Editorial Review for the Author Resource Centre
Prepared by Grant Leishman
There are demons among us and we aren’t even aware of it. In the city of Trebridge, Andor, demons seek to take over the world, to inhabit humans and to wreak havoc and destruction everywhere. All that keeps these foul-smelling, evil creatures at bay are a squad of Gargoyles, attached to a Church in Trebridge and four young teenagers, led by the feisty, but shy, fourteen-year-old Britt, who will become the Gargoyle gang, as they find themselves pitted against some of the most evil creatures the Universe has ever spawned. In “There Be Demons” by M. K. Theodoratus, we are introduced to this unlikely band of demon hunters.
All four live in the “Towers” project, a high-rise that is inner-city slum territory. Britt lives, in a two bedroomed apartment, with her Mum, two younger brothers, her half-sister Pietra and Pietra’s two young babies. Crowded, poor, and often hungry, after being abandoned by their philandering father, Britt has everything stacked against her, getting ahead in life. A scholarship to St Cecilia’s High School ensures she will receive the education she needs to find a way out of the projects. Life in Trebridge is tough and uncompromising, with violence everywhere, but it is only as Britt and her friends come to learn from the Gargoyles, that most of the pain and suffering the people are under, comes directly from the influence of the demons, that they truly understand the importance of the task they have been chosen to undertake. Overseeing this mess is the elusive and recalcitrant Angeli, who must be obeyed, but seem unwilling to help the young people, or the Gargoyles, in any practical sense
“There Be Demons”, is an exceptionally readable and exciting, young-adult fantasy. M. K. Theodoratus, an author I have not come across before has done a superb job at creating some very realistic young protagonists/heroes that the reader is immediately able to identify and empathise with. The real standout, for me, was the character of Britt. The author managed to convey the lead protagonist, as a strong, able, and incredibly feisty young woman, who still retained all the shyness, angst and fears of any young fourteen-year-old girl, who equally, longs to be normal, accepted and loved. Britt and her friend/boyfriend Cahal were definitely the star turns in this story. The developing romance and awakening between the pair certainly helped to temper the more violent and vicious parts of the story.
A real highlight was Theodoratus’ descriptive writing when characterising the demons. As one read, one really felt they were there, with Britt, facing down these slimy, disgusting, evil and vile creatures. Her detailed physical descriptions of the many different types of demons; definitely brought them to life, for me. Equally, the fight scenes were realistic and believable. Not once did I find myself scoffing about how a victory was achieved, as is often the case when reading books of this ilk.
“There Be Demons” was a pleasure to read and if fantasy is your thing, you will definitely enjoy this offering. I found intriguing the concept that this battle against demons was something happening all over the Universe and I have little doubt that gives the author plenty of ideas for future projects and stories. All in all, a very satisfying read and something a little bit different in this genre. “There Be Demons”, is definitely a must read for fans of the genre.