Daryl Gregory’s PANDEMONIUM imagines an alternate America in which genuine demonic possession is an epidemic, resulting in a very different world. The story focuses on Del, who’d been possessed as a boy by the Hellion, a demon that enjoys making mischief. Del’s family and a psychiatrist helped him until the demon left, but years later, Del realizes the Hellion is still there, trapped inside him, and it wants out.
Del goes on a journey of self-discovery to exorcise the demon, from meeting Philip K. Dick, possessed by an entity called Valis, to finding Red Book, an organization that shows Del the truth about himself, and that the cure may be worse than the disease.
Gregory’s got an impressive body of work available, but what impressed me was this was his debut novel, published back in 2008. The characterization is great, it’s thoughtful and original, the world building and philosophical ideas about demonic possession are thought-provoking, and it has enough twists to keep one engaged and guessing.
So overall I found PANDEMONIUM to be an interesting read. I liked it.