Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: Misfit by Jon Skovron

Misfit by Jon Skovron

Pages: 384

Publisher: Amulet Books
Published: August 1st, 2011
IBSN:  9781419700217

Jael has always felt like a freak. She’s never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad’s always been superstrict—but that’s probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her family’s dangerous history and Jael’s untapped potential. What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.

Misfit is certainly a stand-out new paranormal novel. The supernatural aspects are incredibly unique, and through them, the author also expresses something important about the normal world.

Jael is a halfbreed. Her mother was a demon (the good kind) and her father, a priest. Together, they made an infamous demon slaying and banishing team. But when Jael's mother dies to save her small family, her father takes to running and hiding from the demonic forces chasing them.

Jael's known she's a halfbreed all her life, but it never affected her until she turned sixteen, so she never paid it much mind. She's your average teenage girl - or at least, the token average portrayed in YA - in all other respects: she has hair troubles, a loyal best friend, a crush. She's insecure, in the shadow of her best friend, and sarcastic. With her struggles with her faith, I couldn't really relate or connect, but they did help me understand her character.

I didn't find the writing style or tone very noteworthy, and the pacing wasn't as good as it could have been. I got frequently bored waiting to get the major complication, and reaching it through visions and having all of the information dumped almost first-hand onto the main character took away the development we could have seen in Jael as she figures it out herself.

While so much of the paranormal aspect was unique, the villain's "halfbreeds are a menace" motive wasn't. I was impressed with how imaginatively the world and premise was created to be let down by such an overdone motive.

Overall, it's worth reading if you're not put off by religious themes and like to try different sub-genres of paranormal fiction.

I give Misfit a 3 out of 5.