mammonReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

Joe and Grace have to quickly adapt when their world is rocked by their parents’ deaths. It turns out that the family is part of a group of demon hunters called sarsareh, and Joe just happens to have a very rare skill that the powerful demon Mammon is willing to kill for–in fact, he’s killed many previous boys like Joe, in addition to Joe’s parents.

Joe and Grace are taken into the fold of the sarsareh and taught to manage their skills. But if Joe doesn’t get his temper under control, he may not be able to use his gift the way it is intended to be used. Grace is also an integral part of the team, with her telepathic powers, if she can get out of her own way. Joe and Grace must prepare to take on Mammon, who is stronger than they could have imagined.

While I felt that Mammon started off well, I ultimately thought that it had a lot of potential that it just failed to reach. 

Events start out moving rather swiftly, and we are given a small window where Joe and Grace learn about their powers. Then the kids’ parents are killed, and they aren’t really given time to grieve. They get to the training facility, and enemies and friends are made without much rhyme or reason. While I appreciate a fast-moving plot, I don’t like it when the relationships between people are rushed. I felt this was the case with nearly every one in the book.

The main characters, Grace and Joe, are close in age but don’t seem to be very close to each other. They are quite different; while Joe is hot-tempered and often acts without thinking first, Grace is more introverted and even a little insecure. Grace is involved in a romance, but it felt kind of forced to me…another one of those relationships that didn’t develop in the pages.

The most interesting character is actually the villain, Mammon. He’s cunning, suave, and skilled in getting people to do things they don’t want to do. I liked watching the way he worked people, even if his intentions were purely evil. He gave the most lively scenes in the novel.

This book ended up being somewhat of a disappointment in my eyes. There were so many things and events that I wish would have been explained better. A lot of major plot points came out of left field. I liked that Joe and Grace had unique supernatural powers, but I would have liked to see them do more with those powers. I know this is the first book in a series, and perhaps the author will improve upon things in forthcoming novels.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Carrie runs the blog Sweet Southern Home, and is a stay at home wife and mom to one little boy. When she’s not reading, she’s usually watching Netflix with her husband, playing outside with her son, or baking. Her family would describe her as sometimes annoyingly sarcastic, but mostly lovable. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Random House Australia. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.