I was really underwhelmed by this book. Despite having a beautiful and kick-ass looking front cover it was just completely LAME. When reading it it fe...moreI was really underwhelmed by this book. Despite having a beautiful and kick-ass looking front cover it was just completely LAME. When reading it it felt like a young adults novel but it wasn't advertised as one. It needed more blood and guts, more realism, more interesting things happening. The love story was too straight forward and really quite dull, the writing wasn't anything special and I found the main character obnoxious.(less)
These are young adult books but I really enjoyed them. I don't think the series works well read one after another though as it got a bit tedious after...moreThese are young adult books but I really enjoyed them. I don't think the series works well read one after another though as it got a bit tedious after a while. However, they are quite dark and creepy for kids books so I'd recommend them.(less)
**spoiler alert** Chloe Saunders was just a regular girl, negotiating her way through high school, and dreaming of a career as a film director. Chloe’...more**spoiler alert** Chloe Saunders was just a regular girl, negotiating her way through high school, and dreaming of a career as a film director. Chloe’s active mind sees everything through the lens of a potential film- until she begins seeing dead people wandering the halls of her school. Chloe is labelled as schizophrenic, and lands in Lyle House, a group home for troubled teens. It soon becomes apparent that ‘troubled teen’ is a byword for ‘supernaturally empowered’ when Chloe’s new housemates begin displaying strange abilities. The Summoning is set in the world of Armstrong’s popular Otherworld series. Unlike Armstrong’s previous works, The Summoning is a Young Adult novel, holding back on the sexual situations and violence. Despite being a novel aimed at teens, Armstrong pulls no punches in the gruesome imagery, and on display is the same dark underbelly found in her other novels. In one striking example, Chloe is tied up and trapped in the bowels of Lyle House, forced to face her abilities, and resulting in her accidentally performing necromancy. The long dead corpses dragging themselves out of their graves and reaching for Chloe in the dark is a haunting image that isn’t soon forgotten. Armstrong treats the extraordinary abilities of the children as a serious issue. The abilities on display are not pretty or ‘cute’, are often traumatic for the children, and always have consequences. The supernatural powers are a metaphor for mental illness, a theme that resonates throughout the novel. These elements are dealt with sympathetically and realistically, especially as Chloe questions her own sanity in the face of being given the label of schizophrenia. The story is told from Chloe’s point of view, and the first person perspective gives the story immediacy. Chloe’s voice is clear, an interesting amalgam of innocence and wisdom. Chloe talks about films as though she is a peer of Steven Spielberg, and it is easy to forget how young she is as she analyses the world around her, framing potential shots in her mind. This, however, is Chloe’s method of comforting herself in the scary situations she finds herself in; she is still an awkward young girl, battling with a speech impediment and what she thinks is a mental illness. The Summoning is an easy read that, while suitable for young adults, isn’t treated as a children’s novel. Armstrong has written a novel about teenagers, rather than specifically for teenagers, which means The Summoning is enjoyably dark and intriguing.