Friday, 1 June 2007

Private Demon by Lynn Viehl

FANGIRL ALERT FANGIRL ALERT FANGIRL ALERT

LOL - Wasn't sure if I still needed to post the above after the If Angels Burn review.

SPOILERS BELOW SPOILERS BELOW SPOILERS BELOW

Private Demon picks up virtually where If Angels Burn ended, with Thierry Durand on the run from the other Darkyn. He has come to Chicago to pursue Luisa's attackers and it is here that he meets Jema Shaw - an heiress who doesn't yet know the part she will play in the Darkyn world. Unbeknownst to Thierry, Valentin Jaus (the suzerain of Chicago) is also interested in Jema's welfare.

I found Jema to be a fragile heroine, she has an underlying strength, but is more passive than Alex (the heroine from the first book). Without her or them being aware of it, the two male Darkyn - Thierry and Valentin - are competing for her. The relationship between Valentin and Jema is sweet and you can understand why so many readers are on his side. As Alex notes on p157 'Valentin has a way of making you fall in love with him'. Jema's interactions with Thierry on the other hand are brutal, vivid and intense. One subject this book deals with (beautifully) is how we don't always get to choose who we love or whether they will love us back.

I've never read the Darkyn books with any expectation of what may happen. I guess this is why it didn't bother me that Jema ended up with Thierry. Though you can't help but feel bad for Valentin. The scene at the end (and what follows) with the three of them in the ballroom is my favourite part of the book.

I'm not 100% sure about Jema's special ability - it almost felt like it appeared out of nowhere. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that both this book and the next had a significant part cut out. It's almost like part of the story is missing - and the reader has to fill in the gaps.

Unlike some series The Darkyn really needs to be read in order, so I would recommend you read If Angels Burn first. Several plot threads from the first book are picked up in Private Demon - the attack on Luisa, Michael and Alex's relationship (one of the major subplots through the series) and John Keller's quest for meaning. There are also new storylines started here, it's very much a multi-layered series and as such the paranormal romance tag is a bit misleading. This is more of a complex urban fantasy tale, focusing on the relationships between the various characters and their struggle for survival against not only their enemies, but also their own natures.

6 comments:

Jepad said...

Hey Lesley, you didn't give a grade for this one. Did it supercede the A-F scale? :)

So, I wasn't thrilled with If Angels Burn, do you think I would like this one any better? It wasn't that I disliked IAB, but it didn't grab my interest so much.

You're such a fangirl, I can't help but think I should give it another shot.

LesleyW said...

I don't think it's fair to give a grade when I'm such a fan of the books because I'm biased. So whenever you see the fangirl warning there won't be a grade. Although I do try to make the actual review as objective as possible and bring up any problems I had whilst reading.Unless the series suddenly takes a completely different track I think this is a fair way to do it.

I think if you didn't like If Angles Burn you probably wouldn't like Private Demon. Though I think we learn more about the characters in PD. And for me there are more standout moments in PD. I think the Darkyn is one of those series where you have to be patient because information is given out gradually over the course of the series. Which does make re-reading them very interesting.

clare said...

jepad ~ if you weren't thrilled with the first it's probably not worth you reading this one.

The first book was okay but this second one just didn't do it for me.

lesley ~ seeing you being such a fangirl makes me think I should dig them out for a re-read soon, I'll stick them in the queue.

LesleyW said...

Hi Clare,

I think you'd probably like Book 4 Night Lost a lot more. It has a more traditional story structure than the previous three books. Following two main stories rather than multiple threads. One of these stories is the culmination of some of those previous threads, but the other is pretty much standalone, until it converges with the other story towards the end. LOL - hope that made sense.

Arrgghhh. I just noticed I spelt angels as angles in my reply to jepad's post.

May said...

I've stopped giving PBW's books grades because I know I'm so totally biased, I couldn't be more biased if she promised me ARCs for the rest of my life and a cut of the royalties. LOL.

Jepad said...

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I might try IAB again and see if I like it any better the second time. I have to be in the mood to read certain books and I might have been burned out on vamps when I read this.