Daimonion by J.P. Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"But this is what I am bid to do. I am Dati Amon, a D'Alae, and we gather back the children who belong to us."
This is a well-executed story of conflict, horror, magic, and desire. Shape-shifters, witches, demons, creepy burrowing insects, elementals, satyrs and even a deliciously evil succubus make for a colourful cast of characters to guide readers through a beautifully described series of paranormal events, culminating in a satisfying end to Book I of the Apocalypse series.
I was most impressed by the skillful manner in which imaginative and unique magical goings-on were described. Certain paranormal tropes and clichés were explored in new and creative ways. Without giving too much away, I was particularly amazed by the wonderful descriptions of what happened to a certain character when encased in a demonic cocoon. Yes - the action and the magic are where words were extremely well spent in this novel! Bravo to the writer!
For me, the characters were solid but they didn't totally engross me. I didn't find myself emotionally invested in any one of them in particular. I enjoyed them well enough, but I didn't find a strong connection that had me dying to see what would happen to any of them in the future. The plot itself had me turning the page though, so this wasn't a major issue overall. I also think that as a reader who doesn't normally read this genre, I'm not quite the correct target audience for this cast of characters. I also suspect that most of the characters have a great deal of development ahead, so the author needed to save some of that for the next book, especially with Jenae.
The story feels well-planned. There's a strong sense that the author knows exactly where it will all lead in the future books, each thread weaved purposefully.
Overall, Daimonion is intriguing, confronting, action-packed, and intense.
"Perception and assumption ruled the human thought processes, and in their minds, they saw what made them comfortable."
As I said, I don't usually read horror, so I apologise if my review and rating were coloured by my own natural tastes/preferences.
A few warnings in case they're relevant to anyone: high level of gore and violence (really well written gore, I might add!) and some sexually confronting themes (they're not depicted, but referred to) such as incest.
I was provided with a free ARC in exchange for a review. The author was keen for me to be very honest in my comments.
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