Cover Image: The Summoning

The Summoning

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Member Reviews

Kit, an out-of-work actress needs money, her husband died on 9/11, and her daughter has been in the hospital for the past three years in a coma after an accident in a subway station. Bills are piling up and she can't seem to get any roles. She begins looking through the New York Times obits and memorial pages contacting family members left behind, letting them know that she is a medium and has received a message from their dead love one.

Some people have said that this is a horror book, but I did not see that in the book at all. It is more a slow burn suspenseful thriller with a hint of paranormal thrown in when Kit starts hearing from actual dead people while trying to " contact " the fake ones.

I am still not sure how I feel about Kit. What she does seems morally wrong, but is it really? The people seem to find joy from hearing from their lost loved one, so she is also bringing joy to some very lonely people, so there is that. Yet I also understand her will to survive ad provide the medical treatment her ill daughter needs. Unlike Kit, I probably would have just went out and got whatever normal job I could.

There was a lot going on in this book, emotional and financial stress, loss and grief, some mystery. Smith is a good writer, there were times I  felt as overwhelmed as Kit did, who was in a downward spiral and a very unreliable narrator.

The ending has a little bit of a twist to it but it was nothing that was completely jaw-dropping. However once again I will say that the writing kept me engaged and entertained and had me wanting to get back to it when I had to set it down to do life things.
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Kit's husband was killed on 9/11 and her daughter Zoe has been in a coma for three years after falling in the subway and hitting her head.  Now she's struggling to keep her head above water financially.  Regrettably, she opts to exploit grieving widows by posing as a medium who can connect them to their loved ones.  Not nice.  Then she meets David but she doesn't know his secret.  She thinks all is well- it's not.  She''s also starting to spin- really hearing voices and other creepy things are happening.  She's also a very unreliable narrator,  This has merges the paranormal with other elements and has some good twists,  Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.  I didn't expect to root for Megan but I did.
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I adore these kinds if stories...where you are never sure of who is who. Kit has lost her husband, Peter in the 9/11 disaster.  Her daughter Zoey was with her in the subway and something terrible happened. Zoey fell and her injury put her into a coma for over 3 years. Kit is an out of work actor, using seances to help pay bills.  But now the seances seem real...and the police are trying to shut her down. A must read!
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Thanks to #Poisonedpennpress and #Netgalley for an e-arc of #TheSummoning by #JPSmith. 
I really enjoyed this one, I liked the athmosphere and I liked the main character Kit. While she had her faults, she was also a sympathetic person and it was easy to see where she came from.  I did not see where it was going until quite late in the story. I will definitely check out the authors other novels!
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This is a very interesting premise for a book but I couldn’t get in to the main character or her circumstance. Her husband died in 9/11 and her daughter is in a coma in hospital. Out of financial desperation, she scours the obituary notices in the newspaper to offer her ‘services’ to grieving relatives as a medium.  But the lines start to get blurred and things start to get creepy. It didn’t conjure up enough of an atmosphere for me.
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This was a really well written story. I found myself wholefully entertained and interested from start to finish. 
The characters were well written and believable. 
I didn't find much fluff and most of the story flowed seamlessly together.
A Good Read.
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Kit is a struggling actor who works part-time as a medium, which can be argued. Acting isn't exactly paying the bills so Kit spends time browsing through the obituaries and reaching out to grieving widows in an attempt to help them find closure. Or at least that is what she tells herself so it doesn't sound as bad. What she's doing can also be seen as taking advantage of vulnerable people. 

Kit meets a guy, David, who is also a cop. Meeting him makes her feel as if she's alive again. Being a widow herself and having a daughter in a coma after an aneurism has been a lot to deal with. David often takes her out, checks in on her frequently, and makes her feel cared for. Something she hasn't felt in a while. 

While things are going well in one area of her life, things seem to be getting out of hand in another. Kit begins to have trouble distinguishing between what's real and what's all in her head. During the seances she performs for the widows, she begins to feel out of control. She's hearing voices, feeling spirits brush her hair, hold her hand. Is this real or is she a better actor than she thought? 

