Demon: A Memoir
By Tosca Lee
Genre: Christian Fiction
Published 2010, B & H Publishing Group
Paperback, 276 pages
Recently divorced and mired in a meaningless existence, Clay drifts from his drab apartment to his equally lusterless job as an editor for a small Boston press--until the night Lucian finds him and everything changes with the simple words, "I'm going to tell you my story, and you're going to write it down and publish it."What begins as a mystery soon spirals into chaotic obsession as Clay struggles to piece together Lucian's dark tale of love, ambition, and grace--only to discover that the demon's story has become his own. And then only one thing matters: learning how the story ends.This book is creepy, intriguing, and haunting from beginning to end. I am not a fan of horror per say, but this book was absolutely fantastic in a horrific kind of way. I have read Tosca Lee's other book, Havah, and I was just as impressed by Lee's style of writing in this book. Her descriptions are vivid and incredible. I can easily discern that the work she puts into the background information is both from intense study as well as a wonderful imagination.
I have read lots of fantasy, including some with the occasional "demon," but no demon has come close to the terror that Lucian evokes - both the fanatical hatred and disgust for mankind that is slowly revealed throughout the plot and the way that he takes any form, any body, to appear to Clay, the main character. At the same time, Lucian is as fascinating as any dictator, terrorist, or serial killer can be, and I am as morbidly curious with his obsession with telling Clay his story as Clay himself is. While I personally believe that Lee's portrayal of the demon is in reality not very accurate - he is too much like a human for starters, the character in the book is still the most unique "demon" that I have ever read in fiction.
Lee does an excellent job of keeping the story of Creation as close to the Biblical text as possible, while filling it with all the imagery of first-hand experience. As many times as I have read the Biblical account, Lucian's retelling of it, interspersed with Clay's false memories, made the story come alive for me in a whole new way. Lee covers topics using this story-telling that have often sparked my curiosity when reading the scriptures, such as the angels being with God before the creation of man or even the existence of time, exactly what triggered the fall, or even what it was like to do nothing but the purpose the angels were created for. I often had to put the book down just to contemplate some of these things that she addresses with the plot.
Even though there were no loose ends to speak of, I was still a bit disappointed when the book ended. I wanted Lee to draw out Clay's fate and describe it in all its excruciating detail to the very end, instead of the implications of what happens to him with Lucian's parting words and the letter in the epilogue. But the message I gathered from this ending is like a warning to the reader - to beware that Clay's fate is not the same as that of the reader's.
The Cover: A appropriately creepy cover that fits the premise of the book perfectly.
First Line: "It was raining the night he found me."
This opening is either incredibly boring, or an awesome foreshadowing, depending on how I interpret it.
Favorite Quote: "I had come to the end of the story only to find that it was no story at all. That my childhood training in the stuff of myth was a living and breathing reality."
Read For: Off The Shelf Challenge, I Want More Challenge
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*