I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Summoner by S.D. Grimm
on September 4th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
When Allie’s best friend dares their group to play a game in a cemetery—something she calls “witching”—Allie never expects what it might mean for her. When she plays, she doesn’t just find bodies, she summons their souls. But one soul wants more than Allie is willing to give.
And the boy next door could be the key to saving her.
Cody Burkhart. Straight from Montana, cowboy hat wearing, and smoking hot, he’s just the thing to help Allie become “normal” again after the death of her mother. And as her newly appointed Guardian, he’s also just the thing to help Allie ward off the vengeful spirit who’s after her soul. Except Cody has his own demons to slay that keep him closed off. But as the full moon approaches, so does their only chance to break the curse, and Cody will have to make the biggest sacrifice of all.
Now that the calendar (if not the weather) is starting to inch toward fall, I’ve been craving some darker, spookier reads. When I read the summary for Summoner, I wanted to read it as soon as I saw the words “witching” and “summon their souls.” Summoner proved to be an interesting read, if not quite as creepy and scary as I was hoping for. It read more as young adult contemporary romance with a hint of paranormal.
The story begins as Allie and her friends go “witching” in a graveyard on a dare. Allie ends up getting more than she bargained for as she accidentally summons the souls of the dead. Unfortunately, one of them wants revenge and needs Allie’s assistance, whether or not Allie is willing to help her. Luckily, the new boy next door might just be more than he seems. Cody has just moved from Montana after an accident that cost him his hand and left him with demons of his own to battle.
The part I liked the best about this book was the detail. I loved how much depth the author included in the world-building. The concept of Summoners was explained really well and I liked how the truth was slowly revealed. The conversations with the ghosts were some of my favorite parts of the novel. Additionally, I hadn’t expected the novel to delve so deeply into some of the themes that it did, such as loss and grief. I thought that the author did an excellent job of showing Allie and Cody’s battles with their own inner demons. The characters were both likeable and I was really rooting for them to conquer their fears.
The graveyard scene at the beginning of the book set my expectations quite high for the creepy factor of the rest of the book. However, this book wasn’t as atmospheric or spooky after that scene, which left me a little disappointed. Most of the plot revolved around Allie’s day-to-day life and how she slowly grew closer to Cody. Even though it had some aspects that I liked, I didn’t like their romance as a whole. The progression from strangers to friends to more seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. Most of their interactions were focused around the graveyard and Allie’s insistence on going back there, which didn’t really allow me to see the chemistry between them. Additionally, while I understand that her grief changed her, I didn’t like that Allie’s friends essentially disappeared from the story once she met Cody.
While there were a few things that bugged me, Summoner was an intriguing mix of paranormal and contemporary young adult romance. It’s a good fall read that has just the right amount of creepy if you’re not looking for a truly spooky novel.