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The Summoning (Darkest Powers) Hardcover – July 1, 2008

344 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Darkest Powers Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up—A well-written opening to a paranormal series. Chloe, 15, has the ability to see dead people, but before she can figure out what is happening, she has a breakdown, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and placed in a group home. She befriends some of the teens at Lyle House and tries to accept her treatment. However, two of her more mysterious housemates suggest that maybe she isn't crazy. Derek tells her to look up necromancy on the Internet, and she finds out that it's the ability to communicate with the spirits of the dead. He appears to have superstrength, and his foster brother has magical powers. Chloe's roommate, who causes things to fly around the room when she becomes angry, is taken away to a hospital and never heard from again. When she returns in Chloe's visions, Chloe suspects foul play, a misgiving confirmed when the dead speak to her again and reveal that they were "supernaturals" who were experimented on, killed, and buried in the home's basement many years before. Together with her new friends, Chloe escapes Lyle House, only to be betrayed. This suspenseful novel sets up a secret underworld where some people support and help supernaturals, while others persecute them. Armstrong combines bits of horror, teen relationships, and a dash of mystery to create a page-turner. Readers will look forward to the next installment.—Corinda J. Humphrey, Los Angeles Public Library
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“Teen readers might scream loud enough to raise the dead. ” (Kirkus Reviews (Starred review))

“Suspenseful, well-written and engaging.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

“...splendidly haunting, with hair-raising suspense, disturbing effects, and a running undercurrent of unease.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

Product Details

  • Series: Darkest Powers (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1ST edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061662690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061662690
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (344 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm married with three kids and live in rural Ontario, Canada. After graduating with a degree in psychology, I switched gears and studied computer programming. Currently, I'm a full-time writer and parent. Could I make this section any more dull? Probably not.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Monica Petersen on July 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Chloe Saunders is your average teenage girl. She lives in Buffalo, with her aunt and attends an art school. She spends time with her friends, talks to boys, that kind of thing. Then she meets a ghost. This ghost is terrifying and grotesque. The interaction sends her into a breakdown, which gets her sent to a group home, Lyle House.

Lyle House is for mentally-ill teens who must work through their problems, or at least that is what it is advertised to be. Bizarre situations are occurring at this house, not only with herself, but also with other residents of the house. And no matter how much she tries not to believe it, Chloe sees more ghosts. Through strange events, the secrets everyone is hiding spills out, connections are made, and soon nothing is as it was thought to be. But with secrets.... there are always people who want to keep them quiet.

The Summoning was unlike anything I had expected. Kelley Armstrong has managed to mix a supernatural drama with a dash of teenage angst and a whole lot of conspiracy. This novel had an underlying sense of eeriness throughout it, waiting to burst. The middle of the story did drag a little, I will admit, but the end was thoroughly exhilarating. This book was amazing and the ending left it completely open for what is sure to be a fantastic trilogy.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By JKI on July 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read all of KA's other books so when I saw this in the young adult section - I bought it out of curiosity. I'm glad I did. It is about young high school age children but it's still her slow build writing that holds the readers interest without losing any of the detail of the world she creates. It's her adult supernatural universe focused on some children who are lost in it and their too strong abilities.
I like the style and if she writes this series the way she writes her adult books they won't all be left on cliffhangers and some could be stand-alones with some character crossovers. The only fault I could find - and it's purely because I'm an adult now I would assume -is that I really couldn't lose myself in the character as I can typically with most of her stories. I found the lead character's desire to storyboard everything distracting... and yet I remember doing something similar at that age -so it still comes across realistic. Hopefully a sequel will come out soon...
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gail Reed on July 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book does a good job of introducing all the principals and whetting your appetite for what's to come, but anyone considering reading it should be forewarned that it is not a stand alone story and that it ends cliffhanger style. Having said that though, the author did a good job of setting up each character and making this introductory story readable. I found the characters likable and believable. The story moves along at a nice pace and the setting is well utilized. I would have preferred the story stand alone, but I will probably be back just the same for the next one to see what happens next. FWIW though, a much better series in the same genre, teen supernaturals, is Richelle Mead's "Vampire Academy" series. Thanks for listening. Happy reading!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on August 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"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.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a big fan of Kelley's Otherworld series I, of course, went and ordered this. The premise being young supernaturals coming into their own, which is a great idea as the characters in her 'Women' series have already had their powers, so it would be interesting to see that side of things. I know being a YA novel that it wouldn't be as graphic as the others in the series, but I felt a little disappointed in this as the main girl, Chloe just didn't make me feel sympathetic towards her. It was an easy read (just under 2 days to finish) and may be a good primer for Kelley's younger fans to ease into the main OW series when they're older. I'll probably buy the next (because I'm a completist on stuff like that) and hope that it begins to pick up.
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