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Reviewed by Eileen Johnson for Readers' Favorite
In the prologue of Daemon Persuasion by S.K. Gregory, we are introduced to Mackenzie Murphy, a terrified eleven-year-old who is listening as her mother is being abused again by her stepfather, Ray. As the abuse escalates, Mackenzie covers her ears and pleads for someone to make it stop. As she listens to Ray screaming at her mother, Mackenzie notices that there are shadows in her room – and one of them is speaking to her, asking her what she wants! Her wish is to make the abuse stop. The shadow leaves the room and the noise in the kitchen stops. The terrified Mackenzie goes in search of her mother and finds Ray dead in the kitchen and her mother unresponsive on the floor. Fast forward ten years and we find Mackenzie (or Mac as she is now known) working as an enforcer for a local criminal. Her mother is in prison for the murder of her stepfather. Mac has learned that she can “call” the shadows when she needs help, but she is appalled by the violence of these mysterious shadows. The mystery deepens when Mac goes in search of her birth dad and discovers the demons around her.
Daemon Persuasion is a well-written young adult fantasy novel that also will appeal to older adults. Gregory has created an intricate web of mystery surrounding three families in a hierarchy of demons. All of the families are in search of a talisman that will imbue the owner with tremendous powers. Gregory skillfully weaves Mac into this search and gradually reveals the relationship among the characters in the book. An excellent read with plenty of action and suspense, Daemon Persuasion mixes the paranormal with the normal in a blend of fantasy that makes the story believable – and left me wanting to read more!