cover image The Good Demon

The Good Demon

Jimmy Cajoleas, illus. by Michael Hoeweler. Amulet, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3127-3

Not every spiritual possession is unwanted. Clarabella, 16, feels most herself with Herthe demon who possesses her (“a voice inside my voice, a body inside my body, a spirit inside my spirit”), offers her marvels, and keeps her safe throughout her tough childhood in the deep South. After Reverend Sanders and his son perform a “deliverance,” holding Clare down and rebuking her demon, all she wants is to feel less alone. As she looks for ways to get her demon back—and begins to fall for the very boy who helped with the sundering—Clare finds a note in Her handwriting (“Be nice to him/ June 20/ Remember the stories”). It leads her to the journal of a missing boy, once-possessed Kevin Henrikson; to Gaspar, the mysterious One Wish Man; and to her small town’s deep occult inheritance. Linework by Hoeweler shows mesmerizing mystical symbols on a variety of backgrounds. With a careful build and a terrifying first-person narration, Cajoleas (Goldeline) offers up a story interested in free will that is as gently ominous as a silent car coasting over a road on a hot, humid summer night. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jess Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Sept.)