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Almost Demon (Chamber One of the Sigil Cycle)
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Almost Demon

(The Sigil Cycle #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The last thing Gemma Pope expects to study in the after-school book club is demon etiquette but that is exactly what she has to do to succeed as a summoner and save her hometown.

Since taking the blame for the car accident that claimed the lives of her twin brother and two of her best friends, she s been seeing things. Dark shadows, opaque, menacing, multiplying.

The clock s
Paperback, First, 310 pages
Published October 31st 2013 by Salem Books, Inc. (first published September 26th 2013)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing


Wow. This was a kick-ass ride. Demons with unique looks and personalities, Angels, alternate universes and teen angst. What more could get you interested? The story-line is a well thought out menagerie that has constant movement coupled to focused character development. There is never a stagnant interlude of drivel filler. The cover art is just plane kick ass. Reminds me of Jo Nesbo’s “Redbreast” cover art.

There is not much more to say unless I wan
Jennifer-Eve Workman
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young Adults
Recommended to Jennifer-Eve by: Goodreads Giveaways
Shelves: 2013
I won this through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

Almost Demon is a great young adult story about the life of a teenage girl, Gemma, who is trying to handle all that life has thrown at her. When her and her twin brother Brian where little, her mother abandons the family, leaving her father to raise Gemma and Brain, as best he can. Struggling through her high school years, she learns that her boyfriend is spreading lies about just how far she has "gone" sexually, in their relationship, making her
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Almost Demon is the debut novel by AJ Salem. It's about Gemma Pope who is the lone survivor of a car crash that killed her twin brother, Brian, and their two friends. Gemma is dealing with anxiety and survivors guilt. This causes her to exclude herself from her normal activities she did before the accident. While dealing with the emotions of the accident, Gemma begins seeing dark, shapeless entities. She begins to wore that she is going crazy when she sees them all over town. Her fears subside w ...more
Julie Darley (Never judge a Book by its Movie)
Where do I start, first of all thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read the ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Second, I LOVE the cover of this book. It is what caught my eye. It reminds me of The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, both of which I adored.

I wasn’t expecting this story, it really, really captivated me. It starts with Gemma, a girl you immediately know has a story and she does. She is returning back to school following the tragic accident that claimed the life of
Nov 10, 2013 rated it liked it
~ I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~

So if you have been following Maddi and I for a while you will be well versed in my obsession with books that have a religious undertone. Of course when I saw that such a book was up for grabs on NetGalley I couldn’t help but request a copy. Was I disappointed? No, I wasn’t.

Salem has written a beautiful debut novel that puts a twist on the old heaven and hell eternal war. The imagination that has gone into creating
Shelly Phillips
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I won this book from goodreads...LOVED IT!!

I couldn't put this book down..I fell in love with Gemma Pope and I can't wait to read more from A.J. Salem.

What happened to THOM?? Can't wait for his return!!
Anastasia シ
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, young-adult, fantasy
Full Review on NetGalley
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Almost Demon had a lot of potential with an intriguing plot. I was really excited to read it. Unfortunately, it didn’t completely live up to my expectations.

The MC, Gemma, was very passive in the book. She didn’t question anyone or anything and she trusted everything everyone said. Maybe if there had been more background concerning Gemma after the accident – what happened, when she started seeing ghosts, how she handled it, etc – then I would believe her not questioning all the supernatural stuf
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There were a lot of things in Almost Demon that didn't work for me and it felt very much like a first time writer's work. As well, I think quite a bit of the book felt like I'd read it before: pseudo biblical mythology, missing mysterious mother who may have powers, distant father, mysterious boy coming on to her, etc. It was like pieces were taken from more popular novels such as Beautiful Creatures or the Infernal D
Fangs for the Fantasy
Gemma has finally returned to school after the accident – the accident in which her twin brother and her two best friends died. The accident that half the town and most of the school blames on her.

