A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Overall there is a strong message of acceptance. Nat is an orphan who has trouble finding a family because he can see demons. He becomes a demonkeeper much too young, but not before he is ready to care for some demons and protect society from others.
Positive Role Models
Nat the orphan, Nat the accidental Demonkeeper, Nat the lonely, lost boy falls naturally into the role of hero and exhibits all the traditional and excellent qualities necessary -- he's quick, smart, and brave -- along with a sense of humor, lack of despair, and deep compassion.
Violence & Scariness
A little gore -- the Beast in the dungeon wants live food, preferably lost children, and the Demonkeeper who wants the Beast uses his minions to kill several people.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nat's mentor has a rule against girls -- as far as he's concerned, they're no better than a secubus. But in the end there is one sweet kiss.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A few secondary characters smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is a little gore and several killings in this tale, making it more appropriate for middleschoolers and up than for the 9-12 age range the publisher recommends. But there's not enough gore to put it in the horror genre and the humor and good nature of the main character add a milder quality. The demons (represented here more as manifestations of chaos) aren't all evil; many of the ones who live with the main character are more mischievous than bad. The Beast, however, is truly evil, and his natural prey is lost children.
Is It Any Good?
Nat is an irresistible, unexpected hero in a fast-paced adventure that will have readers wishing for more. Wickedly funny, smart, lonely, and out of place wherever he goes, Nat is beloved only by his minions. Teens will have no trouble relating to this hero who is simply trying to get by -- managing his household of demons and an evil threat while still trying to get a date. And it's a nice touch when he offers another lost kid the same opportunities he was given.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.