“Allison said that, in time, he’d come for you. For what it’s worth, Evy, I believe her.”
Evy Breen has worked hard to forget her past. She’s changed her appearance and moved from her hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, to Knoxville, Tennessee, where she does her best to fit in.
Evy’s past catches up with her when she finds a package on her apartment doorstep. The package has no postmark, no return address. Inside is a note… and the diary of Evy’s missing best friend, Allison.
The diary contains everything about their friendship, the bullying they endured, and Allison’s confinement at a psychiatric hospital for schizophrenia. Except Allison wasn’t schizophrenic. Allison was suffering from demonic possession.
According to the note, that same demon now has its sights set on Evy. The mysterious sender claims that, despite sliding into madness and depression, Allison inserted clues into her diary that might save Evy’s life.
As Evy reads her friend’s diary, she discovers secrets that Allison kept from her—the incidents surrounding the gruesome death of a former classmate and the truth behind a government agency more interested in embracing a demon than in exorcising it.
If Evy is to survive, she must return home. There, she must confront a life she prefers to forget and fight off an ancient and powerful demon set on revenge—if only she can decipher the clues her friend left behind.
Way back in 2011… wait, that can’t be right… only 5 1/2 years? So yeah, the time frame doesn’t really matter, what does matter is that in 2011 I was introduced to the writing of Michelle Muto by winning a little book titled, The Book of Lost Souls. I’m still waiting for Ivy and gang to make a reappearance, but until then, I’ve managed to read everything else this author has written. Which by the way, covers a fairly wide range. It all started with witches, warlocks, werewolves, vampires and more wrapped up in a sweet young adult read with a touch of evil and danger and a few surprises in between (The Book of Lost Souls). Heartbreak, tough issues including teen suicide that ends in a surprising ray of hope (Don’t Fear the Reaper). Then there were Gargoyles in Of Shadow and Stone. There was also an anthology thrown into the mix that ended in a tear jerker that I still haven’t quite forgiven the author for (Nature’s Fifth Season). Which leads us to the horror of The Haunting Season. If you’re reading this review and you haven’t read The Haunting Season, don’t read Diary of the Damned until you do. That sage warning is mostly because a lot of what happens in Diary of the Damned won’t make sense unless you’ve read The Haunting Season first. So, now that I’ve gotten all that out of the way…
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Diary of the Damned. I mean, I knew it would be scary. That was a given. It is, after all, a sequel to one of the scariest books I’ve read in a while. (FYI- I like reading an occasional horror story, but it is most definitely NOT my go-to genre. In other words, I’m a wimp.) What I should have expected, but still took me totally off guard, was the emotion. There are parts of this book that broke my heart for both Evy and Allison. This book made me forget how much I really disliked Allison through much of The Haunting Season. (Again, you really have to read that book first to really get it. – Trust me.)
There were characters in this book that I wanted to hug and comfort, but there were just as many that I wanted to scream at in defense of the characters that I wanted to hug. Yeah, did I mention that there were emotions? Lots and lots of emotions. There were some crazy teenage bullies, but honestly, I wasn’t much more impressed with the adults that should have been there for these kids. As usual, the author slipped in some important life lessons within the scary pages. On a side note, there were a lot of characters in The Haunting Season that the author could have chosen to tell their story. Allison wasn’t the main character, but she was an integral one. Her story was important and I’m really glad that readers were treated to not only her diary but introducing them to someone who really cared about her.
In a nutshell, pick up The Haunting Season if you haven’t. If you have, Diary of the Damned should be next on your reading list. It’s not quite as scary as The Haunting Season, but I still only read it during the day.