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Exiled - M.R. Merrick Read this review at Smash Attack Reads! http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/10/exiled-great-introduction-to-new.htmlMy Synopsis: Meet Chase Williams, Demon Hunter Extraordinaire. Or not. You see, Chase ran into a little problem on his way to becoming a demon hunter. On his fifteenth birthday, his elemental powers decided to say a big “forget you!” and not show. In his world, this pretty much equates to a big fat L on your forehead, as his pompous father and the Circle confirm. Now, Chase finds himself exiled without the Circle’s protection, along with his devoted mother. And unfortunately for Chase, being the son of a feared demon hunter can be seriously detrimental to one’s health.Living his entire life being told that demons are bad and must be killed, Chase’s beliefs are challenged when he encounters an innocent demon with a stutter named Willy. As the story progresses, Chase forms an unlikely alliance with a sassy witch named Rayna, whose secrets rock Chase’s world. They uncover that the Circle is not all what it seems, and they must work together to stop a hellish plan that could be the end of them all.My interest in the book: The cover is what caught my eye, and once I read the synopsis, I was very interested in this magical world. I was especially drawn to the elemental magic, which is a favorite of mine.Characters: One of the best parts of this books is the likeable characters. Chase is a pretty normal teenager, despite his otherworldly heritage. My heart immediately went out to him and his mother, and it only grew as the story progressed. Chase matured throughout the story and it was great to see that growth. I especially loved his mother. She was ridiculously protective and supportive of her son. Then there is Rayna! This sexy, sassy lady was a standout. She has secrets even she is unaware of, and she and Chase become quite the awesome team. You could not but help love Willy in all his “scaredy demon” glory. Tiki is a character we meet later in the story who also brought smiles to my face. We are also introduced to a really cool creature or two, and I am really hoping we get to see more of them!Worldbuilding: I really enjoyed the development of this world. I loved reading scenes where magic was used. The author used great descriptive writing and it wasn’t overly detailed and boring. The fight scenes were also descriptively awesome, as were the different dimensions and use of portals.Lasting Impressions: I was impressed by this debut book by M.R. Merrick. He provided a great backdrop, solid, likeable characters, an interesting, mysterious storyline and good writing. The ending of this book provided a great lead into book 2, which I thoroughly look forward to reading.