Synopsis for Daemoniac (from Goodreads):
It’s August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim’s throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.
But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.
From the squalor of the Five Points to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend, John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York’s richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic—or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?
Other books in the series:
Series: A Dominion Mystery
Author: Kat Ross
# of Books: 2 (Daemoniac, The Thirteenth Gate)
Book Order: Connected but Chronological Events
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Mystery, Supernatural
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single (Daemoniac), Third Person, Alternating
Publication Date: October 2016 – June 2017
Source & Format: Xpresso Book Tours–eARC
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I’m a sucker for a good mystery story–especially if it has anything to do remotely with Sherlock Holmes. I took a detective fiction course in my undergrad and LOVED it! But I’ve been a Holmes fan since I was a kid thanks to my father. Yes, I’m that person who gets excited for the latest re-imagining of the famous detective.
So when I saw the premise for this novel–a young female detective hunting a murderer in 1888s New York–you would have had to tackle me to the ground and tie me up to stop me from joining this blog tour.
If you’ve ever read a Sherlock Holmes’ story, you’ll be right at home with this book. All the copious detail that is a staple of a Conan story is present from start to finish with this novel.
Which means it takes a while to get into the groove of the narration here. Especially for someone like me who isn’t overly fond of excessive detail. The first few chapters were tough to get through but definitely worth it in the end.
The last half of the book has faster chapters and a lot more action. Once everything starts to come together, this book is hard to put down. It does a great job of wrapping up the mystery of this novel while giving you enjoy loose ends to be curious about the sequel.
As for the mystery–it’s very Sherlock-ian and definitely worth uncovering.
If you are at all familiar with the basics of the Sherlock Holmes’ universe, it’s easy to see the parallels between the characters. Harrison is a smart and observant lead (Sherlock); her best friend and sidekick, Weston, is a doctor in training (Watson); and don’t forget the caring housekeeper Mrs Rivers (Mrs Hudson).
I could go on and on with the character parallels but I do want to emphasize that these characters aren’t carbon copies of their inspiration.
Harry in particular lacks the cocky persona of Holmes. She knows she can solve mysteries but she has always lacked the opportunity to do so because of her older sister. And don’t forget the social pressures she has as a female in New York City; that in itself adds a unique aspect to her character. So it was nice watching her come into herself as the story progressed.
There is no romance here but I do see the inklings of some potential romantic encounters later on in the series.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
While this mystery is solved in this novel, the story is far from over. The teaser we get for The Thirteenth Gate has me excited to see how everything is going to come together. I’m also looking forward to learning more about these characters and uncovering more of their secrets.
–August 3, 2017– Book #2: The Thirteenth Gate
My Rating: 4/5
Daemoniac 4/5 | The Thirteenth Gate 3/5
This series is perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes and mysteries!
Read if You Like: Sherlock Holmes, mysteries
Avoid if You: dislike mystery stories, dislike stories with lots of detail
- The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow (Bannon and Clare Series #1)
- The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone (Paranormal Investigator Series #1)
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.
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