The Demon Catchers of Milan

Title: The Demon Catchers of Milan
Author: Kat Beyer
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 288
Genre: magical realism/ghosts/contemporary
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5

Summary from Goodreads–Mia’s ordinary life is disrupted in the most horrifying way possible when she is possessed by a hungry and powerful demon–and only saved by the arrival of relatives from Italy, the country her grandfather fled many decades ago. Now her cousins Emilio and Giuliano say the only way to keep her safe is for her to come back with them to Milan, to live, to learn Italian, to fall in and out of love, and to master the family trade: fighting all demons with the lore of bell, book, and candle. Milan is not what Mia expected, but it will change her forever, in this stunningly well-written novel about an American girl who, fleeing an ancient evil, finds her only salvation in her ancestral home.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this book. To be MORE honest, I wasn’t expecting anything from this book. It’s by an author I’d never heard of by a publisher I’d only read one book from. However, I was pleasantly and totally surprised. The writing in The Demon Catchers of Milan was just as beautiful and romantic as its title would leave you to believe. It is a unique ghost story laden with culture that is rarely found in today’s young adult literature, complete with magic and a likable, strong heroine and devoid of silly romance. The highly descriptive nature of Beyer’s writing may put off those who prefer action-based tales, but for me it was right on point. The only part of the book I took issue with was the lack of resolve at the end. As far as I’m aware there is no sequel, and it seemed a bit odd to leave out the event that we all want to happen: the vanquishing of Mia’s demon. I also wish the cover artist had done more with the book, as the girl-in-a-dress is really not at all relevant to the story. All in all though, it was a thoroughly enjoyable story and I can’t wait to hear more from Ms. Beyer


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