraph though not exactly with a cliff hanger as we know what is coming immediately next but it is one of those "to be continued" endings that I'm not partial to with everything left just at the crucial moment and leaving the reader dying to read the next book. Fortunately, I have the next book on hand and don't have to wait a year to found out what happens next but I do fear that book two will leave me in the same position. However, the book is just too darn good to take any marks off so it gets a full rating from me! This is the best teen novel I've read since A Great and Terrible Beauty (which I loved!) and this is by far the better book. If you read paranormal books, whether they be adult or teen, you'll love this. Go get it now! Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, Aug. 29 2008
This review is from: The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) (Paperback)
"A banner week for me. Getting short-listed for the director spot. Nate asking me about the dance. My first period. And now my first criminal act. After I fixed myself up, I dug into my backpack for my brush and emerged instead with the tube of hair color. I lifted it. My reflection in the mirror grinned back."

Chloe Saunders is a very special girl. Not just because she has an in-depth and intense obsession with movies, filming, and directing. Not just because of her unusual home life. She is special, because on top of all this, Chloe Saunders can see ghosts.

On the day of her first period, she goes to the bathroom and skips class. She dyes her hair, feeling particularly rebellious. Upon exiting, Chloe sees a strange man wearing an old custodian's uniform, who follows her around school. She thinks she is in trouble for skipping class...

When he starts to talk to her, she ignores him. He gets angry, and deliberately shows her his face... and she sees it is burned so badly she can barely distinguish his features. When he disappears into thin air, she starts making a scene and freaking out, and school officials round her up. When she accidentally punches a teacher, they sedate her and take her to the hospital.

From there she is sent to Lyle House, which is a place for troubled teenagers. There she meets a wide variety of people - a pyromaniac, a girl with a poltergeist, an unusually moody girl, a boy with extremely bad people-skills, and a boy who, strangely, she finds nothing unusual about. As her new friends' stories unfold, Chloe begins to question the
motivation behind Lyle House.

With everything from ghosts and magic to romance, humor, and growing up, THE SUMMONING will have you laughing, wondering, and in disbelief. This book has many plot twists that will keep the reader guessing throughout the course of the novel. Kelley Armstrong uses great characterization and dialogue, which makes THE SUMMONING an overall good read.

Reviewed by: Margaret Waterman
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The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1)
The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong (Paperback - July 1 2008)
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