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The Book of Demons
Kevin Moore, author
When Mr. Philips discovers a powerful, cursed painting whose magic he can use for personal gain, he will stop at nothing to acquire it…including murder. Before he can get his hands on it, the painting goes missing and its artist is found dead. Enraged, Mr. Philips vows to hunt it down. But someone else finds it first: Jack, a teenage mystic who understands the painting’s tremendous power and would do anything to keep Mr. Philips from harnessing it. Along with two unexpected allies—a non-verbal autistic child and the spirit of a dead nun—Jack battles to keep the painting away from Mr. Philips. But as the stakes rise along with the body count, their epic battle for possession of the painting may cost Jack everything and everyone he loves.
Reviews
Ghost-touched teen Jack Kelly returns in this polished urban fantasy/horror sequel to Moore’s The Book of Souls. Having recently awoken from a coma, Jack, a young man with the ability to see and hear ghosts, is recovering the best he can while supporting his older pal, Peter Cairo, who’s also recuperating from a possession. Meanwhile, an aged art collector, Mr. Philips, has come around in search of a painting Peter possesses, though his interest is anything but simple collection. Jack must protect Peter and himself while searching for the truth on who, or what, Mr. Philips is–and the haunting secrets and powers of the painting itself.

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.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-

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