BOOK REVIEW: The Summoning, by Kelley Armstrong (Book 1, Darkest Powers series)

Read: December 2009
Genre: YA Paranormal

1. The Summoning Goodreads | Amazon
2. The Awakening
3. The Reckoning

Internationally bestselling author Armstrong now brings the thrilling paranormal world from her Women of the Otherworld adult series to a teen audience, in this first book in a sensational trilogy.

My Thoughts (May Contain Spoilers)

There’s something I really like about books that are grouped as a series. For one thing, if I really like the characters, I get to meet them again in the next book. For another, I know what I’m going to be reading next.

When I started reading The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong, the first book in the Darkest Powers series, I really didn’t know what to expect. I’ve read my fair share of vampire books, supernaturals, immortals, demon hungers, etc., and figured this would be along the same wavelength. Plenty of what I’ve read had the hint of romance within its pages – in Twilight there was Bella and Edward, in The Mortal Instruments there was Clary and Jace, and in the House of Night books there was Zoey and Eric. Or Zoey and Heath. Or Zoey and Stark. Wait – wasn’t she attached to a professor, too?

In any case, there’s always been that bit of romance going on.


In The Summoning I kept waiting for it to happen and it never did. There are really only two guys in the book – Simon and Dereck – opposite the main characters at Lyle House, a place for “special” kids, which we later learn is a place for kids with supernatural powers (which seems more like a very lenient insane asylum). As it says on the back of the book, Chloe starts seeing ghosts so her Aunt Lauren sends her away to this house to “get better.” From the sounds of it, there are only 6 kids in the whole house and they’re watched like hawks by the nurses and doctors.

No romance happens at all, though I kept wanting it to (what can I say? It must be the girl in me.), but there was plenty of action … eventually. The book is almost 400 pages and the real action didn’t start happening until the last 60 pages or so. The reader is left with many questions left unanswered and even though Chloe, Rachelle, Simon, and Dereck manage to escape Lyle House (or in some cases, “almost”), not a lot happens in the book. Powers are discovered and talked about; a plan is made to escape Lyle House; plenty of laundry is done; and there are some conversations with ghosts that put a vague face to what Lyle House was many years ago.

As a reader, I’m intrigued enough to read the next book in the series. Much like I was after reading Tempted, the 6th book in the House of Night series where, again, nothing really happened. The best thing about this book was that there was no false teen-talk (like Zoey’s many sayings and words in the HON series), there was enough intrigue to keep me reading, and the characters seemed real: some being your typical spoiled-brat teens learning how to live in the real world.

I just wish that the whole book could have stood on its own, rather than being a set up for the next book in the series.

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2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Summoning, by Kelley Armstrong (Book 1, Darkest Powers series)

  1. I agree I like it when books can stand on their own two feet. But I also realize that pretty much all trilogies have cliffhangers. Unless of course they are done really well – like Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. Read it!

    • I’ll have to look into that one! I love books that can be read OUT of the series … if it’s a series book, it better have something going on, rather than just a set-up for the action in the NEXT book. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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