Megan Chase has just started work at her new radio phone-in show, where she offers to slay her listeners personal demons. Unbeknownst to her, however, personal demons actually exist (everyone in the world has one except Megan for some reason) and they take her vow to eradicate them slightly personally (excuse the pun).
This one was on my wishlist for a while until I read a review that repiqued my interest in it - on Scoopers blog? I think it's the first urban fantasy I've read which is written in third (allbeit a very tight third) person. It was a book of two parts for me. I found the beginning quite slow, a lot of build up whilst you're waiting for something to happen. It's one of those books where you just have to bear with the beginning whilst it settles into itself. (A rollercoaster (slow build up followed by an exhilarating ride) rather than a roman candle (a brilliant explosion of light but at the end all you've got is a damp squib)).
Having said that, once something does happen and Malleus, Maleficarum and Spud (the cockney demons) turn up on page 89, suddenly the story takes off with a blast. So if you're reading this and want to give up, don't until page 106, when you'll have read a chapter of M,M&S. And if someone could explain to me what's so funny about Mr.Brown I'd appreciate it - feeling a bit of a dunce here for not getting that.
So first person - no, gutsy female protagonist with a mysterious past - yes, sexy demon with an ulterior motive - check. Until M,M&S turn up, it was Greyson Dante the aforementioned sexy demon that kept me reading.
...Do you want to talk or not?"And from later in the story.
He sighed. "No. Well, I did, but now I don't. You lied to me."
"This is the surprise? Being shot at for trespassing?"It's almost like Dante said to Stacia Kane, I'll be in your story, but I have to have all the best lines.
"That would be fun, but no."
Megan is perhaps not the most instantly engaging urban fantasy heroine I've ever read. She's not as interesting a protagonist when Dante or M,M&S aren't there for her to spar with. But by the end of the book she'd grown on me. She does have some psychic ability which allows her to hear peoples thoughts and is how she gives herself an advantage over other therapists. And rather than sitting back and letting Dante protect her she does take some proactive steps including receiving some training in how to focus her powers from a somewhat snarky witch - Tera. Admittedly some of her proactiveness stems from her refusal to believe Dante is a demon, but once she's seen his spinelets she changes her tune. (LOL)
Dante on the other hand is sexy, sneaky and as well as keeping tabs on Megan is manipulating the situation to his advantage. He is an anti-hero. This is one of the big plusses of the book for me. He is a demon and Stacia Kane doesn't try to make him something that he isn't. Whilst we're on the subject of demons, what is it with them and the whipping. To be fair in this book it's used as a punishment rather than as an erotic device, but still. It is an intense and disturbing scene, you can feel the pressure that Megan is under.
Favourite quote of the book -
...We're not sending you off to Mordor just yet."Quibbles - in a couple of places I felt like we skipped stuff so we could get to the action and that Megan didn't always listen to what people were trying to tell her. But other than that I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to Book #2 Demon Inside January 2009.
"You read Lord of the Rings?"
"All demons read Lord of the Rings. It's the perfect example of what not to do..."