Last time on the Summoning, lots of things happening at once! At last, plot!
Her aunt freaks out at her injury and they head off to a hospital. Chloe finally relaxes in her car as they drive, feeling like things are finally normal.
And, yet, even as I drifted off, I clung to the memories of that other life, where the dead came to life and fathers disappeared and sorcerers conducted horrific experiments and buried the bodies under the house and boys could make fog appear from their fingertips or turn into wolves. Now it was over and it was like waking up to discover I couldn’t see ghosts anymore. The feeling that I’d missed out on something that would make my life tougher but might also make it different. An adventure. Special.
I’m not sure if the author and I agree on which side is right (I am in the camp of “people want this kind of thing but it’s a bad impulse due to faulty brain wiring, thanks evolution!” myself) but either way, this is nice and exactly how Chloe should feel.
She’s woken up and they’re not parked at a hospital but some hole in the wall place. Her aunt says that she called around and the emergency rooms of the main hospitals are packed, so they’re going to a clinic. Then a woman walks up. Her aunt introduces her as a nurse right as Chloe remembers she’s the woman with the guy who shot at them.
What, they don’t even have enough staff that they can’t keep people the kid’s already seen out of sight until she’s at least in the door?
I wheeled on Aunt Lauren. “That woman—”
“Sue, yes. She’s a nurse here. She’ll take good care of—”
“No! I saw her last night with the man who shot at us.”
Aunt Lauren’s face crumpled and she put her arm around me. “No, honey, that’s not the same woman. You’ve been through a lot and you’re confused—”
This would actually have been cool. If Chloe was dealing with actual mental problems as well as the necromancy, and so her perception of things couldn’t be trusted. Rae wasn’t with her when they were shot at, so Rae can’t back her up. She’s already mis-seen another person as being the same as the guy who shot at them, when she saw the suicide ghost in the factory.
There’s a number of reasons why this might be so. It could be that whatever change she’s going through to see ghosts cause a period where her brain is picking up all sort of false signals. It could be that whatever meds they were giving her have messed her up, either accidentally or on purpose (ensuring that if she notices anything and tries to tell people, it won’t be believed because she’ll also be going on about the monkeys). In this case, it could just be trauma and stress, which do interesting things to your memory. One particular thing that’s well known is that people will transpose faces, which could be exactly what Chloe’s doing here.
Of course, when Chloe tries to run away and her aunt stops her, the head doctor of Lyle House immediately appears because what is subtlety. Someone else rushes out with a syringe.
“That won’t be necessary, Marcel,” Aunt Lauren snapped. “I’ve already given her something.”
“And I can see it’s working very well. Bruce, sedate Chloe, please.”
If she’s already got drugs in her system you can’t just give her more drugs without knowing what and how much! The correct thing to say is “don’t do that you fucking moron do you want to kill her or something?” and hey I think I just answered the question of what happened to Liz: incompetence.
“The team just called in a report, sir. There’s no sign of the boys.”
“Surprise, surprise,” Aunt Lauren said, turning to Dr. Davidoff. “Kit taught them well. Once they’re gone, they’ll keep running. I warned you.”
Look at all this plot! It’s like she horded it all book, and now she’s realized she’s got way too much and she’s trying to stuff it back into the last few chapters.
Anyway, so. They’re enemies of Simon and Derek’s dad? Wow and Simon was acting all knowledgeable and “as supernaturals, we know all about surviving and keeping hidden” and all the time they were kidnapped by his dad’s enemies and didn’t even know it. That is some impressive level of failure.
Also jesus didn’t their dad ever give them a list of his enemies? It’s not like anyone’s been hiding their names or affiliation. It’s a failure party.
Her aunt goes on a rant about putting Derek down for mangling Chloe, and Chloe says Derek didn’t do it, and her aunt does the same routine as every other time about not needing to protect him. Book, I get that she hates the guy, but Chloe was running around in abandoned warehouses and I’m pretty sure the wound looks nothing like something she’d get from claws. It doesn’t matter how much you believe your kid would lie to protect someone else, that doesn’t mean the kid is lying about everything that happens ever.
She glares a bit at the doctor because apparently Derek is a monster and should never have been kept near the other kids. This is just one long failed opportunity. It’s clear from the boys’ behavior earlier that they think being a werewolf is a big deal, and now we have the aunt showing that it’s probably a widespread belief in the supernatural community that things with Derek’s power set – perhaps all shapeshifters, assuming there are any shapeshifters other than werewolves – are fundamentally different from humans with powers. But since Chloe reacted the exact same damn way for no reason, that’s lost and instead there’s the impression that of course the aunt would hate Derek because obviously anyone would hate werewolves unless they knew Derek personally.
you’re going to help us find Simon and bring him home. I know he’s important to you. He’s important to all of us. You all are. You and Rachelle and Simon and Victoria. Very special.
So Tori does have powers. That is horribly, horribly depressing. It’s awful to be lying to Chloe about how the stuff she sees isn’t real, but at least no one was lying to Chloe about how every emotion she had was proof she was broken and needed a higher dose.
I tried looking up what her powers are on Wikipedia, because fuck it, and didn’t see anything. Whatever it is can’t be that big of a deal, then.
At this point Chloe blacks out.
At this point I realize we’re one chapter from the end. It’s easy to forget because this stuff feels so middle of the book – it’s introducing all sorts of issues that seem like they’re going to be hard to resolve. Chloe has to escape, save Derek, then run off with the boys to somewhere relatively secure, as well as resolve the question of what happened to Liz.
Even assuming we go for broke, I really can’t see the ending being satisfying. The quickest option I can think of is raise a zombie army to incapacitate the doctors and open the doors, then run off with Rae, using ghosts to try to find the boys (possibly Liz’s?). I think we can safely assume the kids will have a decent lead time at that point because the police don’t know they’re missing (since everything going on was illegal – although I’m only assuming the book knows that), so if they can find the boys before anyone rescues the doctors, they can get the hell out of Dodge without being stopped.
But even at top speed that’s just not something that really fits into the very end of a book.