Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Boy Who Killed Demons -- Dave Zeltserman

What if you woke up one day after you'd just turned 13 and realized that you could see demons?  You'd probably be pretty worried, and so is Henry Dudlow, whose journal makes up the text of The Boy Who Killed Demons.  Henry's very bright, but he's so worried that he does a lot of research on mental illness before he decides that he's really seeing demons.  These demons, by the way, appear to everyone else as normal human beings.  Henry sees them as they really are.

After deciding that he's not mentally ill, Henry has to make other decisions, like what to do about the demons.  He can't tell his parents, who are conventional types not likely to believe their son is seeing infernal creatures.  His classmates certainly wouldn't.  So Henry decides to go it alone.  He does a lot of research, both into demonology and into current events.  What he learns in the latter pursuit makes him realize that he has to kill as many of the demons as he can.  Doing that will require more than just bravery; it will require special knowledge and weaponry.

It's hard enough to be a teenager without having an extra burden like Henry's, and it costs him plenty in terms of his relationships with his parents, his friends, and his first girlfriend.  Not to mention the cops.

Henry's journal makes for a fast-moving story told in straightforward prose.  There's plenty of suspense and lots of chapter cliffhangers that make the book hard to put down.  Zeltserman comes up aces again, with just the book for your Halloween reading.  Check it out.

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