Thursday, 19 July 2012

Possess By Gretchen McNeil

Release Date: 23rd August 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 379

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I want to start by saying how lovely this cover is. The picture doesn't do it much justice. In person it is awesome, It's probably one of my favourite covers of all time! Even my sister who doesn't read was drawn to the cover, she actually stroked it! That's the power it has. Now onto the book, the idea for this book is great, it's not original but it is unique, McNeil has put her own spin on demon hunters and angels. I did enjoy this book but I found that many things could have been improved. The beginning of this book was rather slow, I know we were learning about the background of the characters but it was so slow. Nothing jumped out at me and made me want to hang on to the book. I kept reading because of the good reviews. The ending I can say was the best part, where the action picked up but it still felt like it was lacking something. It was rather rushed and the answers always came too easy. It could have been developed better.

Possess follows Bridget Liu, who can hear demons and only she has the power to banish them. With the help of the local priest, she leans to control her abilities but the scary thing is she enjoys this power over demon. She likes the way it makes her feel, powerful. She tries to push it aside but it's who she is. When more and more demonic possessions start popping up in the area, Bridget is pulled in neck deep. She's the only one who can stop them. A startling message is received from one of the demons, and the message shakes her world. Things were never as they seemed. Add to that the murder of her friend, she realises that the demons are closer then ever.

Now Bridget is an odd character. I liked how she wouldn't take any crap, and how she was strong headed but she treated her friends and family rather horribly. It was a real love/hate relationship between her and I. Sometimes I liked her, others I wanted to slap here. Despite that she was the best character in the book. One of the huge problems I had with the book was the rest of the characters because they were so flat. They were flimsy and forgettable, lots of times I had to think about who each character was. Especially Bridget's friends they were so fake, it was disappointing. Then Matt the love interest, I hated him so much. He's a jock and an old friend of Bridget's but they haven't spoke for years. All of a sudden he is back and he wants Bridget. I hated how protective he was, he wouldn't let Bridget stand on her own. He was a suck up and I really don't see how Bridget fell for him. At the start of the book she hated him.

Posses is meant to be a YA horror/ paranormal novel. At times, especially when Bridget was banishing demons it was spooky but I wouldn't call it horror. It didn't make my heart pound, we just saw the slight fear through the main characters eyes. At times we saw some horror shine through and that was great but there needed to be more of it and it could have been developed better. I really liked the mystery of what Bridget was and how it all tied to her fathers death, now that was interesting. I liked how all of those clues were tied together nicely.

Another thing that annoyed me was that Bridget received an anagram from some demons and she couldn't figure it out. Roll on her much younger brother and he figures it out first try. The message wasn't even that hard. She even googled it in anagram solvers. I don't understand how she couldn't figure it out but her younger brother did. Is he a genius? Oh and a much older priest couldn't piece it together either. I found this really annoying.

Anyway, I did enjoy this book. It had so much potential but it just didn't work. I realise that this is a debut novel so there will be mistakes but I think a little more time spent on this and it could have been brilliant. All the potential is there, it just needed tweaking a bit more. I liked the mystery and the way McNeil put her own spin on Demons. Possess was an enjoyable read with a really nice cover. I just had too many problems with it to enjoy it fully.

1 comment:

  1. Eeeks, I'm such a wimp when it comes to horror books and can never quite read them properly..especially hearing about Stephen King's It novel lol. But I'm glad you warned me about this one. I mean the title alone would get me to run away. Possession is so dang creepy. Wonderful review!


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