Welcome, one and all, to another MDM Projects book review. Today, I’m looking at Daimonion by JP Jackson. By way of disclosure, I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review. I should also point out that the book is currently available from NineStar Press, who also published my novel Addict.
Background: JP Jackson is a Canadian author of LGBT fantasy and horror, and Daimonion (released 10th July 2017) is his first full length novel. Outside this, he also appears in NineStar Press’s ‘Into The Mystic’ anthology, due for release on 31st July 2017.
Daimonion tells the story of Dati Amon, a demon tasked with hunting down children that hold latent demon blood. After a botched job some years ago, Dati finds himself reunited with the man the child he failed to retrieve has now become, and things are about to get very complicated. Dati’s Master has plans in mind, and dark schemes have been set in motion. The question is, can a series of unlikely alliances gain Dati his freedom?
The Good: As this is a book about a demon, it seems logical to talk about the demons that appear in the book first. I cannot stress enough how much work has clearly been done in terms of this. In some instances, such as with Dati, the author has created whole new species. In other cases, he has taken more commonly recognised character types, such as witches and shapeshifters, and given them a new spin. This combination ensures that the book has an eminently fresh feel to it rather than simply treading familiar floorboards in terms of setting.
But how do the demons come across as characters? Well, Dati is a surprisingly sympathetic lead. The superb opening chapter really sets the tone for the character, and gives us a clear glimpse of the internal conflict that he feels when out on a job. As the book progresses, we also get to see him struggle with his nature, strive to set himself free of servitude, and forge friendships with a myriad of unlikely allies. Of all the characters in the novel, he is by far my favourite, and is certainly the one that is given the most time to develop. That’s not to say that the other characters are abandoned in this respect though, and the young witch Jenae in particular is an interesting addition to the series.
Praise also needs to be given to JP Jackson’s ability to create vivid images of the magical aspects of the world. Demonic transformations, magical conflicts and the different forms that the characters take are all described in such a way that it’s hard not to get a clear picture in your head.
The book breezes by as well, and you’re unlikely to find any moments where you’re bored or wanting to skip ahead. This is a definite positive for me, and one that made it very easy to read through quite quickly. Any book that lets you get that easily lost within has plenty going for it in my eyes.
The Bad: This is a tough one to broach as the only things that I could view as relatively negative with the book are such that they won’t be detractors for everyone. Case in point, the clear pictures that the writing throws up for you may be problematic for some during the more gore laden scenes. It is also worth noting that the theme of incest is raised, and though this is neither depicted nor shown as being in any way positive, the fact that it’s there will be off putting for some. By the same token, the fact that Dati first saw Alyx as a child and then found himself to be attracted to him as an adult has the potential to make readers uncomfortable. These are less criticisms and more content warnings though.
I did feel that Alyx perhaps came across as a little less developed than the other characters. This was a shame as the other POV characters were so well rounded. If I want to be picky, I’d say that I’m more of a fan of positive depictions of satyrs too, but I’m not going to deduct marks for something so trivial when the rest of the book was such a fun romp through a dark world.
Final View: Daimonion is a quick, easy read that pulls you along on an often times very dark story. Dati Amon is an excellent companion for this trip, and his plight is one that will draw you in and leave you wanting more. Providing none of the themes already mentioned put you off, this one is well worth a look in.
Final Score: 4 / 5