Sunday, April 07, 2013

Review: Summoning by Carol Wolf

Title: Summoning
Author: Carol Wolf
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Moon Wolf Saga #1

Trade paperback, 320 pages

Publication: April 3, 2012 by Night Shade Books

Buy the book

Source: Bought, personal library

The World Snake is coming, devourer of Thrace and Atlantis… and the only one standing in its way is Amber, a sixteen-year-old runaway, recently arrived in Los Angeles.

Amber is more than just a girl with a stolen ID and an attitude; she is a daughter of the wolf-kind, a shapeshifter able to change forms at will. One night, as Amber prowls the Hollywood Hills in wolf form, she stumbles onto an occult ceremony, interrupting the ritual. As a result, Amber finds herself the unwilling mistress of a handsome demonic servant, Richard. Appearing as a fair youth of eighteen years, Richard is a demon accidentally summoned, then captured, by Dr. John Dee, court magician to Queen Elizabeth I. Richard has been trying for four centuries to free himself from a succession of masters and mistresses, but finds himself bound to Amber, the only one who can protect him from his greatest fear, the herald of the World Snake, the Eater of Souls. But all hell is about to break loose, and Amber and Richard are going to need some allies to stop the Eater of Souls and avert the World Snake, and the battle has only begun.

Summoning is centered on sixteen-year-old Amber a wolf-shifter, and daughter of the moon wolf (moon wolf’s significance isn’t explained in the book but is hinted that her lineage is important). Amber is on the run from her family, and living in the city of Los Angeles as a painter/construction worker (I think). On one of Amber’s daily runs, she finds herself enthralled by the drumming on the hilltop. Upon arrival Amber notices that she just interrupted a group of Wiccan witches in the middle of a ritual and they’re about to kill a demon. The witches spares the demon’s life, letting Amber dispose of the demon as she wishes but she instead finds herself bound to the demon as his master.  The demon Richard warns Amber of a coming catastrophe that’s heading straight for L.A and that she is the city only hope to stop it.  The last thing Amber wanted was to be stuck with a demon but she isn’t about to let the city she loves be destroyed. Amber and Richard will have to get all the help they can get to stop the World Snake and Eater of Souls. 

The Summoning is labeled as an urban fantasy (adult I think) but it read more like a younger YA book, I mean the main heroine is sixteen-years-old but that isn’t the problem.  The writing and dialogue seemed choppy and amateurish, and while the heroine is a teenager…the way she acted, talked, her living situation, and job didn’t seem like she was sixteen more like in her early-middle twenties.  When I initially found this book, I thought the cover and synopsis sounded interesting and plus it had great reviews but it wasn’t what I expected. The Summoning had way too many plot holes that left me confused and full of questions at the end of the book.  For example the World snake and Eater of Souls, what are they exactly and why are they headed for L.A? The book mentioned that the World Snake was a female and Eater of Souls as male, and the Eater of Souls paved the way for the World Snake. They’re both the reason why some cities cease to exist (Thrace and Atlantis). Also Amber may have ran away from her family but how did she delude them for as long as she has when she’s still in the family territory? There wasn’t a lot that made sense, and since I couldn’t make head or tails of things I began to slowly lose interest in the story.  In the end I was still left with unanswered question and felt the ending was rushed and anticlimactic.

As for Amber, Richard and the secondary characters they all didn’t make any lasting impressions. I felt disconnected from Amber from the start. It didn’t help that for most of the book Amber acted like a hard ass, thinking she owns the city even though there were a lot of other magical beings living in the same area.  I really wanted to like the Summoning, but in the end it wasn’t for me. Bottom line, the Summoning was an okay read with a plot line that didn’t really hold my attention, lackluster characters and world-building that needs more improvement. 

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