August 1, 2011
Publisher: Amulet Books
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommended? Yes, see below.
Buy the Book: Amazon US | Amazon UK
The story follows Jael, a half demon, as she turns sixteen and learns more about what being a half demon means. She meets new family members, sees various memories and flashes of the past, and she has to fight a majorly powerful demon, who has been after her since birth.
The story is told in present tense, but is broken up by flashbacks, which mostly feature Jael’s parents. I absolutely loved reading these flashbacks. There were plenty of emotional scenes in them between Jael’s mother and father, and I fell in love with Astarte – Jael’s demoness mother. I also loved reading about all the demons that they met, and how each one impacted their lives, or Jael’s future.
Jael, as a main character, was pretty plain. I liked her enough, and I could definitely relate to her – not that I’ve discovered I’m half demon or anything, she’s just easily relatable. I enjoyed reading about her as she explored her powers, although I would have liked to see her struggle with them a bit more. Then again, I guess she is just a natural!
I didn’t care too much for Jael and her love interest. It was a pretty average aspect of the novel. The story is made up of so much more than that, and the relationship aspect wasn’t focussed on too much. I preferred it this way, as I would have much rather learn more about demons and Hell.
That said, I did adore the love story between Paul and Astarte. I’d love to see a book about those two, as they’re such amazing characters. Both of them were so complex, I wanted to know as much as I could. Can you tell I’m in love with Jael’s mother? Maybe.
This book is packed full of mythology. The demons were awesome, and there was so much to learn about them. Jon Skovron did an excellent job with his research and portrayal of the demons, especially Uncle Dagon and Astarte. The only downside, for me, was how much religion was in this book. It really took centre stage, and I would have preferred it to have been turned down slightly. That’s just me, though, and I haven’t rated the book down due to that. I figured in a book about demons and other things, you can’t help but have a lot of religion. I just didn’t enjoy it.
Another aspect of the book which I disliked was the third person narrative. I would have preferred to have read the story from Jael’s point of view, as the third person made me feel a bit detached from the story.
Overall this was a fantastic read, and I’d definitely recommend it to people who adore books heavy with mythology – demons and gods, among other things. If you’re not a fan of heavily religious books, I’d still give it a go but be weary. It is a demon novel, after all.