Published by Egmont USA on August 28th 2012
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.
At first glance, The Demon Catchers of Milan seemed to have it all. A beautiful city for its setting. A paranormal element. Some family issues to work through. Boy, this book seemed to have a lot of promises to uphold. But did it deliver? Eh, that is a hard question to answer.
The premise of The Demon Catchers of Milan is what initially drew me in. I forgot all about the setting. Any external family issues. Focusing only on why I picked up this read in the first place: demon catching. In this regard, The Demon Catchers of Milan almost completely fails to deliver. Our protagonist, Mia, has been possessed by a demon of pretty much unknown origin with pretty much unknown motives. The Demon Catchers of Milan begins and ends basically with having little to no questions answered about the demon or what it wants. It is simply there. Lurking about. Waiting to attack. Making things a little uncomfortable. The End.
I would be lying if I said that I was not disappointed by the lack of any actual demon catching occurring. Sure, there are few incidents occurring throughout to give the read a little spice. But these incidents have little to nothing to do with Mia and her situation, or really even teaching readers about this family's so-called profession. They are known as the demon catchers of Milan. But what on Earth really makes them stand out? The Demon Catchers of Milan gives these little hints, but nothing is explored. Which often became a little more than frustrating.
But what The Demon Catchers of Milan lacked in overall demon catching was made up, in part, by its beautiful setting. The pace of the read was much slower than I anticipated. And while I usually become bored with slower paced reads, for some reason, Beyer's Milan had me enthralled. From the quiet streets to the food to the history, Beyer has done some serious homework here to make The Demon Catchers of Milan come alive in a way that I never expected.
The Demon Catchers of Milan was a read that I loved for a completely different reason than I expected to. Although, the actual demon catching was kept to a minimum, The Demon Catchers of Milan seems to almost be a starter read. Giving readers the foundation that they will need for future installments. Promising that Mia will eventually be fully welcomed into the fold, and be a force to be reckoned with in her own right. Will that happen? I do not know. But Beyer's Milan is definitely a place that I would love to explore more of.