Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review: Summoner by S.D. Grimm

S.D. Grimm
Release: September 4, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
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.

I have fond memories of the short-lived TV show The Secret Circle - I had just moved when it started and used to DM about it after every show with my friend back home. The beginning of Summoner gave me some major Secret Circle vibes, tapping into some of that nostalgic good will. Which is not to say that the kids in Summoner are all witches or form a coven, just that the idea of the girl who just lost her mom and the new guy in town felt familiar. And I could easily picture them on screen.

Summoner is actually a ghost story with some spooky, horrific moments, but it's the romance that really takes center stage. Allie and Cody have both lost someone close to them and are just starting to have a "normal" life again. In Cody's case, he's also dealing with a prosthetic hand and the stigma that carries in high school. I liked the way that was handled and how it played into the paranormal part of the story. And I really enjoyed the romance plot.

However, there were parts of the paranormal story that I wish had been better developed. For example, Allie's history teacher begins a lesson on local history that helps her identify the ghost that's haunting her but we never hear about it after that scene. I think exploring that would have made the ghost story more compelling, as well as enhanced that spooky small town feel which I love.

And (possibly because I started out thinking of The Secret Circle) I wanted Allie's friends to be more involved in the paranormal side, maybe plotting against her or hiding something. Once she gets involved with Cody and the ghost, her friends and school don't come up much.

Still, I enjoyed Summoner and finished it in a single day. If you're looking for a YA romance with a paranormal edge, you might want to give it a try.

Recommended for fans of: Sisters of Blood and Spirit by Kady Cross

3.5/5  stars

P.S. Entangled is giving away a great Summoner prize pack!
Check it out here.

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