Release Date: Septemebr 1st 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia
Add it: Goodreads
Forget anything you ever heard about possession, exorcisms, salt circles and pentagrams. The modern demon is far more difficult to catch - and even harder to destroy.Mammon kicks off right away with siblings, Grace and Joe, quickly discovering that they're not quite the normal teenagers they always considered themselves to be. Grace has telepathic abilities and Joe has the incredibly powerful gift of being able to open rifts into other dimensions - a Ferryman. They learn they're descendants of highly skilled mercenaries known as sarsareh and after their parents are brutally murdered, their Auntie Diana takes them to Renfield - a training centre for the sarsareh. Joe is holding onto the rage of his parents murder, desperate for vengeance, playing right into their hands of the extraordinarily powerful and calculating demon known as Mammon, who has been seeking those with Joe's talent for years, for it will allow him access to the darkest pits of Hell and with it, an army of unstoppable demons. Can Joe stop himself from going over the edge before it's too late and he literally brings forth Hell on Earth?
After the savage, tragic deaths of their parents, Grace and Joe Callahan learn that they they are descendants of the sarsareh - an ancient order of mercenaries who hunt very special prey. Grace and Joe take their place in the Order, but are treated with hostility and fear by other recruits.
For the Callahan siblings have powers that fascinate and terrify.
Joe is a Ferryman, capable of opening dimensional rifts, while Grace's telepathic abilities surpass anything the Order has ever seen.
To complicate matters, Grace falls for her older, more experienced squad leader, Ivan. Meanwhile, the sarsareh elders have their own plans for Joe.
But none of that will matter if the powerful demon Mammon manages to convince Joe to open a gateway to his demon world and overrun Earth with his armies. If he succeeds: game over
Grace was easy to empathise with and I liked that she makes mistakes. I mean, coming into these powers, you're bound to get over-confident or make the wrong calls of judgement and she does exactly that, which I think makes her more human, more relatable. Joe, on the other hand, I struggled to connect with. Toward the end I grew a little more favourable to him, but I suppose it was a combination of his attitude and general personality that just didn't click with me. But he's a necessary character, the catalyst which sparked the whirlwind journey the Callahan siblings were forced into.
There is a hint of romance throughout the novel between Grace and Ivan, which has a Vampire Academy feel due to the fact that he's her slightly older team leader. And did I mention he's Russian? We sure do like our Russian men! I think it's the accent and the general air of I'm-deadly-as-hell-and-can-kill-you-with-my-left-toe. I'm convinced now that all the hot Russian guys hunt supernatural monsters in their spare time. Definitely need to take a vacation to Russia someday soon.
Mammon is told from multiple perspectives, both villains and heroes, which adds more depth to the story, since we're gaining intel from every direction. We know what the enemy is planning, we can see when our heroes are falling right into their web and you can only curse in frustration (but in a good way!) and wonder what's going to happen, how they'll get themselves out of this situation.
While I did find myself a little detached from the characters in the first few chapters of this book, I'm glad I went back for a second bite because as soon as I dove back into this story, I realised that J.B Thomas is clearly a female Ferryman. Because when opening this book you'll find a rift hidden inside, it's magnetic force pulling the reader deeper and deeper into it's world of cunning, ruthless demons and the highly skilled mercenaries who risk their life to fight back. Mammon paces itself well, full of action and an incredibly compelling, unique take on the demon mythology. It's Supernatural meets Vampire Academy and yet another fantastic novel from an Aussie!
Also: How cool is the cover? And totally fitting for the story! That looks like one scary powerful rift hanging above the city.
4/5 Golden Apples