The Bottom Line: Fantasy thriller fans will be quickly possessed by the high-stakes, psychic battle unleashed in this otherworldly third series installment.
The third installment in Mary Maddox’s Daemon World series finds a war on the horizon. Daemon seer Lu Darlington is desperate to save herself, her son and her dearest friend, Lisa. Bound to the daemon Talion through ritual, blood and a son, Lu finds herself enmeshed in the conflict whether she likes it or not. She cannot be possessed, but she watches helplessly as others become hapless pawns who do daemon bidding.
Battling the effects of PTSD from unspeakable horrors, Lisa is unable to truly see the daemons as Lu does. Yet she knows all too well the horrors they are capable of, despite having been saved by Lu and a daemon. Despite this, she has made the difficult choice to stay apart from the world Lu has been bound to since she was 15 years old.
But after Lisa is kidnapped, a man is killed, and she is thrust back into the memories of the horrors she once endured, she learns that her best way to stay alive is, ironically, to stick close to Lu’s side. The paradox, so meticulously set up by author Mary Maddox, creates a trove of lasting suspense that pays off again and again.
Author Mary Maddox, author of our 2016 BestThrillers.com annual pick Darkroom and 2019’s exhilarating follow-up Hometown Boys, has successfully turned her masterful eye for real-world suspense to the fantasy genre. Gripping action, clever prose and drop-the-mic thought bubbles we wish came out of our own mind are abundant (one of our favorites from Lu: “I calibrate my smile a few degrees above patronizing and several degrees below haughty”).
Maddox is especially gifted at fashioning imperfect heroines whose emotional journeys readers can instantly get behind. In both Lu and Lisa’s battle with the daemons, we vividly experience the fight for life’s most precious commodity: freedom.