Darkness and Demon Song (Marius Grey 2)

 
4.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
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Darkness and Demon Song (Marius Grey 2)
Author(s)
Age Range
9+
Release Date
June 18, 2024
ISBN
978-1250876041
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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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Monster hunters... monster friends
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
In this sequel to Brick Dust and Bones, Marius has managed to bring his mother, Kelly, back from the dead. He continues to go to Madame Millet's school, where he has met the enigmatic Lynna, and also hunts monsters, selling them to Papa Harold. His flesh-eating mermaid friend, Rhiannon, still helps support him. When Marius stops by a local restaurant, the Old Coffee Pot, with his mother and Lynna, he manages to free some ghost hunters who are being possessed by spirits, but his mother becomes violently ill. Something is not quite right, and he tries to find out. He seeks the help of a retired demon hunter, Creecher, who sends him on a mission to find out how good he is, and then tells him that his mother is possessed by a demon. He consults Papa Harold, who says that if Marius can capture the Honey Island Swamp monster, he'll help with information so Marius can exorcise his mother. The monster is actually protecting owls on Honey Island, so Marius doesn't capture him. Now, he needs other help to rid his mother of the demon. With the help of Madame Millet, Mama Roux, and Creecher, will he be able to locate part of his mother's soul in Hell and reunite her with it? While this book could conclude Marius' story, there is a bit of demon song wafting through the air at the end that could lead to yet another tale.
Good Points
Marius' relationship with Rhiannon has something of the feel of Tom's relationship with Alice in The Revenge of the Witch, which is not black and white, and therefore very interesting. How can you be friends with someone you are supposed to think is a monster? The New Orleans setting, with the super creepy paranormal creatures (children with solid black eyes infesting a movie theater!), is great, and the plot moves along very quickly. I KNEW that bringing Marius' mother back from the dead would have some negative ramifications, but I liked How Marius was determined to solve the problem, had a support network he could ask for help, and did everything in his power to put things right.

I wasn't quite sure where Marius and his mother were living. I think they were still in the graveyard, living in a mausoleum, which seemed odd. Of course, she wasn't really in any condition to hold a job and rent an apartment, so that makes some sense. The details in the first book of their living arrangements was interesting, so I would have liked to know more. I was also hoping that Marius' life would return to normal so that he was even more invested to work to keep his mother.

I enjoyed this one, and it's not often we see a middle grade horror SERIES. I'd love to see Fournet write some stand alones with the same setting, but with different monster hunters. Readers who enjoyed Baptiste's Jumbies series or Royce's Conjure Island will be glad to be able to travel back to New Orleans.
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Doing what it takes for family
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
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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