Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “That sexy Jesus thing again? You’re a filthy girl, you know that?”
Arcadia Bell is back and finding trouble once again in Summoning The Night. After almost being sacrificed by her parents in Kindling The Moon, Arcadia (Cady) is back to business as usual and getting her bar ready for Halloween. When the head of the Hellfire Club comes to her and Lon for help in stopping a serial killer from 30 years ago, they will have to use all the help they can get before the serial killer strikes again and forces Cady to reveal her biggest secret of all.
When I was offered Summoning The Night for review, I went ahead and bought Kindling The Moon because I was told it was a MUST HAVE in order to understand the arc and characters. I thoroughly enjoyed Kindling The Moon. Arcadia Bell is the perfect urban fantasy heroine with her quick mind and even quicker mouth. While she will always protect her friends, she is quick to ask for help when she needs it and not afflicted with the common UF heroine trait –I must save the world by myself. She is comfortable in her own skin and that is a treat to see. Lon, her sexy, sexy boyfriend is a demon and seems to fit perfectly with Cady. Though we don’t see as much smexy time with her and him as we did in KTM, I do like the fact that they have absolute trust in each other. Communication flows between them like water and I love that Ms. Bennett doesn’t use emotional conflicts in order to add pages to the book. I do like that regardless of their lack of trust & communication problems, we do get to see Lon’s alpha instincts come out a few times. RAWR!
Summoning The Night starts out reintroducing us to Cady, Lon, and his adorably irritating son, Jupe. Cady is still feeling her way around a relationship with an older man, but the sparks fly and you know that they are in it for the long haul.
“I don’t want any secrets between us.” I said. “Not the ones that matter, anyway. I keep secrets from everyone all day long. But not you. Okay?”
Jupe adores Cady and the feeling is mutual. She doesn’t try and pretend to be his mom which really makes the relationship between them more realistic. They genuinely like each other. This relationship plays a heavy role in the storyline as it intertwines with the main conflict and that is where I had some problems. Their relationships are so defined and permanent feeling that I feel like I missed something. The first book had them starting to date, while in here I feel like they are one step from saying I love you. I miss seeing the slow, steady build up to this step. While I don’t mind romance in my urban fantasies, I do like it to be more drawn out with a heavier emphasis placed on the plot.
I also found that Ms. Bennett holds the reins to two big storylines in here and seems to lose control of them as she attempts to correlate and reveal them. We spend a lot of time with Cady and Jupe; his storyline seems to fight for control against the main conflict and confused me as to what the focus of the story is supposed to be. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy Jupe and his problem because he is hilarious with his new found power and I found myself laughing at the ways he tries to use it. I just wish it had held less power. They do eventually connect and are used to bolster each other one in a way that makes sense, but my feelings of unease never quite left me.
The main conflict starts out fast and furious as we are introduced to the mystery surrounding the serial killer right off the bat. Cady doesn’t want to deal with the Hellfire Club after her last ordeal with them, but since Lon is a legacy member, she doesn’t want to make waves. We meet the current president, additional members, and get more insight to why Lon is on the outs with them. I found the mystery aspect to be extremely interesting. A series of murders committed years ago are starting back up with the same MO and no one is sure if it’s the same person or a copy cat. As Lon and Cady investigate, they find a more sinister connection that shows the killer is targeting the members kids for nefarious reasons. Unfortunately, I found myself drifting through the story as I watched Cady and Lon do more legwork & reading in order to discover who the serial killer is and his reasons for the killings. Not to say there is no action because there is. Exciting, suspenseful, unnerving action; but not as much as I would have liked.
Our secondary characters are just as personable and well developed as our protagonists. Cady’s friend and part owner of the bar is hilarious with her dead panned dialogue and “who really cares,” attitude. Bob, a frequent visitor to the bar who crushes on Cady hard, shows his true strength as he strives to help Cady. A new character is introduced; a dead dowser named Hajo. Hajo is both irritating and interesting. I appreciated that Ms. Bennett didn’t draw him into a love triangle with Cady and Lon, but I do hope we see him again. Jupe, of course, is still a brilliant over hyper fifteen year old that manages to get himself in trouble just by stooping over to pick up trash. Dare, the pseudo father figure to Lon, proves to have more than one card up his sleeve when it comes to Lon and Cady, and I look forward to seeing him learn the hard way just what Cady is made of.
The solving of the mystery is convoluted and the ending will leave you speechless and anxious when it’s all said and done. Summoning The Night is a true Urban Fantasy the takes us into new and unexplored world filled with mages, demons, and everything in between. Engaging characters and unique plot lines are sure to appeal to lovers of this genre.
Though I had some problems with this installment, there was still enough to hold my attention and look forward to the third installment of the series, Binding the Shadows (Arcadia Bell, #3), set to release June 2013.
Overall Rating: C