This book wasn't exactly a page-turner but wasn't horrible. I feel that the plot was a little slow. Every time I would get excited and think something big was about to happen it kind of fizzled out. I was left wanting more. This novel kind of gave me 6th sense vibes. A dark tale that only gives you enough information to string you along until the end. One thing the author did a great job of was how he kept me guessing. I had a few theories about how things would play out and all of them were completely wrong. Although I didn’t feel invested in the story line, I did  enjoy the plot twist at the end.  I give it 3.5 stars.
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I didn't read the synopsis odd this book before I started it. I'm glad I didn't. It allowed me to view it in an unbiased way.

This was, at once, a haunting, chilling paranormal suspense and murder mystery. It was sad and funny and sweet and diabolical. Literally ALL AT ONCE!

I really liked this book. I think a paranormal/mystery fan would as well.


I did not see Kit's death coming! I had David figured out fairly quickly. The last line of the last chapter threw me for a MAJOR loop. But the EPILOGUE (CODA)! WOW!

Trigger Warnings: Death, Stalking, light violence, swearing

Thank you to Netgalley, JP Smith and Poisoned Pen Press for allowing me to read this ARC. All opinions are my own.
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle by Poisoned Pen Press  and #NetGalley for my honest opinion. 

The Summoning is different from anything else I’ve read in a long time. Kit is seemingly a character most won’t like, that changes. Her ill intentions are not always that.
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I really enjoyed this one. A creepy supernatural thriller with an interesting lead character, of dubious morality, and a plot that continually surprises, particularly in the second half. An entertaining read, it would make a good Netflix horror series.
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Entertaining and emotionally rich. From the start I was taken in by the story. Full of drama and driven by feelings of loss and love both now and in the tragic past. Nothing is how it seems and the last couple chapters really power through and flip the script.  Well played.

Thank you NetGalley for this arc
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"When it comes to contacting the dead, it's easy to go a step too far.

Every year, as the anniversary of 9/11 inches closer on the calendar, Kit Capriol scans the memorials published in the New York Times. It's a simple thing to look up a name and phone number, to reach out to surviving family members who might still be yearning for connection with their lost loved offer assistance. After her husband went down in the north tower, Kit scraped by as an actress, barely supporting herself and her daughter. But now Zoey is in the hospital, bills are due, and the acting work has dried up. Becoming a medium is almost too easy for someone used to pretending for a living - and desperate clients aren't hard to come by.

Now, though, something has changed. The seances Kit holds in her apartment are starting to feel unsettlingly real, and the intriguing man she met at a local bar could be more complicated than he seems. As the voices of the dead grow louder in her head and the walls of her apartment close in, Kit realizes that despite her daughter's absence, she hasn't been quite as alone as she thought..."

You had me at seance.
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At first I wasn’t sure about this one as it starts off slow. However I stuck with it and it got better! I enjoyed the paranormal aspect of this book.

Kit is an out of work actress who makes a living by faking seances for the family members of the victims of 9/11. A despicable act on its own, this conjures up something that no one is ready for. The dead are starting to respond in a real way and not all of them are happy.

The Summoning is a dark, slow burn book that you won’t want to put down!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC.
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✨ 4

"Listen with your eyes. Seek out the sound in the darkness..."

What starts off as curious and mysterious, soon melds itself into the suspenseful, psychological-thriller, paranormal-like world of Kit Capriol. At first I didn't know what to make of Kit. There was just something about her that I couldn't quite put my finger on. But as the chapters unfolded, Kit Capriol and the intricacies of her world urged me to keep turning the pages.

Although The Summoning is filled with uncanny coincidences, séances, psychological, and paranormal-like themes, I wouldn't say that this is a horror novel as some others have suggested. At least for me, there was nothing in this book to keep me up listening to the things that go bump in the night. The slow-burn mystery that was unraveling itself though...that was enough to keep me up past bed time. J.P. Smith's writing style took some getting used to, but once settled in, it was hard to put The Summoning down. With short, teasing chapters, it was easy to say "just another chapter".

Where Kit ordered a "double vodka rocks, same as always." I ordered another chapter every night before bed time.

At times things were a little bit all over the place, but I do feel that this was intentional. Faced with overwhelming financial stress, coated with a sticky layer of emotional and mental stress, grief, and all the gritty in-betweens, Kit's headspace is overloaded. With poor coping mechanisms (try alcohol abuse), Kit is generally speaking, an unreliable narrator seemingly spiraling down a path of madness. This in itself can make things a bit all over the place. Yet, there is more than meets the eye here...and whenever I found myself wondering why Kit wasn't thinking about things, or looking into things, that seemed like glaringly obvious red flags, I had to remind myself of these factors. J.P. Smith added an interesting layer to Kit by making her self-aware of her mental health issues. I was a little let down by the ending and without saying to much, I had hoped for an ending with a little more umph. Although I appreciated the coda, it did feel a smidge rushed.

