Thanks to NetGalley and Acorn Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: October 11th, 2016
Synopsis: It’s of August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim’s throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.
But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.
From the squalor of the Five Points, to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York’s richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic–or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?
The Game Is Afoot! With nods to everything from Sherlock Holmes, and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Daemoniac is an exciting blend of historical fiction, mystery, suspense, and (maybe) a hint of the supernatural. While some of the characters are definitely reminiscent of these fictional giants, they’re endowed with their own quirky personalities which distinguishes them from their literary counterparts. Harry is sixteen-years-old and desperate to prove she has the potential to be just as great a detective as her famous older sister, Myrtle. Having been overshadowed by her brilliant sister her entire life, when a couple seeking help to find a missing friend mistake her for Myrtle, Harry seizes the opportunity as a chance to prove herself. She’s clever, determined, feisty, and courageous. She’s also has some impulsive tendencies, and can be a little too stubborn, which leads to a few minor conflicts with her friends, especially John. This is one of those books where girl power is very much in display. Even Nellie Bly is part of the investigation! Also assisting Harry is her best friend John who secretly hopes for something more from her than friendship. John is a perfect partner for the headstrong Harry. Slightly more cautious, he also is more open-minded when it comes to the spiritual and supernatural worlds. It’s obvious that he loves Harry, who’s pretty much oblivious to his more romantic feelings, yet except for one scene, he doesn’t let that get in the way of the task at hand. The only “flaw” I found in this book, was that the twist at the end didn’t come as a surprise to me. I’m not taking any points off though because the story and its characters are just so darn enjoyable, that it doesn’t matter. With Daemoniac, Kat Ross has created an imaginative and beautifully written tale designed to captivate both teens and adults who love exciting mysteries, full of action and suspense. I cannot wait for the sequel, The Thirteenth Gate to come out, because I really want to see where Ross takes her her characters next!