Have you ever read a book that reminded you of a song? I recently had that experience while reading the first chapter of Dale Peck's Body Surfing — a line from the Pink Floyd song "Brain Damage" seemed to play just beyond the edge of hearing. I'll elaborate about what I mean.Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
The novel Body Surfing is a dark tale of demons, demonic possession, revenge, and what makes a person human. The story revolves around Leo, a nearly 2,000 year old demon with a secret, Q and Jasper, a pair of teenage boys, and Ileana, a demon hunter, who previously had a run-in with Leo. The story opens in the Roman Empire during the days of Nero, giving a plausible explanation of the excesses of that age. In retrospect, this lead-in describes Leo's origin and the demons' origins.
Flash forward to the present day and Ileana is in pursuit of a demon named Malachi, and we quickly learn the cost, in human terms, of demon slaying. Concurrently, we are also introduced to Q, who hasn't been himself lately, and Jasper, who has been selected by Leo for a very special fate. Add to the mix these characters' families, friends, and acquaintances and a researcher who believes that demons are simply a form of electrical energy, and things get really interesting.
While this is a dark and bloody tale filled with sex and control, I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were times when there were glimpses of humanity in the demons and seemingly demonic behavior in the humans. And the entire time I was reading the book, I could almost hear this line from the Pink Floyd song: "There's someone in my head but it's not me."
Body Surfing was released in the paperback version on February 9, 2010. You can read Chapter 1 of the novel on the Simon & Schuster Web site.
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