This was fun. It had all the typical supernatural-y stuff in it–Socerers, ghosts, necromancers, werewolves, evil people, betrayal, sexual tension–so it wasn’t original in that aspect. The crazy-house for teens was more original. I liked that. It didn’t last long enough.
The first book, The Summoning, started out super creepy. In a good way. I mean, I had goosebumps. Once Chloe found out who she was, though, it got a lot less creepy and more drama-ish. There was a lot of teen drama going on, which is not exactly my thing. The writing was just a step below solid, in my opinion, and there was a lot of re-capping with each successive book and info dumping. Which gets old. Fast. But the pace was pretty quick and I sped through it; It was one of those series that I couldn’t put down.
The second book, The Awakening, honestly felt like a whole lot of nothing happened. Our characters struggled, personalities were explored a bit more but not much really happened. We learned so little that I feel like all that we did glean from this book could have been tacked to the end of the first book or the beginning of the next. Useless.
Chloe was our 15-year-old protagonist. She finds out that she can see the dead. At first it scares her, then it lands her in a nut house, where we begin our story. Chloe bugged me. It took her a long time to find herself, which makes sense because it’s a three-part series and you can’t have anything really happen until the very end, right? For most of the series she’s learning her power, which was interesting to watch but also a bit boring. She also just followed along with whatever Derek told her to do. Which kind of pissed me off beyond belief. I don’t care how much more I like Derek than Simon, if anyone (girl or guy) talked to me that way I’d be gone.
Simon, a third of the love triangle, was boringly flat but likable. He was always perfectly nice and calm. He always said exactly the right thing. I can’t work up the energy to care about him at all.
Derek, the other third of the love triangle, was the most fleshed-out, well-rounded, most complex character in the book. Complexity is good. But it was almost like he was totally bipolar. He was always either really nice or really mean. There was very little in-between with him. And, while entertaining to read, is worrisome. Derek treated everyone very poorly but they all just brushed it off as, “He’s only mean sometimes because he’s protecting us.” Mean is mean, people. That’s almost the equivalent of saying, “He only hits me sometimes when he’s mad.” Either way it’s not a good thing and you shouldn’t be around it.
Tori went from super crazy, homicidal girl to bratty frenemy. In the end, she was actually really entertaining and I liked her more and more throughout the last book. A couple of times Tori accuses Chloe of being a damsel in distress and the guys being her heroes all the time. Which is completely accurate. I respect that Armstrong acknowledged the problem but I expected her to then correct the problem. Which she didn’t. Chloe remained a bit pathetic and helpless. *sigh*
This whole series felt like it kept circling; The same things kept happening over and over. How many times was Chloe taken by bad people and kept somewhere? I think that might actually sum-up the whole series: Chloe is taken by bad people (posing as good people) and kept against her will. And then she escapes. Repeat.
Sexual Content: Mild
Language: Moderate (The first two books were pretty phenomenal about not cursing. Armstrong would have her characters “curse aloud” without actually writing any curse words. The third book had actual curse words, which was disappointing after I praised Armstrong so highly for her non-use of foul language)
Violence: Moderate (some fighting, reanimated corpses, creepy/scary imagery)