Recommended by Christina Mercer
Life is Hell for sixteen-year-old Desolation Black. Literally. Hell, aka Helheim, is cold and lonely, and yet it’s the home to which Desi longs to return after she’s forced to leave. Desi’s father Loki, aka Lucifer, is eager for her to BECOME—to turn into a demon—and the quickest way for that to happen is by making her live with fallen humans under his command on Earth. Desi’s been to Earth before, and going back causes her to REMEMBER—to have visions of every horrible thing she did there.
She tolerates the mansion parties thrown by her slimy “uncle” and clings to the one friend that helped her on Earth before—Lucy. Double tragedy strikes early on when Desi loses control over a sadistic partygoer and BECOMES, and Lucy ends up dead. To make matters worse, Lucifer orders Desi to attend Catholic school and befriend a suicidal alcoholic girl named Miri, so that she can nudge the girl over her final edge. But Devil Dad’s plans don’t go as expected when Desi finds a friend in Miri.
Desi also meets Michael, who sparks warmth and strange memories of him in a garden. Her REMEMBERING spins out visions of them together, sweet and loving, and Desi struggles with everything she’s supposed to “be”. She is the daughter of Satan—one half demon—but she’s also one half of her mother who died giving birth to her, and who Desi discovers held the same GARDIAN angel warmth Michael does.
The screws really tighten when Desi learns Michael and Miri are members of a Hallowed group formed to save the world from the Apocalypse Lucifer has planned. Desi is drawn to everything the group stands for and begins to change heart. But Lucifer’s right-hand man, Akaros, isn’t too thrilled about Desi’s rebellion, and battles her and her friends. In the end, Desi makes a painful choice between those she loves, but with her destiny clear before her, she’s ready to fight against her father’s darkness.
Norse mythology and the interplay of angels and demons fill the pages of “Become”. I was hooked from the first page and enjoyed the fast pace and intriguing storyline. Desi has a wonderful edge and depth, which made me root for her the entire way. Her supporting cast was varied and interesting. Though I would’ve liked more to show the bond between Desi and Miri, their friendship serves the basic purpose of the story. The romance woven through is handled nicely, and the theme comes through well as Desi learns to believe in herself and embrace her own power.
The story is quite complex, and there were places where I had to work at not being confused, but in the end all the mysteries fell in place. The end is open-ended as there will be a sequel, but the story arc is complete in Desi’s understanding of herself. Minus one or two typos, the editing is clean, and I give this Young Adult Paranormal an indie-visible Recommendation.