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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
High Summons by Eli Celata is a fun urban fantasy following the story of Jon as he finds his place as a warlock. All his life, Jon has grown up hiding his magic from everyone except his mother, and dreaming about a father he's never met. He blends into a mortal life, but he knows magic is more than a part of him. When he sees a man kill a demon with magic, he sees a way to get everything he's wanted. Aloof and secretive, Jordan isn't the Yoda Jon expected. With his connection to Jon's father, Jordan may be the key to learning of the man who left Jon and his mother. When a demon summoning group makes its presence known, it's an opportunity for Jon to train, and learn how to survive in the world of which his father was a part.
High Summons reads like a young Harry Dresden with the same wit and charm. Jon is a delightful protagonist with a lot of heart and charisma. It's impossible not to like him. He's genuine and easy to relate to. Every time he struggled or got frustrated, or made a reference to Yoda, it was like reading about a friend. The magical world is very intricate with the various groups: psychics, magicians, mages, warlocks, and wizards. Every rule that Jordan teaches helps to understand the world, making it feel real.
One of the aspects I enjoyed about this novel is the sense of reality. Yes, there's demons. Yes, Jon is a warlock. But Jon is also a student. He actually has classes, and is told repeatedly by Jordan to go be with his friends. So many fantasy stories end up pushing the normalcy of life to the background, conveniently forgetting that the plot revolves around students who appear to have forgotten classes exist. Eli Celata succeeds in balancing between Jon's magical life and his normal life, keeping the plot at a quick and interesting pace. A must-read for lovers of urban fantasy!