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Reviewed by:
  • Misfit
  • Claire Gross
Skovron, Jon. Misfit. Amulet/Abrams, 2011. 362p. ISBN 978-1-4197-0021-7 $16.95 R Gr. 9–12.

Jael is half-demon, but her father had the demon essence sucked out of her as a baby to prevent Bilial, a purity-obsessed demon bent on her destruction, from tracking her. When the full truth of her past is revealed and her demon essence restored, Jael decides to stay put and fight Bilial rather than spend her remaining years on the run; to that end, her demon uncle Dagon starts teaching her how to control her powers, which consist of being able to converse with and influence the elements (earth, air, fire, water, and spirit). Meanwhile, she’s trying to fly under the radar at her Catholic school (her father enlisted the Church in her protection years ago), even as things move sweetly forward with her crush, and as a kindly old professor, who turns out to be a former exorcist, sees right through her and then turns out to be completely psychotic. There’s an interesting parallel between the corruption Jael runs up against in the Catholic Church and the corruption that now rules the demon world, turning its dominant culture from pagan and wild and joyous to cruel and power-hungry. That the demons are former gods who “reflect what the world wants us to be” is a twist that recalls Gaiman’s American Gods, but Jael herself—a scrappy character with the powers and perception of a centuries-old demon but the instincts and experience of a sixteen-year-old girl—is wholly original and compelling in her own right. Occasional sparks of humor, such as a voodoo spirit’s dry comment that zombies can’t really eat demons, but they “just keep trying anyway,” add extra zing to this epic, action-packed hero tale.



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p. 111
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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