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REVIEW by Ginny: The Faustian Host (Apocalypse Signs #1) by Dave Becker (@ginnylurcock)

Plymouth Rock is bleeding. Day has turned to night. Hundred-pound hailstones level buildings. The small town of Clement seems cursed, and the residents know who’s to blame: the new kid, Tony Marino.
After losing his family and his home, 14-year-old Tony is forced to move from Florida to Massachusetts to attend Kalos Academy, an unconventional school for gifted children. Strange things begin to happen the day he arrives, and soon stories of plagues, monsters, and mystical objects surround him. Refusing to believe superstitions, Tony struggles to explain the occurrences logically, until he comes face to face with a satanic cult determined to bring about the end of the world.

First, let me say that I really hate Tony. He’s a twat. Actually, no, that’s an insult to twat’s everywhere. He’s a know-it-all pain in the ass who pushes his friends and foster parents away for other reason than he can, he ignores the obvious right in front of him, and he spends all his free time trying to figure out how to get in the hot girls pants.
Basically he’s a teenage boy. Kudos to Mr. Becker on creating such a believable character.
It’s a little hard to get into “The Faustian Host” from the get go. Like I said, I wanted to punch Tony, preferably in his man bits so he didn’t reproduce. The pacing is odd, most supporting characters lack depth, and occasionally things felt just a little too coincidental. Like the kids saying “we could really use a fire” and then finding one for no real reason. Or needing to know how to fly a hovercraft and suddenly just knowing. Those aren’t actual examples; you’ll have to read the book to see what I mean. Then there was the fact that it felt like the kids were just on this wild ride, never actually being active in the story unfolding around them.
Even with all those little quirking complaints, I was captivated by the idea.
Curses are running rampant in a small Boston suburb. Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, and outside forces are manipulating poor little (prat) Tony into tipping the balance in their favor. Remember when I said that the characters seem to be on a raft with no paddles in the river that is the plot of this book? Well, not so eloquently, but I did imply it… Remember how I said it wasn’t my favorite? Well in places it makes sense. Like through most of the book. There are just a couple of scenes where I went “you know this is where the protagonist is supposed to protagonize things here” but for the rest of the novel it kind of makes sense. I mean, Tony is a 14 year old little douchey kid who doesn’t believe in anything other than facts, so when weird shit happens it makes sense that most of the time he’d take a “let me stick my head in the sand” approach. I don’t happen to think he would have if he made a freaking rock bleed… but that’s just my opinion…
I’m giving it 3 stars. It was a good idea, but it fell a bit short of its potential. If I was Kalos and the series was a student, I probably wouldn’t invite it back next year. Luckily my standards aren’t quite as harsh, and I’m looking forward to where Mr. Becker goes with the second volume. This all goes back to my “if you like the story you can forgive it some writing sins” and I did like the story, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
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