Talk about a psychological rollercoaster of thrilling/suspenseful goodness! Here’s from the book jacket:

Alex Connolly is ten years old, likes onions on toast, and can balance on the back legs of his chair for fourteen minutes. His best friend is a 9000-year-old demon called Ruen. When his depressive mother attempts suicide yet again, Alex meets child psychiatrist Anya. Still bearing the scars of her own daughter’s battle with schizophrenia, Anya fears for Alex’s mental health and attempts to convince him that Ruen doesn’t exist. But as she runs out of medical proof for many of Alex’s claims, she is faced with a question: does Alex suffer from schizophrenia, or can he really see demons?

I read this book in one day. That tells you two things. One, it’s not too long. Two, this damn book had me turning pages like a mofo. I honestly can’t remember the last book I read in a single day.

The chapters alternate between Alex and Anya telling the story. This is perfect because it gives you an unreliable narrator, which, I love. There’s even a bit of a social message to the book, as it takes place in Northern Ireland, the psychologists are into working out how growing up amongst so much violence will effect the younger generation.

The whole time you are rooting for Alex, does he see demons? Is he mentally ill? It doesn’t matter, you just want a better life for the poor kid. Then, you’re rooting for Anya, let her help Alex, let her get her life back on track. This book has the perfect amount of psychological and supernatural ingredients that blend to make a fantastic story.

And now the tricky bit, the ending.
I can’t tell if it’s brilliant or cheap. I have no doubt that the author knew exactly how she wanted the book to end from the moment she started writing it, so it’s not a sloppy ending. And I don’t mind being tricked, really, as long as the trick is clever, meaning maybe all the clues were there and I just missed them, like a Shyamalan ending. But this felt a little too much of a trick, like having an unforeseen evil twin come out at the end of a whodunit, or something. As a reader, you get involved in the story, the characters; there are stakes! But when an ending comes along and it nullifies everything, removes the stakes, you’re left feeling pretty hollow and cheated.

That being said, it was a hell of a good book.
(Oh! Didja see what I did there? Hell? Get it? Oh, me.)

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