The last of the books that made up my assorted supernatural selection was The Summoning. This was my Halloween read for the year and it was a suitably creepy choice – not too scary though; even horror haters like myself should be able to cope with this one!
What continues to ensure that The Summoning is a unique example of the supernatural genre is that it focuses on lesser known supernatural creatures like necromancers and shaman. Most literature of a similar kind that I have read tends to stick to vampires and werewolves, clogging the shelves with similar sounding stories. Just avoiding this one basic cliché easily makes the novel that bit more refreshing. I loved the eerie and sinister tone, which was only exacerbated by the menacing institution setting to create a brilliantly creepy and well-paced read.
As far as characters go, those in The Summoning are pretty well written. Main character Chloe is a likeable heroine and I enjoyed reading from her POV; she’s not one to get wrapped up in a burgeoning romance when she could be sorting things out. There’s an appropriate degree of reluctance to accept the supernatural but it never spirals into stupid levels of denial. And I enjoyed her quirk of viewing some of her more bizarre life experiences as scenes in a film – this allows her to take a step back and make her decisions with a certain detachment and level-headedness that stops her slipping into some clichéd situations. I’m also looking forward to more of Derek’s snark. Tori, too, is a fascinating character and I’m excited to see her break free from the ‘bitchy mean girl’ mould even more next time round.
‘Bad’ might be rather a harsh descriptor, but something about the way the book ended really didn’t work for me personally. I think this had a lot to do with the point at which the ending happened, which for me was almost a bit too late after the main character’s arrival at this new location. The final chapter or so felt like it belonged at the beginning of the next book, not the end of this one, and so soon after a climactic action sequence. It either needed to wind down a bit more and leave us in greater suspense or cut off earlier on so we end on a proper cliff-hanger. In the middle of a conversation just felt like quite an odd place to stop.
The Summoning is undoubtedly my favourite of the three books in this boxed set and having read it a second time I’d consider raising my overall rating to a 4/5 stars. What I like most about this story is that it is just so different to other books in the supernatural genre and reading it for a second time has really motivated me to carry on with the rest of the trilogy.