Genre: YA - Paranormal
Publication: 08.28.2012 by EgmontUSA
Synopsis: Mia's ordinary life is disrupted in the most horrifying way possible when she is possessed by a hungry and powerful demon--and only saved by the arrival of relatives from Italy, the country her grandfather fled many decades ago.
Now her cousins Emilio and Giuliano say the only way to keep her safe is for her to come back with them to Milan, to live, to learn Italian, to fall in and out of love, and to master the family trade: fighting all demons with the lore of bell, book, and candle.
Milan is not what Mia expected, but it will change her forever, in this stunningly well-written novel about an American girl who, fleeing an ancient evil, finds her only salvation in her ancestral home.
May contain spoilers, but not really. Just proceed with caution.
Thoughts: I hadn't heard anything about The Demon Catchers of Milan before I started reading and wasn't expecting much. I read the back of the book and thought, "Hmmm, that sounds creepy and really interesting." But sadly, it was not. In fact, this book didn't have much for me to like and I struggled to get through it.
Let me start off with the positive side of this review though. The Demon Catchers of Milan takes place in Milan, obviously. I have never been to Milan, but the author made it sound like a very lovely place, which I am sure it is, and I hope I get to visit it one day. Mia, though, doesn't get to travel much, so the descriptions are quite limited and didn't really save the book for me.
Mia is a very bland character. In the first few pages she is possessed by a demon and saved by family members she has never met. While she seems a bit scared, she pretty much has no reaction to what happens to her. It isn't until much later that we actually get a feel that, yes, she was terrified but by then I was rushing to finish the book. All I have to say is that if I was possessed and then woke up and realized I had destroyed things in my home and threw my sister against a wall, I would have some kind of reaction. Not Mia though.
She doesn't do, think, or say much else. She has to be cooped up in the apartment pretty much the entire book because she can't go outdoors without protection. She sits around and reads and complains a bit. Talks here and there to some relatives. But nothing really happens. There is over 250 pages in this book and about...15 pages actually have any sort of possession/exorcism scenes. Three different exorcisms and about five pages each. That's all. Other than that, we get a lot of nothing. There is information on the family history but everything is so vague and the conversations so un-interesting that I had a hard time finishing this book.
Overall: The Demon Catchers of Milan had a unique and promising premise, but was anti-climatic and a disappointment, overall. I am not too interested in reading the next book¹ even though the conclusion offered no real resolution in the story. If you think that this book will offer a lot of exciting/terrifying moments of demon hunting, prepare to be disappointed. If it sounds like something you'll enjoy though, give it a shot. This one just didn't work out for me.