That’s a lot to deal with. Thankfully she has some distractions with an after-school book club that comes with lessons on how to summon demons

But summoning demons isn’t a mere amusement – with people of the town being possessed by the shadowy Dybbuk in greater and greater numbers, Gem’s ability to summ
Katherine Paschal
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ever since the car accident that killed her twin brother and two good friends and left her in a coma, Gemma has seen black floating shapes. She tries to pretend that her world didn’t fall apart with her twin’s death, but she has distanced herself from her past life. When senior year of school starts, Gemma dreads going back for good reason. Everyone seems to blame her for the deaths, and the black shapes have multiplied. When the blackness starts to seep into people and cause them to attack her, ...more
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Almost Demon was an engaging read, and I found it very easy to just let myself sit and flow from chapter to chapter. It was a really good mix of demons, angels, spells and gates to hell with a touch of not happy ever after. Whether demon, angel, human, or otherwise, each character has his or her own distinct personality that isn’t necessarily what one would expect (like - an angel with a tattered robe and a nail-biting habit who blithely refuses to help rid the town of aggressive spirits, a bead ...more
Carrie Mansfield
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Two reviews in as many days! And yes, I read this book in like three hours and change. After the bit of a slog that Thief's Magic was, and knowing that the next several books I'm going to be doing are ARCs, I wanted to pick something that would be fun to read and preferably YA (for the easier read). Although I couldn't remember what the story was supposed to be about I love the cover and the title just kept calling out to me so I decided to read this.

I read the first 5% at break. I finished mayb
Grace (LovingDemBooks) Z.
I'd give this book 3 of 5 stars.

As a tough book critic, I usually give a book above a 3-3.5 rating. The highest I've really ever given a book was a four. Given that, I actually enjoyed this book a lot.

I love how Almost Demon is a bit of everything. Paranormal, sci-fi, romance, historical, it's everything. That's what makes it unique.

But, there were some parts in the book that I did not quite understand. It was confusing sometimes. I don't think I ever ended up incompletely understanding the whol
Emily (Falling for YA)
Nov 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
I almost liked Almost Demon. The story had all this potential! It had demons, summonings, and things that go bump in the night. Those are some of my favorite things so why then did I not it?

Well, first off, the main character Gemma was all over the place. One second she was curious about what was going on around her and the next second she didn’t care and would rather go on a run. I never felt like I actually got to know her. It was like I knew things about her but didn’t connect with her as a p
Emma is the sole survivor of the car crash that killed her twin brother and two best friends! Since that day she has been seeing strange dark shadows and strange happenings in her town. Is she going mad? What is happening to her once peaceful town?

Her questions are answered with the arrival of 2 new people. The English Lit teacher and the handsome Ian. From that moment on her world is turned upside down with the knowledge they give her.

Almost Demon took me awhile to get into. It started off fai
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
"Almost Demon" is a book about...yes, demons. Oh, and Angels. The main character, Gemma, has just lost her brother and two best friends in a horrific car crash. This has left just her and her dad at her home and her dad is very angry over the accident yet also very overprotective of Gemma. It is an odd mix that Gemma can't figure out which makes her home life a little difficult. Now let's throw in high school and her brother's girlfriend who is also angry over the accident and determined to make ...more
Oct 02, 2013 rated it liked it
While the over-all plot to this novel was fine, there were some glaring factual errors in my copy that could have been easily caught. One I remember off the top of my head was incorrectly referring to MMA by a different name. There were quite a few other similar, easy to correct errors as well. Another glaring issue I had was continuity issues. The first time I finished my book was late at night, so I decided to reread it, not wanting to believe the time jumps. Unfortunately, I was correct in my ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I actually think this novel is worth a 3.5, but review sites usually won't let you select half stars.

Almost Demon is the debut title from AJ Salem, and while it isn’t a perfect piece, it is a great start in both writing and the intended series, The Sigil Cycle. I fully expect that by the time the story has come to a close Ms. Salem will have addressed most of my concerns and questions from this novel and blossomed fully as an accomplished writer.

Starting the senior year of high school is difficu
Lucie Paris
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

A very good mix of demons, spells and attempt to close the gates of hell with a touch of not happy ever after kind of romance. A good entertainment!

Following Gemma, the reader ventured into a rather dark story populated by strange creatures who take possession of bodies, the city and bring a lot of disasters. Busy learning to communicate with demons, to bring some order in her school, her city and especially in her life, Gemma goes from one discovery to another.

She also discovers the at
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
“So, have you given much thought to your demon of choice?...”
“How about him? Pointing to a half man, half lion riding a bear with a serpent in hand.”

That breezy, summer afternoon changed everything. The twisted pile of steel on the side of the highway took Gemma’s twin brother, two of her best friends, and although she survived, it ended her average teen life. After that day she was plagued with grief, guilt and visions - dark things – Dybbuks.
Gemma returned to school in a cloak of blame. Eve
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This will be a spoiler free review but will contain aspects of the plot.

