From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Believable characters, a multilayered plot and smooth prose define Gregory's darkly ambitious debut novel. In this fascinating alternative time line, thousands of demon possessions have been carefully recorded by scientists each year since the 1950s. Each case is always the same: a recognizable, named strain of the disorder possesses a person, wreaks havoc and then jumps on to its next victim. Del Pierce's case is unique: when the Hellion possessed him at the age of five, it never left. Now an unhappy 20-something, Del undertakes a dangerous quest to exorcise the Hellion as it fights him for control. The trim prose keeps the pace intense and the action red hot through some emotionally disturbing scenes and heavy backstory. Absorbing psychological discussions of possession abound, from Jungian archetypes to the eye of Shiva. Readers will delve deeply into Gregory's highly original demon-infested reality and hope for a sequel. (Sept.)
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Reviewers were happy to see a fresh take on a well-worn subject of sci-fi and horror stories: demonic possession. They suggested that by creating a world where demons are commonplace, Gregory has in fact found a way of making the subject novel. Critics were even more impressed by Pandemonium
’s well-developed characters. As one reviewer noted, the possessions of the story affect the trajectories of the characters’ lives in the same way as mental illness, without transforming this novel into an allegory. The book includes many insider references to other sci-fi works, which may turn off some readers; however, the critics concluded that while Gregory may occasionally channel the spirits of A. E. van Vogt and Philip K. Dick, his voice is strong enough to speak for itself.
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