Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon is high on the “Customers Also Bought” tab for the Girls Wearing Black books on Amazon. I downloaded a copy earlier in the month and started reading it on Monday. Despite being deep in revisions on my own manuscript and facing a looming deadline for the Festival of the Moon audiobook, I finished Beautiful Demons in just two days. It was a fantastic read, and I’ve already downloaded Book 2 in the series. Read ahead for my review of the novel and to enter a contest to win an Amazon gift card with enough money to get all the books in the Beautiful Demons series!
Here’s my review of Beautiful Demons:
Harper is an orphan who is bouncing from one foster home to the next, leaving a trail of paranormal “accidents” behind her. When Harper is upset or threatened, objects that aren’t nailed down go flying and people get hurt. On some level, Harper is aware that she is the cause of these accidents, even though they aren’t really her fault. She has powers that she hasn’t learned how to control.
She lands at Shadowford Home, a boarding house for wayward children in a small town named Peachville. Shadowford Home is her last chance. If she messes up here, her next stop is juvenile detention.
Shadowford is a great place to read about, a mysterious house with unusual characters and plenty of oddities. Harper’s first night at Shadowford is creepy and intense, and I found myself desperate to know more about what was going on. The author has a gift for foreshadowing and suspense. Even before the story gets going (and the story gets going quickly–Cannon is skilled at moving things along), I was eager to learn more about Shadowford Home, about the mysterious characters populating this story, and Harper’s own past. It seemed like every new person we met had an agenda, and while the author gave me enough info to be curious about these people, she also left enough out that I didn’t immediately know where it was going.
Harper begins as a new student at Peachville High and right away finds herself in trouble. A cheerleader is murdered and there is evidence suggesting Harper is the one who did it. Together with a boy named Jackson, Harper seeks out the truth of what happened, and learns that Peachville has an explosive secret.
Beautiful Demons is a quick but powerful read that I recommend to fans of Girls Wearing Black. The paranormal parts of this story are fascinating, but secondary to the human element, which I really appreciate. The teen with powers she can’t control, the small town with dark secrets, the popular clique at school that is more than it seems–all of these are elements that show up often in paranormal literature, but in Beautiful Demons they are tied so strongly to the humanity of the characters that it feels wholly original. Harper’s journey of self discovery may be supernatural, but it is done so in a way that mirrors the discoveries everyone faces in adolescence.
And the strange town that is hiding dark secrets was perfectly executed. There are some great twists in this novel and the author does a marvelous job of holding back the answers to the best secrets until the very end. The prose is concise and easy to read. Sarra Cannon packs a lot of plot and character into a short novel that I devoured in just three nights. Highly recommended.
And now…the contest.
Beautiful Demons is Book 1 of a six book series. I calculate the total price of all six books as of today to be $15.95. Since these books have such appeal to fans of Girls Wearing Black, I will give a $15.95 Amazon gift card to one person from the fan list on my Facebook page, so you can buy them all (or buy whatever you want if you’ve already read them).
BUT WAIT….there’s more!!
Last night I emailed Sarra Cannon to express my admiration for her work and let her know that I wanted to tie a contest to my review of her novel. She emailed back and offered to include a Beautiful Demons Swag Pack for the winner. It will include a signed bookmark, a demon tattoo,a ribbon and a sticker.
Click on the widget below to enter the contest for your chance to win a $15.95 Amazon gift card (courtesy of me) and a Beautiful Demons swag pack (courtesy of Sarra Cannon). The widget will ask you to like my author page on Facebook if you haven’t already. A winner will be selected on March 15.
Have fun, and happy reading!