Brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz
Note: Spoilers ahead!
Synopsis: Jael has always felt like a freak. She’s never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad’s always been superstrict—but that’s probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her family’s dangerous history and Jael’s untapped potential. What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.
Review: Jael Thompson has spent most of her life moving around with her father who used to be an ex-priest. Her father is more equipped as a boot camp sergeant than a father to a sixteen year old teenager. Jael finally feels at home in Seattle. She has a new best friend, Britt, and a new crush on a genius skater named Rob. But in the back of Jael’s mind she hangs onto the fear that her father will force them to move again. Jael and her father hold a very dark secret: her mother used to be a demon and Jael’s father lives in constant paranoia they will be caught by Hell’s minions who are seeking them. On Jael’s sixteenth birthday, her father gifts her with a necklace her mother had left behind for her along with the big secret he has been keeping for years: the necklace contains Jael’s demon essence. Once Jael’s powers are placed into her, she instantly becomes a powerful threat to Hell and the Grand Duke Belial is sending everything he can after her. Belial loathes half-breeds and is also after Jael for revenge for what her mother did to him. He will use anything he can to take Jael down, including her best friend and her big crush.
There are moments when a book leaves you completely breathless. Where the heroine may be flawed but redeems herself through growth in maturity and wise decisions. A book that leaves you wonderfully satisfied when you read it. Well, Misfit is not that novel.
Jael is one of the most selfish heroines I have ever read. She lacks common sense and wisdom. She also has no skill for self-preservation. Her attitude toward her father was such a big turn off. She was always acting so bratty and like a know-it-all even though she knew nothing about being a demon! She uses her powers in the open multiple times even though she’s been warned that’s how Belial will be able to find her. Britt, her best friend, was another lousy character. She is crass, superficial, vain, and irritating. She cares more about boys than self-respect. She was useless to the story except to deliver a very predictable outcome later on. Belial, the Grand Duke, that is built up so much throughout the novel, completely disappoints when he is finally revealed. He is far too cliché of a villain with his huge ego and even bigger monologues.
There are a few good characters. Rob is a skater who from the outside looks as if he cares more about outdoor acrobats than school. But he is actually a math and chemistry genius. He is really sweet, optimistic, and loveable. Uncle Dagon, demon baker for Hell and the brother of Jael’s mother, gave the story much of the comic relief it needed and provided a break in the always serious Paul (Jael’s father) and Jael’s angst.
One of the elements of the plot I really didn’t care for was the fact that Jael could see someone’s spirit and affect it. She uses that power on Rob even though she knows how incredibly dangerous it is and stupidly does it in public. She could have killed Rob! It made the romance between Rob and Jael seem completely fraudulent. Jael had no redeeming qualities so I couldn’t believe Rob could actually fall for her. Another element that made the plot fall apart was the fact that Jael was strong enough to defeat the Grand Duke of Hell, Belial. She has only had her powers for a very short amount of time and has no real way to control them. She makes more mistakes than progress, yet she somehow miraculously is able to defeat Belial. It was too unbelievable, even for a fantasy/supernatural novel. There should have been more of a build up. The dialogue was also a problem. So much of the dialogue read too dry and stale making it harder to connect with the story and characters.
The only real aspect of the this book that I truly enjoyed and loved were the flashback scenes of Jael’s parents, Paul and Astarte. The scenes were centered around how they met, fell in love, and fought demons together. I would have preferred very much for the author to have created a novel around Paul and Astarte (even though the constant reminder of Astarte’s beauty was borderline annoying at times). Jael’s story is just too boring and irritating because she is far too rebellious against a father who loves her and is trying to protect her, and cares more about herself than others.
Misfit has potential to be a good book but is lacking, the main character ruins the unique premise behind the story. The book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger but offers a doorway for the author to create more novels. I do hope Jael’s character improves far better in later additions.