The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers 1)
The first book in the Darkest Powers trilogy – a brand new series by bestselling author Kelley Armstrong. All Chloe Saunders wants is a life like any normal teenager – the chance to get through school, make friends, and maybe meet a boy. But when she starts seeing ghosts, she knows that life will never be normal again. Soon ghosts are everywhere, demanding her attention. When Chloe finally breaks down, she’s admitted to a group home for disturbed kids. At first Lyle House seems okay, but as she gets to know the other patients – charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek; obnoxious Tori; and Rae, who has a ‘thing’ for fire – Chloe begins to realise that something strange and sinister binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual ‘problem kid’ behaviour. And they’re about to discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home, either …
Although obviously aimed at the youth market, Kelley Armstrong maintains her own style and refuses to “dumb down” for a younger audience. The Darkest Powers trilogy is set in the same “universe” as the Women of the Otherworld series (sort of a Teens of the Otherworld!), but is completely seperate from those stories.
There’s plenty of teen angst – the problems young people face just trying to fit in and be “normal” at a time when everything is changing so fast is a difficult enough time as it is, but if you’re a supernatural and don’t know it, there’s a whole extra set of troubles that can be misinterpreted and this is used to excellent effect, so that the usual “misunderstood teen” angle is given a new slant.
There’s plenty of action, despite this being the start of character introductions, and there’s more than enough there for the reader to get fully invested in the lives of the characters and really care about Chloe and her friends. And to top it off, it’s left on a humdinger of a cliffhanger which will leave any reader gagging to get hold of the sequel!
This is an excellent introduction, both the the new series and the Armstrong as a writer, for both teen readers and those who haven’t already discovered her other books. Grab it, read it, love it!
Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite