Thursday, June 17, 2010

CBR Book#46: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

I read the Darkest Powers books out of order, so this is the first book and I reviewed the second book here.

Chloe Saunders is a normal fifteen year old kid, or so it seems. She does look young for her age and she hasn't gotten her period yet, but no one knows that. Chloe is enrolled in a theater arts program in a high school focused on the arts. She wants to become a writer and director of films some day. This manifests itself throughout the book as she attempts to solve problems or make decisions by pretending that she's in a movie and not real life. It gets kind of annoying after a while.  One day, Chloe wakes from a nightmare that concerned the basement of her childhood home before her mother died. Three year old Chloe was lured to the basement by a voice that sounded like her babysitter. It turned out, in the dream, that it was actually a ghost calling to her. Chloe awakes and his puzzled by the dream.

Once at school, Chloe drops something, bends to pick it up, and starts her period. She rushes to the school bathroom to clean up and get some feminine supplies. Once in the bathroom, she decides to put red streaks of color in her hair while skipping class. It is truly a day of firsts for Chloe. Once she finishes her hair, she hears someone opening the restroom door. Chloe hides in a bathroom stall while listening to what seems to be a girl crying in the next stall. Only there aren't any feet in the stalls. She's all alone. Chloe freaks out and runs out of the bathroom and into the school hall, only to be confronted by an unfamiliar janitor demanding for her to stop and speak with him. And he has a half-melted face.

This starts Chloe to screaming as the janitor pops up in front of her at every turn. She runs into a classroom, now pursued by her teachers, in order to escape the janitor. When she moves toward the window, the teachers tackle her and call authorities. When Chloe wakes, she is in the hospital. After a battery of tests, her father and her Aunt Lauren transfer her to Lyle House, a supposed school for troubled teens. There she meets Liz, Tori, Rae, Derek, and Simon. As she begins to speak with each of her new housemates, it becomes clear that something else is going on at Lyle House. And that they need to get away.

Reading this book after reading the second in the series, The Awakening, left me with some knowledge as to what Chloe would discover and some of the things that would happen to her. That didn't bother me in the least. A lot of the events that are mentioned and glossed over in the second book are obviously fleshed out in this one, making everything come together and make more sense. I hope to get my hands on the third book in the series soon, as well as Armstrong's adult novel Bitten.

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