This book starts off a little slow. You meet Scarlet, her wife Eve, and daughter Mia. You also meet Father Angelo, Kelton (a douche), Dante and Zoe. The character list is small but I'm happy the author did this.
We learn that on her 50th birthday, Scarlet will be possessed. At some point, she promised a demon he could have her body but that isn't something we find out until quite a ways through the story. For Scarlet's whole life, she's felt some kind of presence around and now that she's getting ready to turn 50, weird things are happening. Zoe is a woman who is being used by a demon to help get Scarlet's body. We learn the nature of Zoe's existence, her connection to Father Angelo, AND have to deal with Father Angelo's indecisiveness.
By all accounts, Father Angelo is the weakest link. But in the same breath, he's exactly the way he should be and I wouldn't want the author to change a single thing about him. He's conflicted. He has a troubled past that involved dark magic and turned to God as a way to atone for all that. You always get a sense that he's not fully committed. No. He's committed, but always seems to be walking on eggshells and unsure about almost everything.
There's quite the contrast between Father Angelo and Dante. Dante dabbles in magic, is long lived, and will be there to help Father Angelo with Scarlet's exorcism. He's a small strange man whose primary purpose is to kick Father Angelo into gear. If there was no Dante, I don't see how any of this story could have progressed. He's that important.
Things didn't get interesting to me until around the 45% mark. Scarlet was getting closer to her birthday and learning how the demon had been effecting her personal life. She decides to see a psychiatrist, then turns to church and that's really when things change.
Although I'm not a huge fan of the book, I think it was written well. The world building was great. Character development was spot on. And honestly, it read as if I were watching a movie. Everything you would expect from a demon/exorcism type of movie, is in this book. Past the halfway mark, I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down so I'm a little conflicted as to what rating to give it.
This is a standalone novel so I won't get to find out if anything else pops up in the future, but I am incredibly satisfied with the ending.
3 1/2 Stars