Daemon Seer is an expertly written, highly engaging page turner that is much more than a simple thriller. Its smooth prose and superb handling of the nature of drug addiction and the after effects of trauma give it the quality of literary fiction. Daemons normally mark a book as fantasy, but this novel is too real for that label to do it justice; the daemon’s relationship to human depravity gives their presence more a metaphysical than a fantastical function.
The story is tight, tense and dark, but there is hope there, not the melodramatic kind, the real, hard-won kind born of the determination to survive and to keep caring. There are no quick fixes in this story, no easy answers and no saccharine endings. This is as messy and gritty as life must be when evil walks on two legs and is out to get you.
True 5 star books show their quality early on, and this one certainly did. The author’s ability to write clean, concise and elegant prose was immediately obvious. Her words flow with the confidence of a seasoned writer, and she expertly weaves description into the action in such a way that we feel we are right there in the action, experiencing the scenes with all our senses, not just reading about them.
By the 20% mark the author had the whole story set up. The protagonist and antagonist were clear, the main complications (the daemons and their relationship to the central character) were established, the game was set and I was already invested in Lu’s survival. This is how such books should be. The story and relationships became more complex as the book progressed and it built to a dramatic and powerful conclusion. I cannot fault the craftsmanship in this one at all.
Right from the beginning, there was never a moment where I was tempted to put the book aside, a sign of excellent pacing and engaging action. And the characters leap off the page as real people with believable flaws, insecurities, hopes and fears.
I highly recommend it for anyone who likes a good gritty thriller and I nominate it for an AIA Seal of Excellence.