At times an intriguing mystery, at others a chilling thriller, The Book of Demons offers a sensational stroll through the hustle and bustle of an inventively paranormal version of 80s New York City. The diverse cast of characters allows Jack to learn more about the world as well as his own unique psychic abilities, as the witty teen and some surprising allies (including the spirit of a nun once accused of witchcraft) moves through this unsettling Big Apple–and the borders between life and death–with a youthful swagger. His face off against a dark magic user with a penchant for shapeshifting evokes imagery of knights and wizards battling forces of dark evil determined to corrupt and consume mankind.
Jack’s development throughout is an adventurous, if spooky, coming of age story that will thrill and at times scare readers of classic urban fantasy and YA series, especially as Jack must face off against a powerful, mysterious foe who seeks to destroy him. Jack’s story stands out, though, for its well-realized real-world setting, and the suspense Kelly mines from the fact that authorities will regard Jack’s experiences as a delusion. Not only must he discover the true extent of his powers and deal with a villain much stronger than him, but he must hide the truth from those around him.
Takeaway: A teen boy and the dead face dark magic in 1980s New York.
Great for fans of: Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising, Richard Kadrey.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-