Book Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

I cannot remember the last time I wanted to throw a book across the room in absolute, unequivocal disgust. Calm down, believe it or not, this is a good review. I totally wanted to toss this book through a closed window, just not for the reasons you’d expect.

The Summoning was AMAZING. I literally could not stop reading it, turning page after page, and chewing the insides of my cheek like I had some kind of obsessive/compulsive disorder (they’re pretty ratty right now to be honest – I may need to go find some mediocre books just to let them heal).

armstrong_summoningSo as usual, good things first. From the first page, I was sucked in. By the end of the first chapter, I was gone, hook, line and sinker. Captivated. I loved the story. It wasn’t necessarily original, but the author weaved and twisted it enough to make it different. It was amazing.

Chloe Saunders can see ghosts, but she defines it as necromancy, which gives it some added dimension. It’s not just about Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense or Jennifer Love-Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer. This is more of a power that doesn’t just talk to the dead, it can raise the dead. Add in a superhero twist along the line of the popular series Heroes, a fake home for mentally-distressed kids, power-hungry doctors trying to control these so-called supernaturals, and you’ve got a recipe for something really interesting, not to mention gripping. When you take all of those plot and character elements and mix in Armstrong’s incisive imagery, effortless dialogue, and non-stop pacing, you get absolute book magic. I was in book heaven…until I got kicked in the teeth.

And that brings me to the bad thing. Yes, I wrote “thing”, as in singular. And it’s bad, really BAD…as in administer a beat-down bad. WHO ENDS A BOOK THIS WAY?! Seriously. The supernaturals escape the house, are chased by doctors, get split up, are betrayed by the protagonist’s aunt, tell a ghost it’s dead, and then you END? I got to the end and thought to myself – there must be a mistake, maybe some pages are missing? I read them again and checked again. Nope, that was it. It really just ended. I have never felt so completely cheated in my life (I guess I should thank my lucky stars that it was just by a book).

For this reason, I rate this book 4 stars out of 5, instead of 5 stars. That’s right – a whole star for making me feel like an un-paid Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Would I recommend The Summoning? Yes, absolutely. It was a gripping, well-written page-turner. Kelley Armstrong is a PHENOMENAL writer – I was completely enthralled. But be forewarned. You will probably get as mad as I did at the ending! Other than that, I loved it, and if I ever meet Kelley Armstrong, she better buy me a drink. Or else.

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