Author: Sarah Dalton
Series: Mary Hades #2
Release Date: December 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Mary Hades is drawn back into the world of the macabre as she moves with her family into the mysterious old house, Ravenswood. The mere mention of Ravenswood induces terror among the locals, and when strange things begin to occur, Mary and Lacey decide to get to the bottom of the secret hidden in the historic house once and for all.
As a dark power gathers, Mary finds her life becomes interconnected with the disturbing events that transpired in 1847 to eleven year old Liza Blair. The more Mary is drawn into Liza’s story, the more she realises someone close to her is in grave danger from the sinister energy at Ravenswood.
Set in the backdrop of an unsettling forest, and with strange neighbour Emmaline Delacroix obsessed with death and séances, Possess will take you even deeper into the murky depths of Mary Hades’s unusual life.
Book two in the Mary Hades series.
Officially Possess is the second instalment of the Mary Hades series because My Daylight Monsters and Sister are only considered to be companion novellas whose plots supplement the reader’s understanding of Mary Hades and her difficult journey, but are not necessary. However, I think the that by the time we reach even the halfway point in Possess, it’s story is so intricately interwoven with the previous plots that the reader will regret having ignored the ‘lesser’ books (I haven’t yet read Sister but certainly wish I had!)
Possess differs from My Daylight Monsters and Mary Hades because Sarah Dalton has bravely chosen to write a nonconformist YA story. Though the plot is dark, the majority of its main paranormal events take place within the walls of Ravenswood and this means there is no hint of romance. This is a refreshing change and I think if Mary was concentrating on love, rather than the secrets behind the house, the flow of the story would have been interrupted. As it stands Sarah Dalton’s writing captures us entirely, to the point where my heart beat sped up in fear!
Even Lacey has a lesser part on this story, partly because she and Mary are becoming more aware of the repercussions of her decision not to cross over and because the light relief she provides with her witty comments is redundant here. Despite the fact that there is more strain on her friendship with Mary, she still manages to use her powers at the most important moments!
At the heart of Possess is a subject many readers will identify with; Mary’s difficult relationship with her mother. As Mary’s mum changes and her true self becomes weakened, we watch Mary fight to save her. This shows how Mary is maturing and learning from her past.
Possess is not a light read. It’s plot is sinister and at times frightening, and I loved every minute of it. Sarah Dalton weaves Mary’s story and Liza’s diary together to create more drama, which only sucks us in further.
The majority of Young Adult books I read are by US authors but I am proud to claim Sarah Dalton for the UK! But remember to read Possess with the lights turned on!