"Awake after a year-long coma, where he literally spent in hell, Caden Butcher, 17, developed a special power. He can speak to demons in their own language. This new trick helps him take over the family exorcism business, from his broken alcoholic father. Having to take care of the finances, Caden makes a decent income getting rid of demons. He’s known as the young whiz-kid exorcist to the stars, obtaining most of his work in Hollywood. But what others don't know is the exorcisms are all staged with the help of his best buddy, a demon he met in hell named Dantalion (Dan).
When an exorcism goes wrong, Caden discovers the demon inside a teen girl is not the run of the mill malicious entity but an adversary from down under who is hell bent on Caden’s destruction. The International Order of Exorcists, an organization that tolerates Caden at best because of his respected father, starts their own investigation because of his screw up.
Now with the help of his demon buddy, and Caden’s girlfriend Aspen Spencer, a skilled necromancer, Caden must track down the rogue demon before he can expose Caden as a fraud and destroy everything that matters to him in his life, ending his reign as the one and only Demon Whisperer."
- Format: Kindle ebook
- Page count: 223
- Would appeal to: Those who like supernatural elements, including zombies and demons
Caden Butcher. His name falls gracefully off the tongue. At first I thought it was weird but fitting, seeing as how he exorcises demons; but after a while, it perfectly fit his personality. A little sexy, a tad daring. The story is narrated by Caden, and it's sweet how much he likes his girlfriend Aspen. I could tell how much she turned him on, so I was surprised that his thoughts didn't go a little more into the great beyond of inappropriateness. His scheme with Dan to make a quick buck off the Hollywood elite is quite clever, and at times, he even had me convinced he'd done tons of real exorcisms in his 19 years. The infused Latin definitely gives an element of realism to the story. The plotline about the lack of closeness between Caden and his dad was also realistic, though it was still obvious he looked up to his dad in a huge way.
My favorite character was Dan, the demon freed from hell by Caden. He has a penchant for shoveling down pizza, which fits a gluttonous demon. A pretty nonchalant guy, he speaks as little as possible but has Caden's back when all is said and done. Plus, it's refreshing to find a good-looking character who doesn't flaunt his looks. I like the idea that just because he is a demon from hell, he isn't necessarily all bad. He was just trying to survive underground, the same as Caden.
Aspen was also a pretty kick-butt girl, an apprentice to her mom who raises the dead. Overall, the minor characters, including the coffeehouse girl Saleisha, were very two-dimensional-- the quirky sides of their personalities are well developed.
Stokes does a great job of revealing details in pieces so the reader craves more. I liked not knowing all about the inside (the seven layers of hell) until Caden's mind is ready to remember it.
I was a little surprised that the public in the story knew about zombies, but I shouldn't have been because everyone was so interested in demons.
Parts seemed slightly repetitive, especially the words "padded" (as in walking) and "folded" (as in folding pizza into the mouth). There are also far too many times Caden has to swallow bile that's rising in his throat or try to control the contents of his stomach from coming up. This makes him seem a little too sensitive, even though I liked knowing he was vulnerable and scared. Also, a few grammatical errors occured here and there (not counting Canadian spellings), but nothing that hindered the story.
The ending fell short for me; it was too punny and maybe like a forced lesson. It is good to know, however, that there will be a second installment to come in March. I hope it contains a little romance and a lot more Dan:) After reading this piece by Stokes, I look forward to delving into her other book, Static.
First off, Tawny Stokes writes with such a natural flow that it was easy to dive right into the first chapter. After that, time simply flew by. Five hours later, I'd finished this book! With memorable characters, a constant building of action, more than one plot twist, and chapter hooks, this story took me in a direction I'd never thought I'd go, let alone enjoy: demons.