It was over coffee and biscuits that Grandma Ives offered to return Cameron’s father from the dead…
Cameron never came to visit his grandma when his dad was alive – and he’s just found out the reason why. Sent to stay with her after his father’s death, Grandma Ives soon reveals their family’s extraordinary abilities, and introduces him to the dark side of Edinburgh he never knew existed – the Daemon Parallel.
Cameron is sent on dangerous missions in Edinburgh’s daemon underworld to find the ingredients for an ancient spell that will bring his dad back to life. Cameron befriends a werewolf, bargains with a giant bat-like beast, and struggles to escape the clutches of a powerful spider daemon. But will he survive long enough to finish the resurrection spell? And who can he trust in a world where nothing is what it seems?
Published 22 March 2012
Reviews (click reviewer’s name for link to full review)
“This is one of the things I love about this book: it’s an action adventure, full of magic and danger and werewolves, but it’s also the story of a boy’s soul, and his struggles to tell friend from foe in a world that’s difficult to decipher. The story of someone who finds his own pack.”
Daniela Sacerdoti (Watch Over Me; Sarah Midnight: Dreams; Really Weird Removals)
“Heady, wonderful stuff… Edinburgh is conjured brilliantly and beautifully here, and we can really believe in it as a place suffused by magic. Whenever Cameron steps sideways into the Parallel, the world around him alters and shifts and familiar places are strangely transformed. I loved the scenes in the old department store on Princess Street – which becomes a kind of forest cathedral, where antlered beings tend to a sleeping Winter God. All of these moments are touched with the Celticy atmosphere of the Herne the hunter scenes in both Masefield and Cooper – and I just adored them.
There are some wonderful characters here – including Morgan the wolf boy, who lives in an abandoned cinema, and who becomes Cameron’s friend. Cameron’s gran is an ambiguous and magical being – drawing him into this weird world of alternate dimensions. She reminded me a little of the granny in Robin Jarvis’ Whitby Witches books – but with a touch, perhaps, of that Mrs Coulter in Pullman’s His Dark Materials. This is much, much more readable than Pullman, though, I think. The kids here speak in a wonderfully realistic way – slapdash, slangy and cod-Californian, like kids everywhere.
I don’t want to give much away about the plot. It’s a quest story ranging over the layered streets and stories of the city; a story about returning the missing dead to life, and finding the arcane means to do so, through a series of scary encounters with mythical beings all over the Old and New Town of Edinburgh. There are mythic underpinnings and a mythos that we believe in completely – and we don’t get too much fussy backstory to weigh us down. Also, all the magic isn’t mystical and wishy-washy. It’s all about action and keeping the story moving, and hurtling towards a fabulous climax up in the hills above Holyrood Park.
I adored this novel. I really, really want it to be the first in a sequence. I want it to be a boxed set of novels that are just about falling apart with repeated rereadings. That’s how much I enjoyed this first one.”
Paul Magrs (666 Charing Cross Road; Brenda and Effie; Enter Wildthyme; Doctor Who: Serpent Crest)
“[Cameron] has to wrestle not only with talking spiders who manifest themselves in velvet curtains, but also the big question – is it right to bring someone back from the dead? However much you love them?
[He’s] principled, capable, and brave, but also convincingly a teenage boy – impulsive, reckless, and unlikely to take sensible well-meaning advice from anyone. He’s a great creation. I’d love to meet him again… Damn good first book!”
Lari Don (First Aid for Fairies and other Fabled Beasts; Rocking Horse War)
“With more twists and turns than a basilisk, and a truly exciting ending that kept me on the edge of my seat, The Daemon Parallel gripped me throughout and made me long for a sequel. Without doubting for a second it’s originality, it’s like a version of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere for teenagers – and there’s not much higher praise than that…”
Krissie West, Kids Read Books blog
“Roy Gill’s first novel reminds me of the work of the great Diana Wynne-Jones; we don’t have a straightforward narrative, from our world to the fantastical one and back, and isn’t about slotting the right grail onto the right plinth at midsummer – it’s a story about the people who live with knowledge of that magical world: a story of a contract, of secrets, of deals and friends and businesses. Magic is not merely a solution or a danger in itself, you never quite know what turn the story will take next.
“This book is absolutely brilliant… I was actually so immersed in the story that I found myself in both worlds, both the Humanian and the Parallel, with each of the characters. It’s like watching the adventure first hand, as if you were a fly on the wall, so to speak. It’s one of those books that when it ends you feel a great sense of loss… This book has everything from quick fire humour, which really make you chuckle, to some fantastic action sequences, which are really well written…
This is a great debut book and one that will fly high into my top five reads of this year.”
Vincent Ripley, Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books
Steph & Kate Waterstones booksellers
“If you like urban fantasy stories that don’t take themselves too seriously, that have you giggling almost at every chapter, that have interesting characters, a plot that doesn’t revolve around saving the world, and all of this set in the capital of Scotland, then I recommend this book hands down, and I would support the author in any way possible for a sequel. So what are you waiting for? Go out and get it!”
Thy Robocop, blog on deviant art
“This impressive debut novel has just the right blend of action, mystery, adventure, magic, supernatural, humour and character development. Most of all, I was surprised at how ‘right sounding’ the voice of Cameron is. The things he said are exactly the kinds of stuff I’d expect a kid to say… And what a gutsy ending!”
Order online (retailers listed alphabetically)
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If you stock The Daemon Parallel and would like a link, let me know . If you don’t stock it, and would like to, please contact Chani (at) florisbooks.co.uk / 0131 337 2372
Quick links to blog posts on this site about Daemon Parallel
Links to guest blogs / interviews
Other links: The novel’s cover is by Paul Mudie – website here