Cover Image: The Summoning

The Summoning

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Member Reviews

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 one...to 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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I was super drawn in by this book.  The premise had me hooked. 

The pacing is a bit slower than I usually like but I stuck with it and I am very glad I did!
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I thought that I knew how this book was going to play out, based on the first half of the story. However, just when you get into the groove with it, the book picks up and goes in a different direction than anticipated. The paranormal action was done well and held my attention, with a few creepy moments as well.

Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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In The Summoning,  Kit Capriol pretends to speak to the dead. She can read people and turn their memories of loved ones into spot on impressions of them. But in one seance, things go awry.

Has she summoned a real ability or it is something else?

As her life starts to unravel things get very interesting. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was atmospheric and creepy in the best ways. I can easily see this being turned into a movie.
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This book started out super iffy for me. There was something about the main character that rubbed me the wrong way on a visceral level, and the plot was moving as if it were stuck in quicksand. I actually wanted to put this book down, but found myself unable to - and I think this was by design. The author wants to make you uncomfortable in a way that you can’t put your finger on. He wants you to WANT to look away…but you can’t. And just as soon as you’re thinking, ‘okay this book is making me feel weird, I’m really done with it this time’, the plot takes off and you’re hooked.

Because of an unreliable narrator and a plot full of twists and turns, you find yourself having no idea which way is up. Suspenseful with a touch of paranormal, trying to figure out where this story is heading is like trying to see to the bottom of a murky lake. It seems like it gets clearer as you get closer, but…does it really?
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Ghosts and scams and murder, what's real and what isn't?   Not what I expected, and an addictive surprise.  Don't want to give any spoilers, but a good mystery that weaves it's way to a bittersweet and satisfying end.  If you enjoy a good mystery, with a bit of ghost action, a definite read.
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When I started reading this, I wasn’t sure about it.  I was feeling some kind of way about the main character.  She seemed wrong to me.  I’m not going to give you specifics as to why.  I’ll just say this:  if it starts getting you that way, stick with the book.  It all makes sense soon enough.  And I’ll tell you that I never did grow to like her, but I did like reading her.

What starts as mysterious soon turns into a tense suspense thriller.  There are so many wrong characters doing so many wrong things and I was happily lost in their machinations.  

I enjoyed this.  It wasn’t remotely what I expected it to be!

*ARC provided via Net Galley
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Book Review for The Summoning

Full feature for this title will be posted at: @cattleboobooks on Instagram!
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I absolutely adore this high impact thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page.  It’s such an original story but so captivating.
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