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.
I feel a little conflicted about this book. I liked it, but I'm not sure that I loved it.
Let me start with what I liked.
I LOVED the setting. The author does an excellent job creating a real setting, one that I could fall into completely. I truly felt like I was in that setting, in Milan.
I also liked the idea. It's a new one in YA. I haven't seen very many YA books like this.
The story was good. There were some surprises and the plot moved quickly.
Mia was a wonderful character. I really liked her and I felt like she was relate-able. Emilio was also very nice. I had a soft-spot for the handsome Italian.
So, now to the bad.
For one, the whole demon thing was never fully described. I only halfway understood that whole thing. It was never completely explained, and that led to a lot of confusion as the questions built up. Where do the demon's come from? Do you need a certain power to fight the demons, or can anyone do it? Why are bells and candles used to fight the demons; how does that harm them? And the thing is, Mia was just as in the dark as I was. Her family never taught her everything about the demons. They just kept saying that she had to discover it herself. But that meant the reader didn't know anything about demons as well. It was just frustrating. And I couldn't understand why Mia's family couldn't just give her the information rather than a bunch of cryptic remarks.
Another problem is the romance. From the summary, I was expecting there to be some kind of relationship in this book. And I was kind of looking forward to some hot Italians. But that didn't happen. First, the whole Emilio thing. He's something like a third cousin to Mia, a distant relation. Now, the whole crush was a little strange, but I could have gotten over it. But she basically pines over him for just about the entire book and nothing happens. The only other guy was this psycho who is in and out of the story withing a couple of chapters. It was a little disappointing.
The last problem might not be a problem. The ending wasn't satisfying. Nothing was resolved. I haven't heard about a sequel yet, but I'm really hoping there is one. Because if there isn't, then this book had a really unsatisfying ending. If there does end up being a sequel, then this problem vanishes.
I liked this book, but I didn't love it. It was good. But not brilliant. I would still recommend it, but I would have to issue a warning of the problems I had with The Demon Catchers of Milan.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!