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Publisher's Summary

On an empty baseball diamond in a quiet Toronto suburb, a demon has been summoned. Seventeen-year-old Alton is miles away, just wishing he had a tutor he didn’t outsmart or outmatch. His prayers are answered when Professor Victor Orvius makes an unexpected visit, offering to teach Alton magic without the restrictions. 

The only condition is that he follow Orvius’s rules and not ask too many questions. Alton soon discovers he’s not Orvius’s only student. 

Reagan is a competitive young witch with a bad attitude and talent for sarcasm. Their personalities clash, causing trouble for both on more than one occasion, until they realize a greater threat than being one-upped. The demon threatens not only their chances at passing their magic finals — it threatens their lives. 

If Alton and Reagan can’t learn to get along, they could be facing their deaths…or an eternity together, trapped in another realm.

©2019 Mckayla Eaton (P)2020 Mckayla Eaton

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Demons, Getcha Demons Here!

A great inaugural book in a trilogy. The book had me with an interesting storyline and kept going at a brisk pace throughout with magic and suspense. I will say that the longevity of the novel made it a little harder to align with the emotional journey of the characters together and some of those "just add water" romance coupling. In all, great book.

The narrator had a good voice and pacing, but there wasn't a lot of dynamic range between some characters and she seemed to end sentences with an elongated syllable or something like a down-shift in inflection.

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Just the Magic I Needed!

This was such a fun, magical, and fast-paced read! Or should I say listen, since I did the audiobook version of the book? Plus that cover! It's just so pretty and so spooky and so edgy but classic! I'm a smidge of a cover snob, so I can't help but talk about the ones I really love. And the book was so fun and the characters were so amazing!

I actually love that this book was set in Canada! I can't even remember the last book I read that was set in Canada! But even though this is a fantasy book the setting still worked, so don't worry! It's a modern story of magic, and while it's modern it's also a bit gritty and urban. And I've really been into academy type of books lately, so this was just the perfect addition to my TBR! While this book starts off a smidge slow to set the scene, the action/pace quickly and continues to pick up throughout until the very end.

The narration on this story was really good and it was perfect for speeding up! I like to speed up my audiobooks at least slightly, but sometimes the voices get a bit too distorted when I do so. But this one translated really well that way. BUT, on a similar note I don't think I would be able to listen to this one at the normal speed. It was just a smidge too slow for me to not go a little stir crazy if I had tried. But like I said, I still loved the narration at my chosen speed!

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Canadian Wizards Unite!

This YA Urban Fantasy is set in a world just like our own, except with magic. Or is it exactly our world and since we aren't magic users, we don't know it? Our protagonist Alton and his classmates are studying to pass their written and practical final exams in magic use so that they can pursue magical careers. We meet Alton as he's being taken on by a new tutor, Orvius, who takes him home to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where things get interesting. Orvius expects his pupils Alton and Reagan to banish a mid-level demon, one technically too advanced for students of their experience because for reasons Orvius is withholding, they cannot get the Council involved.

In the beginning (after the prologue demon summoning,) I was pretty bored with the story, to be honest. It felt like it was shaping up to be The Magicians but set in Canada, and the change of setting alone was not going to be enough to sway my Canadian heart away from my conflicted feelings about that (other) book. Fortunately for this book, it picked up and swept me along with it in directions I wasn't expecting. As soon as the demon conundrum was presented, my attention was peaked, and the story did not let down from there. Plus, the more I enjoyed the story itself, the more I revelled in the familiar BC setting.

Alton, Reagon, Orvius, and his friend Christian all ended up being well-rounded characters with believable chemistry that I enjoyed. Alton and Reagon grew on me. Orvius and Christian had my heart the moment each appeared!

I wasn't a huge fan of the random passages from wizarding handbooks scattered throughout.

Since my review copy was the audiobook, I'll take a moment to comment on the narrator's performance. Becci's narration is clear and far from boring, though I do feel the pacing of the narration itself could have been a little faster. I was listening on 1.5x speed the whole way through and didn't feel like I wasn't listening to a sped-up version at all. I listened in two sittings, and when it started playing at regular speed the second session before I put it back to 1.5, I felt what I heard was too slow. Other than that, I have no complaints at all. This was an easy and entertaining listen.

