Jael Thompson has never really fit in. She's changed schools too many times to count. The only family she's ever known is her father, a bitter ex-priest who never lets her date and insists she attend the strictest Catholic school in Seattle. And her mother--well, she was a five thousand year old demon. That doesn't exactly help.
But on her sixteenth birthday, her father gives her a present that brings about some unexpected changes. Some of the changes, like strange and wonderful powers and the cute skater boy with a knack for science, are awesome. But others, like the homicidal demon seeking revenge on her family? Not so much.
Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school.
Pages: 384 pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release: August 1st, 2011
Jael is half mortal and half demon. It's not something she's really worried about until her sixteenth birthday when her father reluctantly hands her a necklace. He doesn't want her to have it, but his dead wife made him promise her that he'd give it to Jael when she turns 16. The necklace opens up Jael's demon powers, but also makes her a target for a big demon who has been hunting her for many years. He hates half breeds and wants to kill her, just like he killed her mom.
This is a hard review for me to write. Every time I start to write something, I end up deleting it because it doesn't sound right. Nothing seems to sound right. I kind of what to delete what I wrote above too, but it's too late for that. The reason why I'm having a hard time with this novel is because I really disliked this book. Not just a little bit, but a lot. It might be my least favourite book of the year.
This book had a lot of things going for it. The premise and the mythology that was used made me want to like this, but I just couldn't. I think the biggest reason why I didn't get into this book was the writing style. It's not easy to write a present tense novel and make it appealing. It's hard for a lot of readers to get into. I don't mind it, but that's only if the novel is fast paced and a lot of things are happening. When it's like this, I think it works. When the novel is slow moving, then you shouldn't be using present tense.
But using present tense and third person, when the novel is slow moving (at least until the end) that just spells trouble. Because it's written this way, Jael never connected to me. She was just there. And she sounds incredibly annoying, selfish, and stupid. I understand that she's lived a very strict lifestyle, so learning more about being a demon is her way of rebelling to her dad. But why didn't she take the time to actually talk to him about it?
Jael's relationships with other people in the novel never rang true to me either. The other characters, other than her dad, are not fleshed out well and sound more like stereotypes; you have the cool and accepting uncle, the understanding teacher, the bad guy, who is a stupid bad guy, the skater boy, who is good at math and science and the best friend who is a hard core conservative, but fools around with a lot of guys.
There are a few chapters, told in third person past tense that tell us about Jael's parents life before and when they had her. This was slightly interesting, but I couldn't get into this due to my ill feelings caused by the rest of the book.
I found that the more I read, the more nitpicky I got. Brit, the best friend, using J all the time when she is talking to Jael annoyed me. Rob, the boyfriend, using Betty or Bets all the time when talking to Jael annoyed me. Dagon, the uncle, using kid all the time when talking to Jael annoyed me. Jael, the main character, using Uncle D when talking to her uncle annoyed me. Seeing 'says' a lot annoyed me.
The cover is beautiful, the content inside not so much. I had to force myself to finish this book, when I really didn't want to finish this book. This had a lot of potential and I can see this becoming a series, but sadly it wasn't executed properly and because of that I didn't enjoy this at all.
This book was provided by net galley