Fifteen-year-old Chance has been abused, betrayed, and beaten for 8 years. Sold by his father into slavery to a demon, he's been forced to perform dark magic for his demon master. His aura is rotten. His soul is doomed. But his life isn't over. Chance summons the strength and wit to break free from his dark bonds, only to be thrust into a world where magic and darkness continue to follow him.
This was a terrific book, and I liked it quite a bit. In fact, I've already recommended my daughter read this book. The characters have depth and are well-drawn, motivations are clear. The plot is well paced, with excellent tension in all the right places. The bad guys are bad, the good guys good, and our main character is stuck in a gray world where a good guy can do bad things. I absolutely loved that.
A word of warning to younger readers: there is a bit of cussing...not that I mind, of course, I've been known to sling a few off-color words in my day, but some people care about that sort of thing.
"The bed was on the left wall, a little desk as opposite the door, and there was a dresser on the right. There was a boxy little machine on the desk, and a dozen spools of thread. The dresser looked like it was supplying the desk's thread habit, and also like it was pimping out yarn and cloth on the side, too."
That's just a taste of the delightful imagery that the author has sprinkled throughout this book like dew drops on rose petals. It was a real treat to read his clever prose. I could have bookmarked page after page and filled my blog spot with examples...but I won't.
Okay, so here's what bothered me.
I had trouble following the ages. Our MC is fifteen, and he's a sophomore in high school. Most of the kids he encounters drive, which make them sixteen, and I assumed they were all sophomores (though their ages/grades are never made clear)...yet the leader bad boy was mentioned as a freshman. I guess he could have been held back a year, or maybe the reference was to the guy's previous year. The whole issue was not made clear and left a clueless kind of residue in my mind. And yes, it bothered me, because I kept trying to figure out how old everyone was, and in what grade.
Also, the younger sister seemed as though she was maybe twelve years old...but by my calculations she couldn't have been more than seven or eight. And one flash-back dream sequence, when Chance was seven, started out sounding seven, but ended with thoughts and obsevations more atuned to an older kid, say fifteen. I think the young voices were a little lost.
And the type font is too small!
Regardless, the pros far out-weigh the cons. I hope this is a first book in a series, because I will definitely continue reading if there is more to come.