When Spirits Beckon is a complex story that starts with Chloe, who is on her way to "being a very spoiled child." When her grandfather dies he leaves her a carved wooden elephant that contains a spirit who she quickly names Imp. Through the years she discovers that her grandfather traded time with the afterworld to give her more time with the spirit Imp.
The spirit world is overflowing. There is more evil than good being returned to the world and Chloe is one of those chosen to help change things, with Imp as her guide. Imp helps to guide and train her for the great role that she will play in saving mankind. Chloe will help by being the first female American President. This book plays off reality nicely, looking into a future that isn’t that far off. Okay, so maybe our world isn’t being over run with evil… but are you sure?
Chloe's relationship with Imp is a big part of this book. As Chloe's character matures in other aspects of her life, her relationship with Imp never quite gets there. They are always childish, constantly bickering and picking at each other. After a while, I wished I could tell them to just shut up.
There are several storylines that eventually all lead back to each other. But at points it was confusing to drop one off just to pick up another. While the book is complete and in the end everything is wrapped up nicely, you still get the feeling that there is more to the story. But the author explains that feeling easily: “This novel originally began (in a much reduced form) as one key element in a bigger story arc concept I’ve been developing the past few years,” the author’s afterword says.
The narrative idea for this book is completely original; I’ve never come across something quite like this before. So despite its fault, this was an interesting and thought-provoking read.