First sentence: “We must have met the brothers in 1950, because USA had defeated England in the FIFA World Cup.”
I cannot figure where I stand with Demi-Gods—in terms of whether I enjoyed it or not. It’s a well-written book—the prose is enchanting and atmospheric. It does an excellent job setting you in this mood of uneasiness, and that feeling weighs you down because you know something is severely off.
Demi-Gods explores Willa, who we meet when she’s nine-years-old in 1950, and her tumultuous relationship with her new stepbrother, Patrick, and how that relationship has shaped her view of herself, sex, and the world around her. Willa’s relationship with Patrick is very unsettling because of the power dynamic that the two find themselves into. Theirs is an obsession; one that envelopes the both of them in this sexually charged and demeaning game they find themselves in when they are together. It can be quite disturbing and dark because of the nature of what happens, and that’s the strength of the book.
Whereas the emotions are there in Demi-Gods, the story was not. It didn’t have a lot of engine power to push the plot or these relationships forward. Willa and Patrick’s relationship was headed into a path that was gonna blow, but it never did because we never got why they’re the way they are and how they’d let it go so far. Patrick’s an enigma that we aren’t allowed to figure out because the book never goes there. We don’t ever see what their lives are like when they aren’t in each other’s lives—Willa points out that they live very separate lives. I wanted to know what they’re like the rest of the year. It doesn’t help that the book jumps from different time periods.
I wanted a lot out of Demi-Gods. I wanted something outside of Willa and Patrick’s obsessive and troubling relationship with each other. I wanted to understand, and I didn’t.
Should you read Demi-Gods? Maybe? If you can handle an unsettling relationship between two characters who start this obsessive and sexually charged relationship when they were nine and eleven, respectively, and want to see this power struggle. There isn’t much of a plot though, and you won’t learn why Patrick is the way he is.