Book: Possess by Gretchen McNeil
Published August 2011|Published by Balzer + Bray|243 pages|Purchased for my Nook
Series? No (but there seem to be rumors of a sequel)
Genre: YA/Paranormal- Demons
Goodreads.com Summary: Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.
Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons’ plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.
I really liked Possess. I thought the whole exorcism thing was a really interesting, and also pretty unique as far as Watchers and angels and demons go.
I loved the history behind the Nephilim and the fallen angels- having Bridget go to Catholic school and being trained by a Monsignor who works at her school really made it a lot more believable. All that history made it a lot more interesting to me, because you get a sense of the history behind everything.
I liked Bridget as a character, and I liked seeing her try to deal with everything that she learns. And Father Santos was also pretty interesting- I loved the connection he had to her dad, and that he was a good guy. I liked the relationship Bridget had with her brother Sammy- she seems like a great older sister.
Something that seemed a little out of place was Bridget’s friend Peter. He definitely had a crush on her, but by the end of the book, he just got a little too weird. He seemed like this quiet, shy guy, and then all of a sudden, he’s freaking out because she goes to Winter Formal with someone else? His death seemed randomly thrown in, like McNeil wanted a connection to the death of Bridget’s dad. It wasn’t really explained, so it felt like it was just there.
Also, it was really easy to figure out who the bad guy was, so it wasn’t as suspenseful as I expected. But while it was predictable, it was an enjoyable kind of predictable.
Final thoughts: Basically, I really liked Possess. It’s definitely a good Halloween read, and I loved that exorcisms/banishments were really important, and more importantly, you get a sense of history and ritual while not being hit over the head with it. The thing with Peter seemed really random, but overall, Possess was a very enjoyable read. It gets 4 stars.