The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
ISBN-10: 0061450545
HarperCollins, New York, 2008
416 p.

GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves, Witches, Necromancy

TEASER: Chloe’s seeing dead people, so her family has her sent to Lyle House, a group home for troubled teens. But something sinister is going on at Lyle House.

SUMMARY: Chloe Saunders is a pretty typical high school student. That is until she states seeing ghosts. Her family sends her away to Lyle House, a group home for troubled teenagers. Here she meets and interesting group of teenagers who are all there for different reasons. When Chloe’s roommate mysteriously disappears the staff tell her that she went home. But Chloe know this is a lie because she sees ghosts, and her roommate is now one of them.

CRITIQUE: The story is written through the eyes of Chloe Saunders in first-person perspective. This is book one in the Darkest Powers Trilogy. It does end on a cliff-hanger. I actually ran out and bout the next book the minute I finished this one. I would have bought the third installment had it been available at the time. It is a highly addictive series that will keep you reading well into the night. It is a fast-paced story with lots of plot twists.

The characters are nicely developed. Armstrong gives dimention to all of her characters, even the bully Tori. Chloe’s character is slowly gaining confidence and courage throughout the series. She is very shy and stammers when she’s nervous. She is very uncomfortable with her gift and would give anything to have her life back. At the end of this book she is slowly starting to understand her powers and trying to not be afraid of them. She is also betrayed by someone she trusts and is left very confused at the end of this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kelley Armstrong is a New York Times bestselling Canadian author. She says she grew up in a typical middle-class family in Ontario and is the oldest of four siblings. She is the author of the popular adult Otherworld Series. She has been writing horror and fantasy stories since she was a child. Although she primarily writes fantasy books, she has written two crime novels.

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/

READING LEVEL: 13+

CHALLENGE ISSUES: People main want to challenge this book because it contains witchcraft, wizardry, and necromancy.

DEFENSE: I would suggest looking at the ALA’s support page for challenged materials.

CURRICULUM TIES: N/A

BOOKTALKING IDEAS: Discuss how Kelley Armstrong’s world is different from other books in the genre.

WHY INCLUDED: This is one of my favorite young adult fantasy series. I originally picked up the first novel because I was intrigued by the fact that the main character is a necromancer. I haven’t seen many characters of this sort in the young adult genre.

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