I finished this book last night and admittedly spent too much time afterwards trying to decide how I was going to review it. I've finally decided that the best way to do this is a Pros/Cons list because I'm about equally divided in my thoughts right now.
Pro: Strong start. I roared right through the first 75 pages or so, needing to know what the big secrets were and how Nina fit into it. GREAT beginning.
Con: And then...and then...the dragging bit happened. Nina, our heroine, must try to rescue her sister, Melanie, from the clutches of the Church, which runs everything in the demonically possessed world. And we hear about this...and hear about this...and hear about this...
Pro: Nina is determined to do the right thing, no matter the cost. And sometimes the right thing involves doing some really bad stuff, but you know she's only thinking of what's right.
Con: Nina's not very likable, unfortunately. She is abrasive and single-minded, even while she is determined and focused.
Pro: The whole Church twist is great. It's almost a throwback to the Inquisition, and it's truly scary to think that this could happen (minus the demons). Everyone is taken in, and everyone believes, or is forced to believe. Nina is part of the whole until she realizes what's really going on, and then it's almost too late.
Con: I really hate Devi. I know I'm not supposed to like her at this point, but I really hate her which makes me not want to read further. In fact, I'm not a big fan of any of the gang with which Nina aligns.
Pro: I like the Finn twist. Unique and unexpected. I'd like to see how this ends up.
Con: The whole exorcist thing. Where does it come from? Without being too spoiler-y, I will say that I understand that it's the focal point of Nina's story, but I don't get where it came from (though I suppose I'll learn this later on). I just felt like some parts of it were way too conveniently accepted by Nina, a girl who normally rejects everything.
Pro: It's a great premise and may yet be really interesting.
Con: Too many people I just do not care about. I doubt I'll read the next one, which is a shame, as I normally love Rachel Vincent.
So...do the math. I'm giving 3 solid stars for good idea but a sort of messy climax with people I didn't care for. You may come away with more excitement than I did, but I'm just not that enthusiastic.