It all comes together in the end in this exploration of a cult, but readers may wonder where this story is going until that point.
Seventeen-year old Harlow is the adopted daughter of the Patriarch of VisionCrest, a new religion so successful it claims one-quarter of the world’s population as followers. More interested in punk rock than religion, Harlow believes her father has simply invented the whole thing. As the story progresses, Harlow begins to understand that her father, if anything, has toned things down. As the presumed goddess that began it all decides to reassert herself, Harlow keeps hearing a female voice telling her to kill and has horrible visions of massacres all around her. As the leaders of the cult, along with Harlow and her friends, travel from Tokyo to Beijing, Harlow begins to realize that her father may not be in control. Worse, as she fights to find the secret source of the cult’s power, she ends up learning more about herself than she wanted to know. Miller presents an interesting, if gruesome, premise and leaves readers with a nifty ending that may just make the whole thing worth it. The path to that point seems a bit slippery, though, as she never really immerses readers in the cult, leaving readers without a solid anchor to the story.
It takes a while, but this should please horror fans. (Horror. 12 & up)