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Smoke & Summons

(Numina Trilogy #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  10,448 ratings  ·  980 reviews
As a human vessel for an ancient spirit, Sandis lives no ordinary life. At the command of her master, she can be transformed against her will into his weapon—a raging monster summoned to do his bidding. Unlike other vessels, Sandis can host extremely powerful spirits, but hosting such creatures can be fatal. To stay alive, she must run. And in a city fueled by smoke and co ...more
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published February 1st 2019 by 47North
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Charlie Holmberg It's technically YA-Crossover, so "New Adult". The main characters are 18 and 25. It's a clean reads with some violence and mild cursing. :)…moreIt's technically YA-Crossover, so "New Adult". The main characters are 18 and 25. It's a clean reads with some violence and mild cursing. :)(less)
George I wouldn't call it a romance, either--it's not structured with the sappy conventions required by that genre. However, an absolutely central element of…moreI wouldn't call it a romance, either--it's not structured with the sappy conventions required by that genre. However, an absolutely central element of the story is the Unresolved Sexual Tension between the protagonists, and the blurb of the sequel confirms that this is going to continue.

P.S. I don't know what "the description" is that you read, Izar. The same blurb appears for every edition on this platform, and the only way it implies romance at all is by having a female and male mentioned in the same plot. Maybe that's enough in this heteronormative culture?(less)

Community Reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
This book was freaking awesome!!

I got this book as my Kindle First pick for January! You know, it sounded good and all but I had no idea! This world of magic and demons and people in a world together.

Sandis and Rone are the main characters and I loved them!! I even loved Ireth, even though I shouldn’t. I hope he shows back up in the next book! We shall see!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
$1.99 Kindle sale, May 5, 2019. Pretty good YA fantasy, the start of a new series (the second book has just been published). 3.25 stars. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Smoke & Summons is the start of a new YA fantasy trilogy by Charlie N. Holmberg, with an interesting, rather dark occult concept underlying it. Demons and spirits, called numina, from the ethereal plane are able to be summoned and controlled by those who know the necessary rituals, which include painfully brandi
Maria V. Snyder
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book well before it's release date in the hopes that I would give it a blurb for the cover. It's wonderful - it's action packed and the characters are empathetic. The unique world of dark wizards and creatures from another astral plane is fascinating. Put this book in your TBR pile, you won't be sorry! ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No one's going to read this, why do I write book reviews? None of my friends are on this site, and I doubt people who are on the site look for other people's reviews. Oh well.

I think Charlie builds a decent fantasy world, but this one is a lot weaker than her Paper Magician series. I think this is an attempt to make a darker series but keep her super-wholesome religious characters. It's not that this is a hopepunk or whatever people are calling it, but you can definitely tell that the author is
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found the idea of summons and vessels very interesting, but that’s all I found interesting. It very quickly went from “Smoke & Summons” to “Worry & Running.” That’s about all that happens in this book.

The author tells us everything, instead of showing us anything. The characters are shallow and bland. The plot is almost nonexistent. The 300+ pages of chase scenes and worried internal monologues should’ve served as the first 100 pages or so that would lay the ground work for further development
Charlie Holmberg
Aug 17, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This entire series is out! The Numina trilogy is the biggest (and, IMO, the best) story I've ever written--I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Order the ebook, hardcover, paperback, and audiobook on Amazon:

Or on Barnes & Noble:
Boostamonte Halvorsen
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book bothered me for many reasons... but here are the main ones:

This book is a classic example of weak plot syndrome. Where the plot isn't really good so you fill the pages with chase scene after chase scene. And then, in the calmer spots, you get the woes of young love and the weakness of the main characters. Sandis is a super weak woman and a horrible role model for women (especially young women), IMO. She is the classic damsel in distress and never grows out of it. The only time she sho
Mel (Epic Reading)
Release day and I just received an eARC! Fun!
Really looking forward to this one being a bit odd and very magical.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Smoke & Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg first caught my attention with its synopsis, but I became even more intrigued once I realized what I was looking at on the cover was the head of a fiery demon-like horse. The reason for this striking motif was soon revealed, as the story introduces readers to Sandis, who is no ordinary young woman. For one, she is a vessel, whose body is trained and primed to hold demon-like spirits c
Dee Arr
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
None of the magical features of Charlie N. Holmberg’s “Smoke and Summons” overwhelm you, and that’s a good thing. We become aware of the illegal magic practiced and are also informed that there are rare magical artifacts. We are not allowed to see more than that, at least not at this time.

Which is okay, because it allows the story to revolve around Sandis, who is a vessel capable of becoming a temporary home of a demon. Her life is about to abruptly change, which is where the story begins. Her a
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
OoooOOOOOH! I got the chance to read this in advance, and wow! This is a seriously intense adventure with lots of twists and turns and high energy escapes! And creeeeeeepy magic! I would not normally pick up a book like this, and I feel like I should warn squeamish readers that there is, at one point, a lot of blood. Like, a LOT. But I really am gonna need the next one, because that was one heck of a cliffhanger ending!
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

My journey to love Charlie Holmberg's work is not up to an auspicious start. While not necessarily a bad book, this book continually highlights that the YA genre takes little to no risks with their plot or characters. Granted this is better than one's i've read in recent years but honestly this could have been so so so so much better.

