TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:
Okay, I could probably stop this review after revealing that "The Summoning" features fifteen year-old Chloe Saunders, who starts seeing ghosts the very day she gets her first period (!) and winds up in a shady group home for teens, where it seems some of the other kids also exhibit special, otherworldly powers. Am I right? From this description alone, some of you will be clamoring to read this first installment in the "Darkest Powers" series, while others will probably roll their eyes and move on. Fair enough!
For those of you hooked from the description, let me flesh it out a bit here. Chloe is the only child of a wealthy, distant father who spends most of his time traveling. She's mostly portrayed as short, young-looking, and a budding film director, which I realize is not much in the way of character development. Yes, I'll be the first to admit that "The Summoning" won't win any awards for the depth and believability of its characters, who are mostly of the cardboard variety (bitchy girl Tori, everyone's best friend Rae, brooding hulk Derek, suave Simon). Still, I promise that's quite alright, as this book is all about the lightning-fast plot and the supernatural elements. I assure you, this one moves at a good clip, and you will get so caught up in Chloe's story (she's a necromancer who can summon the dead!) and her sleuthing with Derek and Simon (they find dead bodies in the crawl space!) that you will readily forgive any shortcomings.
When superman Derek — really, for a big, greasy kid, he's literally superhuman — finally gets Chloe to accept the truth about her talent, the book takes off. We learn all sorts of cool secrets and shady conspiracies, and Chloe, Derek, and Simon team up to escape the evil Lyle House and locate Simon's missing sorcerer dad. Good stuff! Plus, there's a budding love triangle between Chloe, Derek, and Simon — trust me, Derek isn't nearly as gross as he's first depicted — and a shocking betrayal. I'm telling you, fans of supernatural action and romance will eat this one up and anxiously await the second book, "The Awakening." I don't remember anything terribly offensive here, so I'd say fans of this sort of book in middle school and up should give it a try. Enjoy!