Format: E-Galley, 336 pages
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
There is more to our world than meets the eye—darker things, crueler things. Exorcist John Fogg and his wife, psychic medium Theodora Knight, know what lurks in the shadows. But even they’re not prepared for the worst Hell has to offer...
It was supposed to be a simple exorcism, a publicity stunt to firmly establish John and Theodora’s thriving paranormal investigation empire in the public eye. But something went wrong, leading to an on-air massacre that unleashed a malicious host of demons and left Theodora catatonic, possessed by countless spirits.
John sets out on a desperate quest to find a cure for his wife, but his obsession brings him face-to-face with an even more terrifying problem: Theodora’s possession is only one piece of a deadly plot that is threatening the entire world. Because an ancient evil is about to make Earth its battlefield—and without John and Theodora’s intervention, there is no chance for salvation...
The Demonists is the first installment in author Thomas E. Sniegnoski's Demonist series. Sniegnoski is best known to me as being the author of the Remy Chandler series. The constant remains the same between the two series. The setting is dark and dangerous, and it is almost always a battle between good and evil for the souls of the innocents. Meet John Fogg. John has traveled the world studying the weird, the unusual, and the paranormal.
He's taught himself the sacred rituals of banishment, IE exorcism. He also has his own team of Spirit Chasers, along with his wife psychic medium Theodora Knight. They might not always find what they are searching for, but their TV ratings are through the roof! When John, Theodora, and their team investigate a house that has been deemed the House of Tribulation because of all the bad things that have happened there, they think it's another dud.
But, what awaits John and Theo will set things up for the rest of this story, and the series itself. The shocking events of the opening scene tosses John's world into disarray, Theodora into the possession of a legion of demons, and an unknown group known as the Coalition may be the only one's able to help John and Theodora from falling completely into the darkness. With John struggling to put one foot in front of the other, and Theo in her own personal hell, it will take a shocking number of events to save them both.
I have to tell you that this book kept me on my toes and it was hard to put down at times. There are more than a few narratives that take place in this story. They are all important so I recommend not disregarding any of them. From John's struggles to find a way to save his wife, to Theodora's struggles not to allow herself to be taken completely over by eager demons, to FBI Agent Brenna Isabel who stands for the missing children that disappear without a trace, to one of the creepiest "teachers" you can imagine.
I will agree with other readers that this story reminds me of the original The Exorcist show. Theo really goes through the grinder folks. She struggles with her sanity, she struggles with keeping hoards of demons from escaping, then she has to face one of the most dangerous Demon Gods that shouldn't exist. All of this while John is running around looking for answers, finding enemies, and allies who all want to help him but at a steep cost.
There are actually two characters outside of John and Theo that I really liked. The first is Nana, who is John's deceased Grandmother. Nana is a prize folks. She's determined to save her kids and doesn't hold back when the chips are down, and it looks as though our heroes are about ready to take a fall. I also like Brenna. She's broken, she's determined, but she refuses to bow down to the crazy that John reveals to her. She stands in and takes the hits when the villains makes things horrifically difficult for everyone.
This story should come with some warnings as the story is really dark at times. The descriptions are vivid and if you can get through them without rolling your eyes, or skipping over them, you will enjoy the rest of the book.