Jesse has spent the last fourteen years hiding in corners and rightfully so, having grown up in the foster system of L.A. county, shuffled from one home to another. The recent discovery that there is no record of his birth in the United States has Homeland Security targeting him a potential terrorist and under constant threats of deportation to Cambodia. Jesse is determined to stay out of trouble and maintain a low profile with his new family the Mindells.
The rolling cornfields of the midwest prove no sanctuary though once Honor Clarke comes to town. Returning to her birthplace after years spent in Bali with her anthropologist mother, Honor is full of gruesome stories from the accidental beheading of her father, to her current explorations of black magic. Jesse knows Honor's just messing with his head, after all things like voodoo death curses and Balinese demon queens don't really exist. The turbulent storms threatening to break across the horizon, a recent spate of bird massacres, Jesse's visions of a tobacco smoking bald man, and one drunk college janitor claiming a smiladon skeleton came to life are just coincidences. Jesse can't possibly be the world's last defense against the primal force of evil Honor plans to unleash...can he?
Richard Lewis' novel The Demon Queen is a complex mixture of fantasy, horror, and mystery grounded in the very real paranoia of post 9/11 life. What I love about this book is the credit Lewis gives his readers by confronting difficult situations head on; nor does he provide pat, easy answers. In Jesse, Lewis has created an intellectual hero, one who is reluctant to take up arms even when he suspects wrong doing. Like many teens, he simply wants the freedom to go about live his life, without being hassled and it's only when he sees no other option, does he resort to a warrior mentality.
The Demon Queen is a page-turning, thought provoking read that will stay with the reader long after they are finished.
Originally posted at TeensReadToo.com