Release Date: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.
Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.
I'd describe Possess as Buffy the Exorcist. The Exorcist part is obvious and the reason I think of Buffy is because like her, Bridget was always fated to this battle against demons and other forces of darkness. Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides, teaches and trains her. Bridget has San Francisco's Monsignor Renault and keeps her extracurricular activities a secret while going about her everyday life.
Possess isn't like anything I've ever read – which is very refreshing to say. Bridget is definitely not the shy type that wants to be rescued. She's a tough, independent and enjoys the feeling of power her ability gives her while fearing what having it makes her at the same time.
I really enjoyed the fact Bridget was the one being pursed by Matt, her former childhood friend who recently moved back to San Francisco and has taken on the role of protector for both her and younger brother Sammy. Unlike Bridget with her combat boots and friends she can count on one hand, Matt is very popular. It was obviously Matt liked her and despite sarcastic remarks and giving him the cold shoulder that Bridget liked him too. I always root for the childhood friends that now have the possibility of being more.
Possess is a dark, unique and captivating fast-paced story. I enjoyed the unsettling feeling I got reading it. The vivid descriptions helped me picture every scene effortlessly in my mind and the unpredictable plot kept me in a constant state of suspense that only increased from page to page. The first thought I had when I turn the last page was that I want more of this world Gretchen McNeil created. I really hope this isn't the last I hear of Bridget and Matt.