Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review: Possess

Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity.
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

I'm a little late to this party, but I finally got around to reading Possess! Which I'm not sure what I thought this book was about, but I had no idea it involved fallen angels, demon kings and priests.

Once I started Possess I couldn't stop.  The book was creepy; not scary-creepy, but oh man please don't tell me what's happening is really happening creepy.  Like with Bridget's friend Peter.  How his story eventually turns out I won't spoil, but you can see it building almost from the first time he appears.  And given everything that was happening to Bridget I can understand why she kept brushing it off as 'weird', but it felt under developed.  We didn't get to know Peter as a person before everything hit the fan, so when it played out I sort of shrugged and wondered why Bridget didn't notice more.

I liked that we saw Matt and Bridget's friendship sort of rekindle simply because he persisted in trying to protect her.  He's not quite stalking her, though Bridget certainly makes it sound like he is (his dad is a police officer and old friend of Bridget's father).  Bridget insisted to him she was okay, but her body language (and tone of voice) sent a different message. 

Hector and Brad were good secondary foils, while Bridget's mother seemed to suffer from the same problem Buffy's did (in that she noticed Bridget's "bad behavior" but didn't try to understand it) and I think, but I can't be sure, Sammy was meant to be autistic in some manner.  Its never directly said, just mainly how Bridget dealt with him, his reactions and the over protectiveness of their mother.

Honestly this felt more like the beginning to a series than a stand alone novel.  There's quite a bit left sort of ambiguous--the Darlingtons for instance, and while there was a closure to the mystery I didn't feel satisfied at the end like I should have. 

This is really more of a 3.5 for me, but the creep factor (especially in the doll store) was enough to earn this four stars.