Title: Billy Purgatory: I am the Devil Bird
Author: Jesse James Freeman
Page Count/Review Word Count: 358
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
Jesse has the somewhat dubious honour of penning the book that’s been the closest any book has ever got to scoring a ten without actually doing so. He’s a friend of Allie Burke, whose ‘Paper Souls‘ I’ve recently reviewed, and I had to confess to Allie that his book is better, and Allie scored a nine. I don’t award half marks, but if I did then Paper Souls would be an 8.5 and Billy Purgatory would be a 9.5.
Seriously, I can only fault it in a couple of ways – first up, it took a little while to get in to the story-line, and secondly I don’t think Freeman should have included the first chapter of the next book in the series as an appendix, because it left me feeling indifferent and caused me to question whether it should affect my review of book one.
Other than that, my god this is good – it’s rare to read a book with so much promise, and even rarer for the first book in a series to kick ass so much – we’re talking better than Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and on a par with Prisoner of Azkaban, which was my favourite. I can only think of one trilogy which has a better opener, and that’s Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. If anyone can beat Northern Lights then they’d score an 11.
And it’s badass, too – I couldn’t really decide whether it was a young adult novel or just a novel – I suspect that it’s the former, and that Freeman just has a knack for speaking to young adults in their own language. He’s got to be a kid at heart, really – otherwise, how else would you be able to write a book this good about a skateboarding bad-ass, a bunch of demigods and a fit vampire who takes playing hard to get to a new level?