OK, I absolutely love Jon Skovron’s Misfit. It starts off a little slow, but 10-15% into the novel it really picks up. And doesn’t let go. The demon mythology is so well thought out, so clever, dark, humorous, and definitely one of the best plot devices I’ve read in YA for a while. The story switches from present to past as the heroine, Jael, delves into the memories of the people around her. These moments, these memories are utterly mesmerizing. From the first memory of her mother and father meeting, to their demon hunting, to the twisted tangles Jael finds in the souls of the supporting characters, I was enthralled. Skovron’s plot, weaved between the past and the present, is just as entertaining when we are in the present with Jael as she trains in her new-found abilities. Jael’s training and her abilities are vividly described and wonderfully imaginative. She is one cool paranormal. Moreover, just as intriguing as the past told through character memories, is the plot written in present tense, in which Jael ducks and dives and takes on one of the Grand Dukes of Hell, Belial. It’s thrilling, suspenseful and action-packed. All the best adjectives for a YA paranormal 🙂As for characterisation… wow. Jael herself grows so much over the course of the novel. She’s a very unassuming character, frustrated with her father and all the mystery, but otherwise pretty laid back. When she discovers her heritage and begins to train, the reader discovers how truly brave and loyal Jael is, and by the end of the novel she stands proudly among the ranks of YA’s kick-ass heroines.
Another refreshing element to Skovron’s novel was the romance between Jael and Rob. It was so authentic and by that I mean they acted like real teenagers. Rob is a charming character. He’s a laid-back, intelligent skater boy with a mind that’s wide open. The romance is just a sub-plot and doesn’t take over the storyline; in fact it’s just another layer to the wonderful subtlety that is Skovron’s writing. I’ll also add that the demons, the Grand Dukes of hell, are all amazingly colourful, twisted and violent. Jael’s mother is an amazingly intriguing character and I loved when we were sucked back into the past with her. Skovron moulds his mythology around existing history and religions in such a clever way that I found myself curling into my kindle with happiness – I’m a sucker for using real history/mythology and giving it a paranormal explanation, and the author does this exceptionally well.
Lastly my favourite character is Jael’s demon uncle, Dagon. He’s exactly how you imagine a demon to look. He’s old skool. And he’s hilarious, and I just loved every minute he was on the page.
Misfit is written in smooth, modern prose. The writing is stunningly vivid with smart dialogue and beautiful imagery.
Five Massive Stars!