J.P. Smith Slow Burns in Horror Novel ‘The Summoning’ – Book Review

August 1, 2021

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

The plot in J.P. Smith’s novel The Summoning is great, but be warned that it is not easy or simple. It is full of twists, turns, surprises, and there of a definitely emotional, mental and spiritual weight to the novel. This is one of those powerful stories that will take its toll on you. The issues that are in this plot, wrapped in mystics and fraud, deal with the depth of the real emotions of loss and grief.
There is so much in this plot that I don’t know how Smith organized and controlled it, but he does, and masterfully so. While reading it, I lost track of the twists and how they were used. Too often twists are used simply for shock value or just for the sake of having a twist, but, Smith uses them strategically to keep the audience (and characters) guessing. The turns in The Summoning progress the story and keep everything moving in the most unexpected and wonderfully terrifying ways. The plot gives nothing away until Smith decides to reveal its secrets.
I fond the characters in this novel extremely interesting. Despite being a sympathetic character, I hated the protagonist Kit at the beginning for using the tragedy of 9-11 for her own deceptions. It actually made me feel feelings that bled beyond the fiction of the story, I kept asking “how could someone do that?” From that jumping off point, the story made me feel real things. Kit (along with the other characters) is extremely well created and very real-feeling. I am really glad that I read the book because the character developments are just as surprising and twisted as the plot. I found it very interesting and impressive that I could (at first) hate a character so much and still care very much about what happens to her.
This would be a very, very difficult book to write. The plot and characters are so twisted, deep, changing and intertwined that it would make it a nearly impossible challenge; however, master of suspense J.P. Smith shows a rare level of skill in taking his ideas and putting them perfectly in black and white. I am so impressed with Smith’s ability as a writer and am wowed by his ability to make sense of the supernatural and reality-based chaos of The Summoning. Due to Smith’s writing, the atmosphere of this book oozes horror, a feeling that something is wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on it…until the end.

All I can say is that if you start this book, be prepared for a journey. It is not an easy read and you will be frustrated, angry and confused. This is not a book that you can read casually. I promise that it is worth it and everything will make sense in the end, but just be prepared for the Pandora’s box that is opened as you turn the first page. Whether that’s a disclaimer or an invitation is up to what you are looking for in a book, but just be prepared, this book is not what you are expecting and it is a difficult journey.
This book is creepy, exciting, twisted, difficult, and phenomenal! Part detective story, part spiritualist adventure, part tragedy, the book blends so many genres and emotions into one unique ultimately enthralling story. Go here and get your own copy of The Summoning to see for yourself what happens when doors that should stay closed are opened.

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