The Second Summoning: Some great characters, but a little too silly

The Second Summoning: Keeper's Chronicles Series, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged Tanya Huff (Author), Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator), Tantor Audio (Publisher)The Second Summoning by Tanya Huff fantasy book reviewsThe Second Summoning by Tanya Huff

Note: This review will contain mild spoilers for the previous book, Summon the Keeper.

I was entertained by Tanya Huff’s first KEEPER’S CHRONICLES novels, Summon the Keeper, about a woman named Claire whose job, as a Keeper, is to travel around closing evil holes in the fabric of the universe when they pop up around Canada and the US. In Summon the Keeper, Claire and her talking cat (Austin) were “summoned” to a bed & breakfast which was endangered by a portal to Hell that had opened in the furnace room. I liked the B&B setting, the cat (I’ve never met a cat I didn’t like), and Dean, the hot housekeeper and cook. At the end of that book, both Claire and Dean left the B&B.

In book two, The Second Summoning, Dean has been driving Claire and Austin to their various summonings. Claire is aware of Dean’s feelings for her and her own feelings for him, but she does not want to get Dean mixed up in dangerous Keeper business, so she dumps him. Meanwhile Claire’s little sister Diana, a high school student who is even more powerful than Claire, starts meddling with the cosmos a bit when she’s on her high school’s decorating committee. The consequences of all this (you just have to go with it) is that a bewildered (but hot) male angel appears in the world and has no idea what he’s doing there. And then, because there has to be balance, a female demon shows up. Claire and Diana need to restore everything to its right place in the universe.Keeper's Chronicles (3 Book Series) by Tanya Huff

I enjoyed the humor of Summon the Keeper, but The Second Summoning was just a bit too silly for me. It’s amusing at first but then the humor becomes repetitive as Tanya Huff takes multiple swipes at 70s, 80s, and 90s pop culture icons:

The only sound came from the rectangular bulk of the heating unit under the window that roared out warmth at a decibel level somewhere between a DC9 at takeoff and a Nirvana concert — although it was considerably more melodic than either.

…and as Samuel the angel takes everything literally:

“You can get a meal and hear the word of God.”

Samuel smiled in relief. This, finally, he understood. “Which word?”

“What?”

“Well, God’s said a lot of words, you know, and a word like ‘it’ or ‘the’ wouldn’t be worth hearing again but it’s always fun listening to Him try and say aluminum.”

“What are you on, Samuel?”

This was easier, he glanced down. “Laminate.”

This type of humor got old pretty quickly for me. The plot, also, was similarly shallow and frivolous, which is totally fine — there’s a place for that — but it just doesn’t serve to elevate the book in any way. Likewise the prose is nothing special. In fact, there isn’t anything I can point to here and say “this is really well done” except for the audiobook performance by Amy Melissa Bentley. Tantor Audio’s new edition is excellent.

I still like these characters, especially Dean, and the audiobooks are great, so I’m going to listen to the third book, Long Hot Summoning, which has just been released in audio format. I think the B&B may be part of the setting for book three, so I’m looking forward to it.

Published in 2001 (print) and 2018 (audio). Discover the second book in the Keeper’s Chronicles, where a young woman masters of the possibilities of time and space, maintaining the balance between worlds to protect Earth. Claire Hansen was a Keeper, gifted—or cursed—with the job of being one of Earth’s Guardians, “Summoned” to areas where anomalies existed, where rifts had opened—or had been opened. Such places were the world’s danger spots where, if they weren’t sealed in time, all the minions of Hell might break through. After she’d closed the portal into Hell at the Elysian Fields Guest House, Claire and her talking cat, Austin, found they’d acquired a new companion—Dean. Though Dean was a Bystander and shouldn’t have been allowed to even remember Keepers existed, somehow in the course of their mutual ordeal at the Elysian Fields, he’d become an indispensable part of Claire’s life. She knew she should change his memories and force him to leave her. Any other course was bound to lead to disaster. But as it turned out, it was already too late, for without Dean around Claire could easily become a danger to herself and the very fabric of space and time. Yet with Dean around—and a little of her sister Diana’s meddling thrown in—the world was headed straight for Chaos. And Claire was about to face a challenge beyond her wildest imagining—a catastrophe created by the power of love—when an angel and a devil each manifested in the mortal world as fully endowed teenagers, who didn’t have a clue how to handle their all-too-human bodies, raging hormones, and opposing needs to do good and evil….

SHARE:  Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmail  FOLLOW:  Facebooktwitterrsstumblr
If you plan to buy this book, you can support FanLit by clicking on the book cover above and buying it (and anything else) at Amazon. It costs you nothing extra, but Amazon pays us a small referral fee. Click any book cover or this link. We use this income to keep the site running. It pays for website hosting, postage for giveaways, and bookmarks and t-shirts. Thank you!

KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

View all posts by

5 comments

  1. I think this type of urban-fantasy-comedy (?) often belabors the humor too much.

    Huff has branched out since her hot-Tudor-vampire days, and it is interesting to see the places she goes.

  2. April /

    Have you read her milscifi about Torin Kerr? Good stuff and good on audio.

Review this book and/or Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *