I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I actually finished this book maybe a week ago, but I was too busy to write the review, so my memory won’t be as fresh for this one as most.
The first thing I noticed going into this book was the formatting. I tried not to let it taint my view, but it interrupted the flow of the story. No page breaks, awkward paragraph breaks, page numbers, the book title and author name inserted in the middle of sentences, etc.
Normally, I don’t include pictures, but I think it’s important to show this: http://i66.tinypic.com/ev5jdc.png
When I started the book and there was suddenly a number after a sentence, I thought I had gotten to a new chapter. I was confused until I realized that it was supposed to be a page number, even though it appeared in the middle of a page.
Now, to the actual book. Remedy has lost his parents, is now being raised by his grandparents, and because of the pain he was going through he accepted a demon. The book could be good at times at showing painful situations, but I did feel the plot was weak. Mainly, I never felt convinced that Remedy had a good reason to accept the demon. The demon just approached him weirdly at a funeral and told him to let him enter him to take the pain away. There was nothing about it that was particularly convincing.
As a matter of fact, I would say that the demon did very little trying to convince him at all.
“It hurts, doesn’t it?” he asked. He had a deep raspy voice that didn’t fit his figure. He was a tall slender man somewhere in his 60’s.
Remedy didn’t reply. Tears waited on the edge of his eyes and the smallest push would send him to his knees weeping.
“You know that pain in your chest that reaches down into your gut?”
“What do you want?” Remedy asked with tears falling down to his shirt.
“I can take your pain away,” he said. “All of it.”
“Give me permission to enter you.”
“What?” Remedy asked, taken aback.
The corners of the old man’s lips rose in a smile. “I promise you, the pain you feel will be gone and you will live without that sorrow, if you let me into you.”
Here I cut out a part where the demon stands around while Remedy has a flashback about his family.
“Make it stop,” he breathed with the last air in his hurting lungs.
“Let me in.”
Remedy tried forcing another inhale but still couldn’t.
The absence of air set his chest on fire. He felt like he would implode at any moment.
“Please,” Remedy croaked.
“Let me in,” the man hissed.
“Okay, okay, just make it stop,” Remedy pleaded.
“Do I have permission?”
The demon didn’t really do anything. He just sort of stood around and forcefully said, “Let me in”, something that isn’t particularly impressive. It’s much more likely that someone would continue to tell him to go away because he’s annoying and being insensitive. There wasn’t anything about it that felt like it made sense for Remedy to do.
So the book had some creativity with torture, but I thought the plot and characters were lacking. Chapter titles like “A KNIFE TO MEET YOU” didn’t seem to fit the bleak atmosphere of the book, either.
There are about five characters besides the demon. I wasn’t big on Remedy, because he had a lot of negative thoughts about other people, which didn’t make him fun to be around. Vernon is his grandfather, who turns out to be an abusive Bible thumper. Mary is his wife, who I can’t say much about besides she puts up with him and seems to be a bit nicer. Harmony is the girl he has a crush on, who I can’t say a lot about, either. Grace is her protective sister, who is painted in a bad light because she’s protective but she’s probably the best character in the book. We don’t see enough of most of them to form an attachment.
When Vernon is first introduced, Remedy seems to have happy memories of visiting him, but once we find out he’s a Bible thumper he turns into nothing else. We never see the side that Remedy seems to have better memories of. Mary seems to exist because he’s required to have a wife.
Harmony exists to be a love interest, and Grace exists to get in the way. The characters all felt like they were playing those exact parts and didn’t have much more to them.
There was another smaller thing that was bothering me.
“Remedy,” something spoke. The voice was more like a hiss rather than a solid sound.
“Let me in,” the man hissed.
“Honey,” the demon hissed.
It kept saying ‘hiss’, but then there weren’t any “S’s”. Normally I’ll brush off this sort of thing, but it happened a few times so it distracted me.
Eventually, the demon possesses Remedy’s body and starts using him. He never feels scary. This was actually the part of the book where I almost wanted to roll my eyes, because the demon senses that Harmony is a virgin and, of course, tries to rape her. I just sighed at that part, especially because there’s nothing in the book that suggests the demon would even care. It’s just there because ‘demon’, and that’s supposed to be a good enough excuse.
I will say that considering the plot of the rest of the book, I do sort of like the ending. I think it could have used more explaining – we get hints in the book, but we also get things that contradict those hints. I’m going to explain the ending here so if you don’t want that part spoiled then skip the next paragraph.
In the end, it turns out he’s been possessed for a long time and has been locked up in a mental hospital when he finally wakes up. This is hinted at as he goes through his possession and other versions of himself that he meets imply that he’s been stuck there for a long time. However, while he’s going through the torture in his mind, he also feels things that happen on the outside. When his body gets stabbed his shoulder hurts. So, they say he’s been there for a long time, and at the same time he feels things that are happening when Harmony and the others are fighting his possessed self, which would indicate that it’s happening at that time, not far into the future.
So, in the end, I didn’t feel a strong attachment to this book. I didn’t get a strong sense of characterization from anyone, and the plot seemed to exist as a backdrop for torture scenes. I think the ideas need a lot more work.
I give it about a 5/10.