Overall I enjoyed this story and I look forward to books two and three in this trilogy. Had the beginning gripped me sooner, this would have been a 5 all around.

Thank you to author McKayla Eaton and Jess of The AudioBookworm Promotions for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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This is not a Harry Potter magic book.

Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed this story. The only thing that bugged me is that the author makes it a point to tell the reader this is not a Harry Potter type magic stories and goes on to point out the differences. Did the story strike a HP cord with me? Yes, but only slightly. There are major differences. Was it necessary for the author to blatantly point out the differences? No, and yet she did. Moving on.

Summoned is a fast-paced YA book about teenage witches and warlocks who are tutored in groups of two in the craft. Reagan and Alton are brought together to be trained by Victor Orvius. But Orvius has some strange teaching methods and is harboring a dark secret as to why he brought Reagan and Alton together. But Reagan is perhaps concealing the biggest secret of all.

Summoned has a unique story arc. The characters are well defined and intense. One of my favorite parts of the story is the goats on the roof. I will be checking out the next book in this series.

The narrator Becci Martin did a great job bringing this story to life. I especially enjoyed her portrayal of Reagen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Review - Summoned

Initial Thoughts

I listen to a ton of audiobooks. Before COVID, I had quite a lengthy commute to work so they were a huge lifesaver. Since I work from home now, I wasn’t sure how audiobooks would fit into my life. Turns out, I listen to them even more now. So, I am always looking for new audiobooks to listen to.

Some Things I Liked

Length. This was a really quick listen for me. I easily finished the book in one sitting. I have found that when an audiobook is too long, I sometimes lose interest in the story but because of the length. Here, I did not find that to be the case at all. The story was fast paced and kept me engaged.
Magic school in a modern setting. I really enjoyed the elements of magic woven into every day tasks as well as the way the magic system was explained to the reader. It wasn’t overly complex (to the point of being contradictory or convoluted) but rather, gave me enough context, that I felt I understood it and not bogged down by it.
Subtle romance. I enjoyed the lite romance in this story. I’d be eager to see it expanded on in future sequels, but, I found the amount of romance to be just right for the length of the story.

Series Value

I would definitely continue with this series. I really enjoyed the audiobook but I am so captivated by the story, I would definitely consider reading the next installment just to find out what happens to the characters.

Audiobook Value

I listened to this book at 2.5x speed. I listen to most audiobooks at a minimum of 2x speed so that’s a huge factor for me when listening. That being said, the narration was easy to follow and clear to understand even at that speed.

Similarly, the distinction of voices was excellent. Another issue I’ve seen with audiobooks is that conversations between characters are nearly impossible to decipher as the narrator sounds the same for all characters involved. Not the case here at all. Becci Martin’s voice acting is superb and I had no issues following any conversations. Not once while listening did I find myself needing to rewind because I missed or misunderstood something.

Because of the third person narration, the audiobook read as though someone was telling me a story. Therefore, I believe the audiobook would be the best way to receive this story. Please note, I have not read the physical book to directly compare, but, from what I heard, I am very happy that I listened to this one.

Final Thoughts

I’m so glad I was able to listen to this book. It was not on my radar before seeing the tour opportunity and it’s definitely a book that I’d have been bummed to miss out on. I thought the world building was unique, I am eager to know more about the characters, and the audiobook narration was bright and engaging. This is definitely a series I plan to stick with.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommendations for Further Reading

Scythe by Neal Shusterman – if you’re looking an engaging audiobook with a similar structure (two students and one teacher in a semi-modern world with a twist), look no further than this series. Please note, Scythe is sci-fi where Summoned is fantasy.
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – if you enjoyed the idea of students training to become teachers as well as traveling all over the world mixed with magic, try this series about a magical library and library apprentices. Please note, I read this series and can’t speak to the audiobook format.