This is definitely not a book for people who have a strict feelings on the more holy side of religion and get easily offended when something suggests otherwise.

This was a fantastic book. The development of plot and character was amazing, and the intriguing world-building was unique.. It has romance involved but, like so many other books, it fortunately does not overwhelm the story. That's a huge deal to me, in fact "romance
Geena Bean
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teenagers and adults
Recommended to Geena by: Friend
What else can I say about this book other than the fact that it was non-stop excitement with every page turned! Salem delivers an epic storyline in what can only be described as mysterious, thrilling, addictive and captivating. I couldn't help but to become attached to the protagonist, Gemma, and all of her strengths, weaknesses and constant battles within herself. Salem managed to bring about characters whom weren't over the top but likable in the sense that I could actually picture them as if ...more
Heather A
I snagged this one when it was available as a read it now on Netgalley. Turned out to be quite good.

Ordinary teen Gemma is trying to get her life back together after a terrible accident she seems to be taking the blame for. A hot new teacher and a new boy show up, Gemma learns she had the ability to summon demons & angels.

World building was quite good and Gemma was a likeable lead character. My main issues with her were that she seemed to accept things a little too easily. New teacher guy trai
Jennifer Scott
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this story from Net Galley. Yay books!

Possible spoilers head.

I'm not even going to lie about this one...I couldn't finish it. I got through a lot of it by forcing myself to keep reading. But I couldn't force myself to finish it.

I thought the idea of the story was great...the excussion of it was seriously lacking though. The story was way too faced paced, meaning that there wasn't emotions or feelings with the words. Then at other times, somethinwould happen and the people w
Oct 01, 2013 rated it liked it
*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Salem Books Inc. and A.J. Salem*

2.5 stars.

Waking up after a car accident that resulted in the deaths of her twin brother and two of her best friends, Gemma Pope's life takes a turn for the supernatural when she starts seeing black blobs.

People in Harrisport start acting strangely and Gemma has to decide if she can trust her new English Lit teacher Mr Flynn or the mysterious Ian who is new to town.

I have mix
Emily Crow
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
A fun YA paranormal story. There were some interesting ideas in this novel, and it (mostly) kept my interest, but it was a bit frustrating, because it could have been so much better with a bit more polishing. Some scenes which should have been quite suspenseful were glossed over much too quickly, and some other passages--such as the protagonist texting her friends--would have been better summed up in a sentence or two. But I don't want to be too negative, as I really did see a lot of potential f ...more
May 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I did like it but ..... there are many, many good things about this book and it is very readable. However for me there was absolutely way too much 'suspend disbelief'. I can deal with that aspect of fantasy novels better than most but this was way out there. The protagonist is about 17 but she is as innocent and clueless as an 8 yr old. There was something lacking about her emotionally as well so yes the book could have been better but that being said its a good debut novel and if the author can ...more
Wanda Wright
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed following Gemma and charlotte as they tried to weave Gemma's life back together after a horrific crash that claimed the lives of her twin brother and best friends. I had true empathy for Gemma and I wanted to somehow protect her at times as she encounter so many dark forces as well as angels. Each entity also had their own charaqcters. I would definately recommend this book, and read following books in the series! ...more
2.5 stars

It was interesting enough to keep me reading, but I was more confused than anything. I feel l like there were explanations missing and perhaps that's because it's the first book in the series...gotta leave us wanting more?

I do like the idea of it [mostly], but the execution wasn't for me.

**Thanks to NetGalley for proving in the arc in exchange for an honest review**
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AJ Salem lives in Brooklyn with her husband and four kids where she has a closet full of yarn she insists will be turned into complete projects. She loves reading, daydreaming, road trips and British television. Currently, she is preparing for her next job as The Doctor’s next companion but in the meantime is hard at work on the next installment of the Sigil Cycle and a soon to be announced Middle ...more

Other books in the series

The Sigil Cycle (6 books)
  • Born Human (Chamber Two of the Sigil Cycle)
  • Soul Hunted (Chamber Three of the Sigil Cycle)
  • Demon Crowned (Chamber Four of the Sigil Cycle)
  • Untitled (Chamber Five of the Sigil Cycle)
  • Untitled (Chamber Six of the Sigil Cycle)

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