Skip to main content

Book Review: The Boy Who Could See Demons

Wow.

The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke is quite extraordinary. I could not put this book down once I started it.

Alex is a young and troubled boy, growing up impoverished under the care of his mother, Cindy, in Belfast, Ireland. His father has abandoned them through a sudden and traumatic event that is slowly teased out of Alex's memory as the novel progresses; meanwhile his mother wrestles with depression and self-harming tendencies. Cindy's most recent suicide attempt brings Alex under the lens of the local authorities, and Anya Molokova takes over as his primary psychiatrist. Soon Anya discovers that Alex believes himself to be surrounded by demons and one of them, Ruen, has established a particularly close and disturbing relationship with the boy. As Anya gets pulled deeper into Alex's life and bonds with the boy in an attempt to properly diagnose him she asks the important questions: 

What does Ruen represent for Alex? 
Is Ruen a manifestation of schizophrenia?
Can something be done to rid Alex of Ruen?

But soon, Ruen, speaking through Alex, begins to turn the inquiry toward Anya. Alex begins to question Anya about events that seemingly no one else knows about. In turn, Anya begins to question whether Ruen might actually be who Alex claims he is. She is haunted by the memories of the life and death of own daughter and she begins to find it difficult to emotionally separate her patient and his increasingly bizarre and dangerous episodes of apparent self-harm from her feelings surrounding her daughter's mental illness and suicide. 

Jess-Cooke shifts between the voice of Alex and that of Anya frequently, giving them alternating chapters in the novel. This technique provides readers with the ability to really get a feel for each of these characters from the inside looking out and it works very well to build the suspense and keep the thrilling pace.

At the height of a dramatic scene that finds Alex and Anya alone in a room together at the local inpatient mental facility, Jess-Cooke turns the plot suddenly in a surprising direction to conclude the story.  Very well written and very effective. I love this book! Buy this book! Read this book! 

Also, this definitely needs to be made into a movie. This would be an excellent movie. Are you paying attention Hollywood?


 The Boy Who Could See Demons will be released on August 13, 2013. Find it at Amazon.com or your local bookseller.
  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Board Game Review: Hues and Cues

Last week we received Hues and Cues from The Op Games. We recently finished playing through Scooby-Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion (a fantastic game in The Op Games catalogue designed by Jay Cormier, Sen-Foong Lim, and Kami Mandell that you should absolutely pick up to play with your family) and wanted to give another game from the same publisher a go. I picked Hues and Cues because I’ve been pleasantly surprised by other “test whether our minds think the same way” games such as The Mind   and Wavelength. In Hues and Cues , players gather around a large central board comprised of 480 graduating colors of the rainbow surrounded by an x-y axis and scoring table. White and black (which are technically not colors) are conspicuously absent as are shades (mixtures of color + black; e.g., grey) and tints (mixtures of color + white; e.g., cream).  On each player’s turn, they draw a card with four colors and the x-y axis codes of those colors depicted and they select one. They are in the

Board Game Review: Lost Cities Roll & Write (A Comparison to the Original Lost Cities)

I really love the card game Lost Cities , designed by Reiner Knizia. When my husband Christopher and I were first getting to know each other, we used to meet up at Starbucks sometimes and play games. Lost Cities was one of our frequent picks. It’s a head to head, two player game in which both players are trying to outscore each other by laying down ascending runs of card suits on a small board between the two of them. There’s a theme laid over the mechanism (completing expeditions in the lost world) but it’s basically pasted on and so that is the last we will speak of it. So there we were, newly in love, eyeing each other across the table, smiling and flirting, and doing our best to beat one another at Lost Cities . It was awesome. And now, with the roll & write genre having made an impressive rebound a few years ago (let’s not forget the mechanism has actually been around since the 50s with Yatzee ), Knizia has ported his award winning game Lost Cities   into this format, releasi

Board Game Review: Brass Birmingham

Here’s a story of a lovely lady (spoiler: it’s me) and her pride and how it has led to the discovery of the single greatest board game I have ever played. It’s probably also a good primer for other reviewers on increasing your reach. At GenCon this year, I was perusing the wares of the various booths and my eyes caught a glimpse of two beautiful game boxes. Each had crisp metallic lettering with an old world feel and artwork that radiated European class. I made my way to the booth and waited patiently to speak to to the team manning it as there were many buyers lined up to purchase the games. I didn’t know anything about the games (Brass Birmingham and Brass Lancashire), or the publisher – Roxley Game Laboratory – but I knew I wanted to review one or both of the games. Almost every board game love story I star in in can be summed up this way: I am seduced by the artwork or theme and then I stay for the right mechanics. When the lead rep spoke with me, he gently rejected my request. He