I wonder whether Alex would have found her demon, if only she hadn't smoked that new weed her boyfriend got.
However, Alexandra Walker did get high that night, she and her boyfriend Jeremy, all cozy in his minibus. While Jeremy foraged for snacks, Alex's attention was captured by the extremely handsome man wearing a red catsuit and fake red horns. All-too-soon, it became clear that only Alex could see and hear the odd man, who introduced himself as a demon named Clive.
In the beginning, it was kind of nice having a guardian demon. Clive was able to glimpse into the future, and give Alex advice on things to come. Useful as he occasionally proved, Clive remained invisible to everyone but Alex. Naturally, this caused problems, since Alex frequently ended up arguing with Clive, which--of course--looked like Alex was arguing with herself. Her boyfriend, her best friend, Becky, even her elderly next-door neighbor, they all spoke with Alex's mom about her bizarre behavior.
Alex, of course, denied anything was wrong. Even after Clive gave her "The Sight," so that she could notice the Andrapodistai--otherworldly creatures who take over earthlings souls, and ooze from their host-body's eyes like blue mist. Alex was shocked at how many people in her world were filled with Andrapodistai; she was even more shocked when Clive told her the only way to rid the world of "Podis," is to kill their host bodies, and that this task is Alexandra's destiny.
My description above is pretty lacking. Lisa Hinsley's novel "My Demon" is frustrating to describe. It's like one of those adventures you had in college that just doesn't sound as awesome when you tell it 20 years later.
"My Demon" is also one of the most enjoyable novels I've read in quite awhile. "My Demon" is told from Alexandra's point of view. Her narration mirrors her life: at the novel's beginning, Alex's life is breezy and fun, and so is her narration. As shocking things begin to happen, and Alex's life becomes fraught with danger, her narration matures, losing its teenaged girl breeziness.
What Ms Hinsley does with "My Demon" is lure in the reader with a lighthearted novel that's funny in parts, then she jacks around with the mood controls. Like Alex, we think we have a pretty good grasp of how things are; like Alex, we are woefully mistaken.
Alex experiences some true horrors during her days with Clive. At times she rebels against him; at times she leans on him for strength. In the end, she finds herself in a battle for her soul and her sanity.
A pet peeve of mine regarding horror novels is when the author bashes the reader over the head with event after event to the point of overkill: "Okay, okay, we get it! The guy's a serial killer. Do you have to have him murder everybody in Brooklyn to prove it?" I don't know if these authors get paid by the word, the page, or the body, but it gets tedious.
Lisa Hinsley does a wonderful job controlling "My Demon." For a novel that takes Alex (and us) on an incredibly complex ride, "My Demon" is taut and beautifully paced. Alex's journey covers a lot of metaphysical and psychological ground, and the details are certainly there. Ms Hinsley has amazing focus, though, avoiding extraneous meanderings.
Bottom-line, Alex Walker is a young lady who has a bad several days. Her ride is a short, intense one. "My Demon" follows her path closely--the fun and the horrifying, the love and the hate-- without the overkill, and proves to be a compelling, thoroughly enjoyable tale.