Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Misfit

Misfit - Jon Skovron Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker. I recieved my copy from the publisher via NetGalley.Jael Thompson as spent most of her life moving around with her cold ex-priest father. She finally feels at home in Seattle with her best friend Britt and her crush Rob, but she's scared her father will want to pick up and move again soon. On her sixteenth birthday, Jael gets a necklace left for her by her mother and learns the big secret: her mother was a demon, making Jael half demon. Now that she has her powers to use, Jael is a threat to Hell and they want her dead. A very powerful demon who wants revenge is hot on her tail and he'll use anything to hurt her, including her friends and family.Some heroines are intelligent. Some make a few short-sighted mistakes but are otherwise smart. Some are dim bulbs. Jael is special; she's TSTL, so utterly moronic that the stupidity of her actions should have led to her death. She uses her demonic powers in public multiple times (once, she lights a fireball when someone is calling her name and following her; she would have been screwed if it had been anyone but Rob), continues to use them despite knowing it will lead the antagonist to her, and never thinks about what her actions mean for others. When Belial does eventually get to her, she won't even tell her dad what happened.I won't say that Jael isn't a flawed character--she is flawed in how she is rebellious and does stupid things to try and have a stable life--but she is quite likely one of the most moronic protagonists I've ever read about. Two of the supporting characters, Britt and Belial, were especially weak. Britt was selfish, irritating, vain, and what eventually happened to her was a very predictable twist. The antagonist Belial needs a copy of the Evil Overlord List. His evil villain monologues about he is SO TOTALLY AWESOME and Jael will never defeat him blatantly foreshadowed his defeat. And then he lets her go because he thinks she can't beat him.Speaking of blatant foreshadowing, the segment where Britt had a chat conversation with her mystery guy was completely unnecessary and insulting to my intelligence. I was pretty sure of who her mystery guy was at that point and that scene confirmed it. Did someone think the readers would be so stupid that they needed that scene to figure out who it was, or that they wouldn't figure it out after such a bold, barely disguised hint?And for reference, giving a heroine the power to see inside someone's soul and understand every part of them is a bad idea. It's a cheap, unsatisfying cop-out to keep from giving characters development the old-fashioned way. Magic isn't the solution to everything.At one point, Jael uses the power of spirit, which she had never used at that point, on her love interest Rob. Not only was this a huge danger to Rob's life and very stupid to do in public, but it made me discredit all romantic interactions the two had after that point. If what she did to his spirit felt so utterly orgasmic that he asked her to marry him in all seriousness when she was done, how can I trust that his feelings for her after that are genuine? There is nothing that makes me think his feelings for her are more about who she is than how she can make him feel with her powers.It takes something extraordinary to break my suspension of disbelief, especially in an urban fantasy or anything with supernatural elements, but Misfit did it twice. Jael hasn't had her powers for very long or used them very much, but she's powerful enough to defeat a Grand Duke of Hell, a powerful demon close to Lucifer himself. Yeah, I call bull. It happened again when her mother Astarte's love and kindness was so overwhelming that it made Asmodeus, demon of lust characterized in this novel as "master of gamblers and whores, corrupter and despoiler of life (ARC p. 86)," change and choose to watch over Jael.There was even a cute little instance of description fail: "His breath smells like static electricity (ARC p. 293)." Since when did static electricity have a smell? Someone suggested to me that it meant the demon's breath smelled like ozone, a sharp smell like metal and bleach associated with electricity, but that intent didn't come across clearly if that were the case. There had to be a better way to describe his breath than that.What made this book even slightly worthwhile was reading about was Jael's father Paul. I preferred to read about him, how he fell in love with his demon wife, how they fought demons together, and how Paul struggled with raising his daughter when he didn't know how to be a parent than read about his rebellious daughter who lacked the brains to think about repercussions and have self-preservation. If the book's focus had been Paul and Astarte instead of Jael, the book would have been much better.Considering how the book ends, I'm almost completely sure this will turn into a series. There will be plenty that jump on board for the series once Misfit comes out in August 2011, but I'm not one of them. It was wonderful to have a POC heroine (her mother was Arabic) because it's so hard to find POC heroines in the genre, but she and her story could use a lot of improvement on their weaknesses.