The second volume of Gemmill’s (The Demon Conspiracy, 2015) YA fantasy series about demons plotting world domination from their cavern lair.
Chantilly, Virginia, was rocked by bizarre events in the previous installment, which centered on Pandora’s Cave in Crystal Creek Park. After a cave-in, 13-year-old Kelly Bishop; her brothers Jon (age 17) and Travis (age 10); their adoptive father, Chris McCormick; and several teachers barely escaped. Some of the survivors began leading odd new lives: Chris, for example, decided to create a drink called “Majik Juice,” which is sweeping the nation; Jon, meanwhile, now speaks with a British accent and performs astonishing street magic in New York City’s Times Square. Could these transformations have anything to do with the demonic horde that the group found within the cave? Kelly filmed those demons, and Dr. Mark Parrish has agreed to work with the damaged video recorder to restore the footage and prove their existence to the world. Then there’s Will Merritt, who’s been having horrible dreams in which he prepares to assassinate a young girl at a crowded rally. As he questions his sanity, a seemingly telepathic source keeps telling him that “You will save humanity from injustice!” In this sequel, the situation for Gemmill’s characters grows increasingly dire, yet fun remains the focus. Everything is connected, from the Rev. Beth-Ann Foster’s speeches about the world ending within five years to architect Anton Edwards’ superstructures, and readers will enjoy watching Kelly and company wade through sticky, black demon blood to find answers. As in the previous volume, the author stirs in some light science, such as Dr. Carl Merrit’s discovery of the “Fountain of Youth” genes for immortality. There’s also commentary on humanity’s penchant for tolerating malicious prophets, as in the line, “when you went around telling people the world would end...they tended to listen.” In true sequel tradition, Gemmill returns to Pandora’s Cave with something bigger and nastier than demons. A surprise time-travel element and further exploration of the siblings’ talents (such as the aforementioned telepathy) promise to invigorate the next installment.
An excellent sequel that solves some mysteries and introduces new ones.