So rundown of my thoughts:

📌Little or no mention of this Numien mythology or whatever the heck their whole game in this is, just stringy basics. This Ireth creatur

May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, demons
Really enjoyed this! Demons can be summoned via a human vessel and used for evil. Sandis that vessel while Rone, a thief with a highly valuable ‘amarinth’ bumps into Sandis as she tries to escape her handler’s clutches. Great story, sweet romance- unfortunately gone wrong for now. Can’t wait to pick up the next in the series!
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Well - I am screaming, and I don't usually scream at books. I was screaming at the audiobook then had to ditch it with 20% left to read faster.

I had never heard of this author but was looking for something to listen to on a drive this weekend, and I AM SO SHOCKED, so shocked at how amazing it is.

Rone gets himself into a shitload of trouble when he meets Sandis, who is on the run from quite literally her own personal hell. I love the characters, they are flawed but deep and believeable. Their fri
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
Rereading to get ready for the 3rd book in the series!! WOO HOOO!

**4 1/2 Demon Stars**

update...take back what I said about the author being male...hahaha...sorry. I jumped the gun on that one before reading the authors profile.

I received this book as a First Read from Amazon and was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this story.

I normally am skeptical about male author's writing about female protagonist s but this author did a wonderful job of capturing true emotions and had me finis
Crystal King
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Loved loved this book. Read it in two nights and it left me bereft and desperate to be back in the world of Sandis and Rone. And what a cliffhanger at the end!

I'm in awe of how Holmberg's worldbuilding and ability to drag you deep into the hearts and emotions of her characters. Absolutely fantastic.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the things I really loved about Holmberg's THE PAPER MAGICIAN was that, in addition to brilliant world building, Holmberg had created a really interesting female protagonist that was full of agency and continually striving to live in the world according to her own terms. It also told a complete story, one that could have been read as a standalone, but was enhanced as you moved forward in the series.

I was excited to read SMOKE AND SUMMONS for those reasons. But unfortunately, I was disappo
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
I started this with a lot of hope. The premise sounded awesome. It sounded like a Soul Eater thing but with mystical were-beasties. That is not what you get, but the premise is still interesting. That's the only good thing about the book.

Sardis -- the MC, Sardis, was written like a 10 year old trapped in an 18 year old body. Given the circumstances, it was completely and utterly unbelievable. Like, achingly so. This is a woman who lost both parents young, who worked at a factory for years, who's
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

This was a kindle first reads for January. Maybe this will appeal to a much more juvenile audience than myself?

Because this is classic YA paranormal schmaltz -- Girl (with exemplary powers even for her 'kind') can be possessed and used as a tool whether she likes it or not, girl miraculously ESCAPES and (right away!) meets a boy (with exemplary powers of his own), they -- this will shock you, i know! -- fall in love in two days, (view spoiler), spend time doubti
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This was great!
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fair warning, this novella series is best read as a three-part novel.

In the horrible city of Dresberg there's a secret society of summoners. They use vessels, people with special abilities, specially prepared and trained, to summon numina from the astral plane into our world for their own use. Sandis is a vessel for Kazen, a truly evil old man that keeps his vessels as slaves. Sandis is also an extremely powerful vessel, being able to contain a powerful numina of fire called Ireth. Uniquely Sand
Timothy Boyd
Good entertaining read. Interesting use of magic for summoning. Nice world creation. Recommended
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Charlie N. Holmberg writes just the type of books that I like, so I knew going into this one that there was a high chance of me loving it–and I’m happy to say that wound up being the case.

Smoke & Summons has some fantastic world-building. This book takes place in a city that was built on the ruins of an ancient city. There are artifacts and old magics left over from this old civilization, but most people don’t pay attention to that, they just go about living their lives. The place is crowded and
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
4.5 Stars

SMOKE AND SUMMONS is a fantasy with both sharp and soft edges. There is plenty of grit as these characters traverse the poor conditions of their world, as well as the dangers many face among different groups, like the mob, the corrupt police, and the demon-summoning grafters. Throw in characters who are easy to cheer on, a little romance, and a desperate fight for survival and you definitely have a perfect read for fantasy and dystopian YA readers.

The author did a marvelous job of immer
Kali Cole
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A sinful creation and a cunning thief come together in this fantastical tale that is perfect for An Ember in the Ashes fans with vibes of Aladdin.

I loooooved this! This was an action packed, fantasy thrill ride that did not let me up for air! I was at the edge of my seat trying to keep track of everything and make sure that my main characters were safe! I know that this needs more story for sure because this book seemed to only be the beginning. The writing and the amount of detail was stunning
Charlie Holmberg is my go to for light, happy, interesting fantasy with a little romance and action. This story was despair, filth, poverty, betrayal, and unrelenting sadness.

That is not what I wanted.
Sarah {The Clever Reader}
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My full review is on my blog:
Ali Jones
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I feel like each time I read a new book by Charlie Holmberg it becomes my new favorite book! And this one is no exception. I read this as an ARC and it blew me away. With such a busy schedule it normally takes me a couple weeks to read a book; this one took two days because I couldn't put it down! The story line was amazing, the two main characters, Sandis and Rone are very well developed and relatable and the plot is action packed. I still can't believe the imagination Charlie has; I've re ...more
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Dnfed. Just couldn’t get into it. Interesting concept though.
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Charlie N. Holmberg is an award-winning, best-selling, and internationally published author of fantasy and romantic fiction. She was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters, who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. She currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at

Amazon: amzn

Other books in the series

Numina Trilogy (3 books)
  • Myths and Mortals (Numina #2)
  • Siege and Sacrifice (Numina #3)

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