Book #33 of 2016: Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan


There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late?

I love, love, LOVE urban legends, folklore, fairy tales… you get the picture. Superstitions have a power that is spiritual and frightening. You can have a superstition that is actually connected to a bigger web of humanity. Almost every story has a history that is edged with fact.

Mary: The Summoning plays with the idea that Bloody Mary was not only a real person, but her spirit is in mirrors and is very dangerous. You get a taste of Mary’s past, only to want more. I was wanting to know who she was, what made her this way.

The book is a quick read. The writing is simple and fast. It is very much like a teen horror movie. I had the imagery of Japanese ghosts in the way Mary moved in the mirror. If you have seen The Ring, then you know what I mean. That jerky, not quite human movement is Mary’s. I loved that. I was freaked out a bit by that.

More ghosts need to move like Mary.

The characters are pretty basic and stereotypical. You have your clique of girls with the blonde ringleader who is spoiled, the not quite skinny ‘fraidy cat, the smart bespectacled girl, and the peacemaker main character. The tropes can be seen as over used, but it worked for this book. It gave the idea of the every girl and gives this book a more myth like presence.

It was easy to figure out what was going to happen and who to hate, but I still enjoyed the darkness in the book. I am currently looking for the second book to round out the story.

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