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The Daemon World, #0

Lisa Duncan is spending some time with her Aunt and Uncle, who own the Hidden Creek Lodge, a small, isolated resort in Utah. The teenager, a beautiful fifteen-year-old, had gotten into trouble back home so her parents sent her away, hoping to remove and protect her from the bad influence of wild friends. Instead, Lisa becomes the target of a deranged killer and the idyllic resort becomes his playground.

Lisa meets a strange, introverted girl about her own age soon after arriving at the resort. The two girls have little in common but become friends because other options are non-existent. Lu Jakes is the daughter of a couple of low-life’s who work at the resort. Lu’s stepmother is an abusive, alcoholic and her father is generally oblivious to the fact that his daughter is systematically mistreated and beaten by his wife. Lu also attracts the killer’s attention, but for a different reason.

At first, I felt as if I was scrambling to catch up even though the story had just started. That changed, however, after Lisa and Lu met. After that, I found myself compulsively flipping the pages as I became enthralled in the story and the diabolical planning and actions of a madman. This book has some exceptionally dark passages that I found very disturbing. There were several times when the point of view abruptly changed. When that happened I was yanked out of the entrancement that had ensnared me and was forced to contend with a few seconds of disorientation. These interruptions were unwelcome; they played havoc with the cadence and flow of the story through my mind.

I never really grasped the reason for the supernatural elements in this novel. I am still clueless as to Talion’s true identity. Is he an angel, a fairy, or simply a figment of an abused child’s imagination? Talion is often accompanied by two other entities – Black Claw, who has the form of a bird, and Delatar, who seems snake-like in appearance. I feel that the supernatural elements are too elusive. I would have preferred to have seen these characters better developed. Two main characters in this book are teenagers but this is most certainly not a book for young, teenage readers. It contains some graphic, descriptive and detailed scenes of violence and abuse. The prose is powerful; also, not recommended for squeamish readers.

Book Blurb for Talion

Meet Rad Sanders, the most terrifying serial killer you will ever encounter, in a thriller unlike any you have ever read…

Lu Jakes lives with her alcoholic father and abusive stepmother, Noreen, at Hidden Creek Lodge in the Utah mountains. When the beautiful Lisa is sent by her protective parents to stay at the lodge for the summer, Lu makes her first real friend – dangerously unaware that Lisa’s is not the only new face at the resort.

For Lisa has been followed by Rad Sanders, a sadistic killer who has plans for the girls – sick plans that will drag them and their families to the very brink of hell. Rad stalks Lu and Lisa, waiting for his moment, certain that his deadly plan cannot fail.

But unknown to Rad, Lu has a secret. She can see things that nobody else can see: the spirit Talion and his companions. But are these spirits real or a trick of the mind? And will Lu’s special gift help her and Lisa as the killer closes in…

A gripping, intense tale of friendship, family and dark desires, TALION is a book that will make you want to sleep with all the lights on – if you can sleep at all.

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2011 3.50