The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

 4.5 Stars - Great start to a suspenseful trilogy


Chloe just wanted to be accepted.  After her mom died when Chloe was just five years old, she had moved frequently - one luxury apartment after the next...never making friends or feeling like she really belonged.  It wasn't until she started attending a boarding school for the arts that Chloe finally felt like a regular teenager....normal...until she had a mental breakdown.


 Admitted into Lyle House, a group home for mentally troubled or disturbed teens, Chloe tried to forget about the corpse....the man who had appeared to her at school, grabbing her, chasing her....insisting that she help him.  She was hallucinating, right?  Just like when she was younger and would go to the basement in her childhood home.  The voices....the ghosts...the spirits...all part of her active imagination, noone else saw them...they weren't really there.


Chloe accepts her doctor's diagnosis of Schizophrenia.  She faithfully takes her meds...jumping through the hoops so she could be released and move on with her life.  It didn't stop, though.  Chloe still saw them...they cried out...lurked around her...would not stop begging Chloe to help them pass....to finally be at peace.


When Chloe admits her secret to another teen patient, she learns that several of the teens who had been admitted seem to also have unusual powers or supernatural abilities - abnormal strength and heightened sensory preceptions, the ability to move things with their minds, to start fire spontaneously without ever striking a match.  Chloe finally realizes her supernatural ability enables her to communicate with the dead - she was a necromancer. 


Why were all the teens there?  Was it a coincidence?  Or were they being held there to suppress their powers - kept prisoners, labeled "mentally insane," never to be free again?  What secrets were the teachers and doctors of Lyle House hiding?


When Chloe's friend Liz becomes too outspoken, she suddenly disappears from Lyle House.  The staff claimed Liz was discharged and released. Why then was Liz appearing to Chloe in the form of a spirit....as if she had died?


Chloe and her newfound friends soon realize the greatest dangers they face are by staying complacent, accepting their mental "diagnosis," and keeping quiet.  They know that they must somehow escape - before it's too late...