On paper I should hate this book. Set in a dystopian future where the Church has taken over the world in a bid to rid it of the soul sucking demons that tried to take over civilisation. It is a dark and heavily regimented society with strict rules being enforced regarding marriage, citizens are forced to apply for licences to have children and the lack of available souls for new children being born.
Sixteen year old Nina Kane and her fifteen year old sister Mellie lead a secretive existence. Their mother spends most of her time in bed and has failed to provide for her children for several years now. If the church found out they would be taken in care. An option that nobody wants. They get by through devising scams to provide clothing and stealing food to keep the family going. Nina does whatever she can to keep Mellie safe.
One day Nina is creeping through the back alleys of her neighbourhood and realises that she is being followed. Her stalker is one of the demons known as a Degenerate. Before she realises what has happened someone else comes out of the shadows and exorcises the demon from the body. This is very different to the exorcisms performed by the church and Nina starts to wonder about what she has seen.
When Mellie admits to Nina that she has committed a grievous sin suddenly they are both in danger of being punished or indeed killed by the church for the infraction. Their survival hangs on Nina’s new found abilities and the band of outlaws that she comes across in her struggles.
Although this book is marketed as Young Adult fantasy there is much more to it than that. Complex believable characters complement a fantasy world that is dark and mysterious. It is a fast paced thriller that leads you along by the scruff of the neck and leaves you wanting more. Luckily the next installment is out on August 16th so not too long to wait!
Supplied by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.