In this contemporary horror/fantasy novel, a Canadian woman confronts her destiny when a demon claims her as his queen.
Kyra Parker, 35, has been trying to live a normal life with her husband, James Parker, and 8-year-old son, Xavier. She and her best friend, Alexis Bennett, are secretly witches, but Kyra doesn’t talk anymore about the bad dreams and strange events that she experienced in her childhood. Her attempt at normalcy ends when she’s kidnapped and brutally beaten by associates of Alastor, a mesmerizingly handsome demon, straight out of her nightmares, who wants her to rule the world alongside him. “Dreams of angels, demons, magic, war, blood, death—and the fear and hope that accompanied them” soon come flooding back to her, and she’s forced to accept his demands in order to protect family members and friends who’ve also been kidnapped. Thus Kyra becomes demonic herself, wreaking havoc with Alastor, bringing down governments, and building an army of released convicts. Soon her friends and their new allies, including a priest and two other mysterious figures, organize a resistance movement, guided by a prophecy that Kyra’s special heritage will allow her to overcome Alastor’s evil. But first, they must reclaim her from Alastor’s terrible influence. Debut author Tollefson often keeps up a quick pace in this story, which delivers plenty of gory supernatural action and a dash of eroticism. She also handles dialogue and description with facility. However, the large size of the cast sometimes slows things down, as does the fact that several characters have similar names (such as Alexis, Axel, and Alastor). It’s also problematic during fight scenes, as readers sometimes have to track half a dozen characters or more through complicated choreography. The sections that explain supernatural background information, such as magical rules and their exceptions, also drag. That said, the novel’s spirit of resistance to evil will resonate with many readers even if its graphically described scenes of blood, torture, and suffering don’t appeal to everyone.
A violent, dramatic, and ultimately hopeful debut despite some pacing issues.