Hideous, Devon McCormack
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Genre: NA, LGBT (G), Paranormal
Length: 181 pages
“They didn’t pay me the same. They paid me a lot less. Being a laborer with one hand is about as useful as being a sperm donor with one nut.”
Devon McCormack and I are alike, this is his first foray into the YA/NA genre and this is my first time reading him, he writes books with dark themes, I love books with dark themes. We’re a match made in heaven in an ideal world. Life isn’t the same for Luke who as you’ll read in the following blurb lives in a similar yet disturbing paranormal world.
Eight years ago, Luke Retter witnessed the brutal murder of his mother and sister at the hands of his demon-possessed father. He survived but lost a hand and an eye. The demon also burned its emblem into his skin, marking him as a cursed. Those who bear this mark are at risk of becoming possessed themselves, so they are monitored and enslaved by the state-run UCIS. Working as a slave is hard, but Luke prefers it to the possibility of being controlled by a demon.
One night, Luke wakes to find his worst nightmare coming true. His father’s demon has returned. In a panic, he runs to the only person who might be able to help: Zack, a cursed who ran away from the state and created an underground community to protect other fugitive curseds. Zack helps him suppress the demon. But the city’s become a time bomb, and Luke’s demon itches to escape.
With the UCIS closing in on Zack’s underground operation and Luke’s demon crafting its own, nefarious plot, Luke realizes that he has to take a stand. He can’t just stand by anymore.
What I Loved
Dark, Dreary, Segregated World
Devon McCormack is truly talented to the much vaunted skill of world-building and it’s this I am most appreciative of in Hideous.
Over the course of Hideous trust is brought front and centre as a major facet of Luke’s world. Given the cruel nature of his state in this world, Luke can be forgiven for his willingness to latch onto the few kind acts he is shown. Unfortunately Luke does learn the hard way that not everyone that shows kindness is truly kind and it leads to an examination of trust with wonderful juxtaposition.
Some action dialogue
The writing and dialogue during some of Hideous’ action scenes felt like they didn’t flow as smoothly as I would have liked. On occasions during this adventure ride I had to stop, rewind and reread some text because it seemed to jump. But that is it.
A stark world, combined with raw, uncensored scenes of life in the dregs of society makes Hideous a great book along with the progression towards making decisions. Finding out who cares. After reading it I believe the key demographic is that of a young male audience, with the author’s writing style and themes likely to be appreciated most by those that this author is most akin to. I highly enjoyed Hideous and would gladly recommend it for those looking for a darker Paranormal book.
“I rested my hand on top of his. My pinky was wrapped in a bandage……it was a reminder of darker times. Of darker things to come.”