Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Very Geeky Exorcism


Expected Publication: October 2nd, 2012
By: Sean Cummings
Strange Chemistry
ISBN-13: 9781908844101

15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.

   Julie Richardson is a witch in training who thinks that her Mom is overprotective.  But her reasons become apparent when Julie and her best friend Marcus try to do a routine exorcism for what they think is a poltergeist and all Hell breaks loose.  It turns out that it is a malevolent spirit, raised by another witch for unknown purposes.  But it seems to be targeting Julie and her Mom for some serious hurt.  Then Julie's Mom becomes a victim of the Endless Night spell, which takes away her soul and puts her in a coma.  Now it's up to Julie to learn the family secrets that have been kept from her, truly claim her powers and save her Mom from the verge of death.  Oh yeah and get rid of the malevolent spririt, which happens to be a famous and deadly witch hunter who has been dead for centuries!  Can Julie save her Mom with the help of Marcus and spirit helper Betty before its too late?  This book had a good start.  I think one of my favorite parts is when Julie traps the spirit in the teddy bear.  It made me laugh! :)  The sarcastic wit of both Julie and her friend Marcus are a refreshing change from most of the bland YA best friend duos I've had the misfortune to read about.  But a lot of the time dialogue felt very stilted and forced to me.  Also, Julie's relationship with her Mom seemed almost like an afterthought that suddenly became the main focus of the novel!  At first it's a routine exorcism and it turns into a discovery of family secrets, betrayl and destiny.  I enjoyed the family secrets, the betrayl was very trite and predictable and the destiny was mostly forgettable and unclear.  I was very annoyed by the romantic angst that Julie went through with Marcus for the last 2/3 of the book.  It was unnecessary and overall added nothing to the book, except for a half-baked explanation for the betrayl at the end.  I liked that the whole thing was a set-up by a con-woman who wanted to settle an old acount.  That was a nice touch.  Overall, an decent debut novel and a cute addition to the YA paranormal genre.  But I doubt I'll be reading the sequel if there is one.
VERDICT:  3/5  Stars
*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is October 2nd, 2012.*

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