Darkness and Demon Song (Marius Grey 2)

Darkness and Demon Song (Marius Grey 2)
Age Range
Release Date
June 18, 2024
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A cemetery-boy-turned-monster-hunter must race against time to save his recently-resurrected mother in Darkness and Demon Song, M.R. Fournet’s eerie middle grade follow up to Brick Dust and Bones.
Marius Grey’s mom is back from the dead. After hunting monsters and performing forbidden spells, Marius is just happy she's there, helping him to take care of their Louisiana cemetery again.

But it soon becomes clear that something has gone wrong. Marius's mother is growing more distant and strange things start happening around her. Worse yet, sometimes it feels like she’s a completely different person–one who definitely isn’t his mom.

If Marius wants to save her, he’s going to need help. Serious help. Good thing he has a flesh-eating mermaid for a best friend and a classmate with extra strong magic. Add in mysterious clues for new hunts, graveyard hopping from Louisiana to Texas, and a tough ex-hunter he doesn’t know if he can trust, and it’s clear that Marius has his work cut out for him.

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Doing what it takes for family
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What worked:
The whole world accepts the existence of ghosts and other supernatural creatures and Marius has become a reluctant celebrity. He was able to dispose of a particularly nasty creature and rescue his mother from the devil. Darius and Kelly, his mom, are monster hunters and the book opens with them tackling a stronger-than-expected chupacabra. Darius possesses a book with the power to capture monsters within its pages and he later has the
Some middle-grade heroes are reluctant and insecure about their roles but Marius is a confident monster hunter. He still captures monsters alone while his mother is gone but he appreciates that she’s now returned to help. He has an ability to transport himself to different cemeteries which makes moving quickly to other locations quite easy. No need for a car! Marius’s best friend is a mermaid named Rhiannon and he’s most relaxed when he’s anchored in the bayou listening to her songs. Rhiannon’s suggestions to help Marius often include killing and eating the problems which adds a touch of levity to the story.
The most intriguing part of the story is Darius’s mom because there’s obviously something wrong with her. She behaves and speaks strangely at times but then can’t remember what just happened. Marius is afraid to ask for help because he’s not sure what might happen to Kelly if news of her condition gets out. However, it’s hard to help her if he can’t identify the problem. It’s an impossible decision. Ask for help and risk losing his mother or do things on his own to risk his mother losing her soul.
What didn’t work as well:
A great deal happened in the first book and it feels like readers are joining a party that’s already started. We quickly learn that Marius is a monster hunter and his mother has just returned from spending two years with the devil. She’s changed because of the experience and it would be nice to have more information about what happened. As always, the easy solution is to read the first book and fill in some of those gaps.
The final verdict:
The author’s skillful descriptions of Marius’s life as a monster hunter will capture the imagination of young readers. His protective feelings for his mother lead to difficult, emotional decisions that may challenge Marius beyond his abilities. Overall, this is an exciting adventure in the bayou and I recommend you give it a shot.
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