Overall this was an entertaining read. If you're a fan of psychological/mystery/suspense/paranormal reads, I recommend giving The Summoning a try.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. I am leaving this review voluntarily because books are cool!

[Possible Spoiler Warning]

Content/Trigger Warnings ⚠️: discussions surrounding death, suicide, gaslighting
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Do you believe in life after death? Kit Capriol might – but she hasn’t let her uncertainty interfere with her business as a medium. When she starts to believe that the dead have started to truly talk to her, though, she suddenly finds herself navigating more danger than she bargained for.

Kit Capriol is still standing after a series of knocks that have left her alone – her husband dead in the 9/11 terror attacks, her daughter in coma following a subway accident years later. As an out of work actor, she thought working as a medium to pay the bills couldn’t hurt anyone, but it’s quickly clear that things might be changing. Suddenly, she’s seeing and hearing things that couldn’t be possible; but once something is summoned it’s not as simple to make it go away again.

I really enjoyed The Summoning. I did have some issues adjusting to the almost fragmented style of the storyline, but once I had it glued me to the page. It feels like a quick read; but really I’d just stopped noticing the passage of time. There’s a level of ambiguity that’s carried through the whole book that really intrigued me; storyline, characters, even some of the events described are kept deliberately unclear. It invites the reader to be part of the story – you can’t make it through this book without interacting with it, something that I love to see done well.

For all the doubt that the author allows his readers to retain, though, there’s some definitely out-and-out tense and even terrifying moments. There’s a delicate balance between the supernatural and the more earthly thriller elements, and both are used to excellent effect to produce a storyline that positively pulls the reader through the pages.

The Summoning is a suspenseful and gripping novel, one readers can count on to keep them reading into the late hours.
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I was so intrigued by the premise of this book. A woman who is able to talk to ghosts and has a connection to 9/11? Sign me up. This was a quick read that I couldn't put down and didn't see the end coming. Recommended if you're looking for a good beach read.
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Thank you NetGalley, Poisoned Pen Press and Author for this readers ebook copy in return for an honest review!

I'm not even going to try to lie..... But at first I was a little iffy about The Summoning. 
But that's why I never judge a book by the description. 
Once I got into it I couldn't put my Kindle away! The story had me so intrigued. 
I thought it was most definitely a slow burner but nonetheless an outstanding book. 
The characters they were interesting, so therefore I had to see what would happen next! 
I loved the extra creepiness here. Because this sorta book always seems to amaze me with their turn of events. The writing I thought was done very well and even though this was my first J.P. Smith book it will not be last. I loved this authors style. It had me turning pages quickly. 
Overall this book was intense, crazy, amazing, outstanding and I wanted more of it! 

Thanks again NetGalley, Publisher and Author for the chance to read and review this amazing book!
I'll post to my Goodreads, Bookstagram and Facebook account closer to pub date!
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HANDS DOWN 5/5! Seriously I couldn’t put this book down from the first chapter I was kind of worried since this plot is something I never read but I was pleasantly surprised and honestly I don’t say very much but I would buy this book and would be happy to have it apart of my collection. I’m excited to read more from this author.
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It started as me thinking it was going to be predictable and not liking the main character. Boy was I wrong on both of those. This book had me on the edge of my seat, desperate to tie it all together. The hint of paranormal was absolutely perfect. It wasn't my favorite book, but it certainly has given the others a bit of competition.
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Kit is a flawed woman and struggling actress who earns money pretending to be a medium helping people get in touch with loved ones. Kit rationalizes taking money from her clients saying she’s helping them feel better but she also has doubts about what she does. Until she actually starts hearing people from the other side who are trying to communicate with her.  

There are several interesting sub plots in this book but many are not really resolved or explained which is a little frustrating, such as what was the purpose of the clothes being different in Zoe’s closet? I also would have loved to see her find the location of the boys burial site near the lake to bring closure and to actually make this a stronger book. 

I loved the plot of this book and the way it was written up until the last few pages. Although we were given clues about what would happen to Kit I found the fast wrap up and the conclusion unsatisfactory.  Up until then I would have given the book 5 stars and recommended it to everyone.
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