"Sixteen-year-old Nick knows that demons are real. Magicians call up demons in exchange for their power. The demons can appear in any shape, show you marvels, promise you anything - until you invite them in and receive their mark. What happens next? First you get possessed. Then you die.
Nick's been on the run his whole life, ever since his mother stole a charm from the most feared magician of them all, and the only person he trusts is his brother Alan. Alan's just been marked by a demon. Only Nick can save him, but to do so he must face the magicians - and kill them. The hunt is on, and Nick's going to discover things he never dreamed were out there."
This is the first book of a trilogy, and it's one I've heard a lot of for a while as being really good. But it was one of those ones I wasn't sure about trying, but figured I'd get to eventually. Then a friend of mine read it and said she thought it was really good so I pushed it up the list, expecting a good read. Sadly, it really wasn't.
The book was predictable from beginning to end. It took me maybe 2 chapters to figure out the 'big secret' that was going to be revealed near the end. It wasn't particularly badly written, but I didn't think much of the characters. They were all pretty flat and generic, nothing about them really standing out to me. The only times I felt there was real life between any of them, was when Nick was arguing with Mae, the girl both brothers fancy (which, really, did they both have to like her?). What I really didn't get, was how Nick didn't figure out something was 'off' so much sooner. It's not like there weren't neon signs along the way. Alan annoyed me a lot. He was ridiculously self sacrificing, too soft, too manipulative. Brother and sister Jamie and Mae weren't a whole lot better.
They went to Nick and Alan looking for help. Jamie had been marked by a demon and they wanted to know how to get rid of it. Nick grudgingly agreed to help only because Alan insisted, which he did mostly because he wanted a date with Mae. Jamie was almost constantly afraid of Nick, which given Nick's behaviour is not surprising, but it was tiring. Mae was constantly switching from snapping at Nick to trying to be kind and helpful to both brothers, whilst protecting her own. Nothing really wrong with her, but again I just didn't feel there was much to her, or any of them.
The book had it's slow moments where it switched to explaining things for a little while, which when I really wasn't enjoying the book too much, dragged. But there is a fair bit of action and it moves along fairly quickly for the most part. I didn't think much of the 'final showdown' because I thought all 4 main characters really weren't smart doing what they did, how they did.
I didn't hate the book or anything, and I did finish it without too much effort. But I was really left with an overall 'meh' sense about it. I didn't much of it at all, and I really doubt I'll be reading the rest of the trilogy. A shame, because I'd been hoping for more from this. But it just really wasn't my cup of tea. I can see why some people like it, but for me, I just could not like the characters enough to care about their reactions to the 'big reveal' at the end. That's what the pulling factor was meant to be, and it just wasn't there for me. Could have been worse, but it could have been so much better. 4/10