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Paul and Danny are called to an emergency investigation in North Carolina where Trish, who is six months pregnant, believes that her husband’s brother, Seth, may be possessed by something evil. Seth has come to stay with Trish and Roger after leaving New York City, where an antique store owner was murdered and a small demonic statue was stolen. As supernatural events mount, Trish begins to believe that Seth may have taken the statue.
Danny doesn’t want to go to North Carolina. He has grown closer to Cassie, and now that they’ve seen something strange at an abandoned amusement park, he feels that he must protect her. But Paul tells Danny that the best protection he can give Cassie is to stay away from her.
The demons are relentless in their pursuit of Danny and his powers, and they will stop at nothing to take him and everyone he cares about.
Horror After Dark Review
POSSESSION: The Exorcist’s Apprentice 2, is the second book in Mark Lukens’ ” Exorcist’s Apprentice” series. We begin with a new couple, Roger and Trish, who are expecting their first child in a few months. When Roger’s big brother Seth arrives, Trish is always exasperated at the intrusion, but this time things are quite a bit . . . worse.
“Everything about this is strange.”
We alternate from Trish’s point of view, to Paul and his son (in training), Danny. The thing that bothers me the most, is that these sets of characters don’t get together until approximately 60% into the novel.
It felt to me as if the majority of the first half was mainly focused on Trish noticing the “uncanny” way Seth is behaving (which his brother doesn’t seem to sense at all), and the nightmares she has about him.
“. . . She wasn’t crazy (of course, truly crazy people never thought they were crazy) . . . “
I felt that Seth’s character was the most interesting by far, and yet he really didn’t physically “do” much aside from a couple scenes in the very beginning.
“. . . I went looking for something and I found it.”
The demonic possession and backstory to this novel were the high points, in my opinion. Yet, there was one character I felt I should have remembered from the first book in this series, but couldn’t recall. I really don’t see this as a fault of the author so much as it simply fell into the trap of many “second books” in a trilogy. Technically, this is continuing on with the main plot that began in Book one, yet it needs to be able to stand on its own as well as move the central plot forward to the next book. In my personal opinion, many of these second books are much less fulfilling and feel like more of a “place holder” to tide readers over until the grand finale–the third book expected to tie everything together in the end.
“We all wish we would have done things earlier . . . Done things differently.”
Overall, I still enjoyed the established characters from Book one, but wish they had made a stronger impact earlier in the story. Also, given the fact that many/most readers will have read other books in between the publishing dates of these, I think it could have benefitted by a bit more recounting of some of the important people/situations from Book one that are brought back–or even referenced–in this second book. While there was a conclusion to the problem focused on here, because of the “set up” and foreshadowing of a third book, I somehow felt as if it was left . . . unfinished . . . .
Of course, those that read this shortly after the first Exorcist’s Assistant, will probably be less likely to encounter the issues I had. I’m going with a three star-rating because I really enjoyed having the idea that began in Book one expanded upon. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that this book had quite the same impact as the first. However, I attribute much of that to the year apart in my reading each.
About The Author
Mark Lukens has been writing since the second grade when his teacher called his parents in for a conference because the ghost story he’d written had her a little concerned.
Since then he’s had several stories published and four screenplays optioned by producers in Hollywood. He is the author of many bestselling books including: Ancient Enemy, Sightings, Devil’s Island, The Exorcist’s Apprentice, Followed, and more. He is a member of The Horror Writers Association.
He grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida. But after many travels and adventures, he settled down near Tampa, Florida with his wonderful wife and son … and a stray cat they adopted.
He loves to hear from readers! He can be found on Facebook at Mark Lukens Books, on Twitter @marklukensbooks, and you can follow his blog at www.marklukensbooks.wordpress.com. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.