Tanja reviews Hideous by Devon McCormack (published by Harmony Ink Press; June 18, 2014).
Why I read it: The blurb drew me to the book- a paranormal story combined with Young Adult- I had to read it.
This copy was provided by the author for free in exchange for an honest review.
Eight years ago, Luke Retter witnessed the brutal murder of his mother and sister at the hands of his demon-possessed father. He survived but lost a hand and an eye. The demon also burned its emblem into his skin. Those marked by a demon are called curseds and are at risk of becoming possessed themselves, so they are monitored and enslaved by the state-run UCIS. Working as a slave is hard, but Luke prefers it to the possibility of being controlled by a demon.
Then one night, he wakes to find his worst nightmare coming true. His father’s demon has come for him. He runs to the only person who might be able to help him: Zack, a cursed who ran away from the state and created an underground community to protect other fugitive curseds. Zack helps him suppress the demon. But as the UCIS closes in on Zack and Luke’s demon crafts its own, nefarious plot, Luke realizes that he must take a stand.
Luke witnessed the killings of his mother and sister at the hand of his father, who was possessed by a demon. As a result of that he was cursed and grew up in an envoirement closely watched and enslaved by the state-run UCIS. He had no say regarding himself, just work and follow orders. All under the pretense to keep him and especially the other non-cursed humans save. My feelings toward Luke are ambivalent. On one hand I understood perfectly well why he is the way he is but his repeatedly self-pity parties annoyed me after a time. Nonetheless I enjoyed walking with Luke through his live as well as watch him take his life in his own hands.
The demon aspect in this book was a new angle for me. I really liked the whole cursed/possessed thing, what that exactly means and the consequences of it. The dialogue between Luke and his father´s demon was great and the information I got from that conversation was highly appreciated, since it shed an additional light on the world this author created.
Last but not least, let´s not forget the romance aspect in this story. First it´s not a romance per se, that part is rather secondary to the other things but Luke has two maybe lovers. Who of those it will be in the end you have to read for yourself ;). I liked both characters, each of them has their own mysterious parts and I just couldn´t figure out whom I wanted to have on Luke´s side. Well until near the end, then it´absolutely clear.
If you like pnr and ya stories this one is for you. The writing is good and the world the author created is really intriguing.
8/10 pots of gold
A gay man himself, McCormack focuses on gay male characters, adding to the immense body of literature that chooses to represent and advocate gay men’s presence in media. His body of work ranges from erotica to young adult, so readers should check the synopses of his books before purchasing so that they know what they’re getting into.
twitter username: devon_mccormack