Review: Possess by Gretchen Mc Neil

Publication Date: August 23rd, 2011
Balzer + Bray
Format:  Hardcopy, 384 pages


Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons’ plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.


Although Possess sucked me in immediately, my apathy toward the characters made this book just an okay read for me. The plot is innovative – as far as my bookshelf is concern, that is. The entire story was well-paced and written neatly that you’d want for nothing more. Aside from my inability to care any which way about the characters, the element of surprise with identifying who the bad guys were was pretty much non-existent. It was actually clear who it was in less than ten pages. The author did try to sway me by introducing another suspicious character but I thought she tried too hard that at that point, it was entirely difficult for me to think otherwise.

This book took off the gates running and Ms. McNeil did an outstanding job of creating that whole sinister ambience. The suspense, the tension, the fog, the Linda Blair-esque possessions were very well illustrated. The demon banishment rituals however, lacked that certain mystique that I’d expected. Three words and the aid of a sanctified heirloom bracelet was such a disappointment.

The author also took the fallen angels concept and their redemptions to a different path – refreshing, if I may say so myself. The myth was explained in the beginning but in a very convoluted manner that my eyes glazed over after a few sentences. But don’t fret; Bridget broke it down in a much clearer overview later on.

You just have to read the book to find out which type of lineage Bridget falls under.

The romance was as exciting as plain rice cakes, in my opinion. But I guess this book isn’t about that at all. The only parentage influence in her life was her mother – who, in my utter annoyance was oblivious to her daughter’s exorcism adventures. It was hard to like her mother in light of how she was depicted according to Bridget.

Overall, this book had so much going for it but failed to hold my attention. However, I was interested enough to see it through the end. 


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