Wednesday 5 March 2008

The Devil Inside by Jenna Black

Morgan Kingsley is an exorcist in a world where demons co-exist with humans. These demons can make their hosts capable of acts of strength and bravery beyond the ability of normal men. However, rogue demons possess the unwilling and they have to be exorcised. Morgan is in more danger than she realizes. A demon has been imprisoned within her body. And if she can't keep him a secret or get rid of him before they're discovered - she'll be burned alive.

Little note - I've had book one of Jenna Black's vampire series on my TBR pile for months and not got round to reading it. (As I'm taking part in TBR Wednesday this may be one of the books I pick). The premise of The Devil Inside really intrigued me though, so I'm reading it in preference. This one skips to the top of the TBR pile, whilst the other still languishes there.

I like Morgan as a protagonist. She's a reluctant hero with the self-deprecating, sardonic wit the reader expects of Urban Fantasy. She's a stroppy, feisty, angry heroine, who doesn't always do the right thing. If there's a chance for her to get out of this she'll take it.

The characters are well drawn. The fact that Adam is a good man, not a nice one. When Morgan argues with her boyfried Brian, or her brother Andrew ( a willing demon host). I believe in their argument. The emotions come off the page.

As well as Morgan, Brian and Andrew, there are two other characters who play a major role in the story. Adam White - head of Special Forces and a demon host, and his lover Dominic Costello. Adam and Dominic's relationship has a strong BDSM element which some readers may find hard to deal with. This didn't bother me, nor did the sex scenes between Morgan and Brian. I've seen on some reviews that some people object to the eroticism and strength of these scenes. But I think in all cases what happens is true to the characters and that's what I'm looking for in Urban Fantasy.

There are some nice touches throughout. The fact that Topeka has area code 666. The notes that Lugh sends to Morgan, as initially they are the only way they can communicate with each other. Really well done. And when they finally come face to face as it were, in her dreams, it's a shame without her body he'd be incorporeal.

Not everything is immediately spelled out for the reader and it's not always obvious where the story is going, Morgan has to puzzle things through. If you're paying attention you pick up on clues, but they aren't so obvious that you think Morgan is stupid for not seeing them.

Favourite quotes:-

"I imagined wearing that outfit out in public and considered the possibility that I might just prefer to die."

"'Just because I'm not hosting a demon doesn't mean my life is meaningless!' Okay, forget for a moment that I was hosting a demon."

Just one question that bugged me - If there are ten states that allow the execution of humans hosting illegal demons. Why don't the unlawfully possessed move to one of the other 40+ states?

This is one story, where I wished I had the next book immediately to hand so I could continue the story. There's definitely unfinished business to be taken care of, and I'm hoping Morgan will pry more of the demon's secrets from Lugh. It's pretty clear they aren't telling the humans everything.

This is a new and interesting world. I think following on from the succubi of 2007, Demons are definitely moving up the Urban Fantasy hierarchy. July is too far away, but that's the release date of the next in the series - The Devil You Know.


Anonymous said...

I think you may be on to something there - vampires and werewolves are so old-hat, succubi have had their turn, 2008 is the year of the demons! ;-)

Like you, I can't wait for the next in this series - think it has great potential.

Anonymous said...

I will never get over shapeshifters and vampires, but I agree that demons are the new black. I just read Personal Demons by Stacia Kane and it was a great paranormal filled wait for it...demons. I really liked how the author didn't give everything away.
I remember reading this book and wishing that the male demon had his own body, a body that wasn't hers.

Anonymous said...

Loved this book! Felt same as you and really needed that second one right after reading the first. Won't be too long now though. I really liked the whole demon twist in this one. Familiar enough to relate to, yet new and different at the same time.

And Scooper, I wished Lugh had his own body too, preferably the rather hot form he used in her dreams. ;)

Anonymous said...

I got her first vampire book somewhere on my bookshelf- but I will def have to check out this out. I think Gargoyles are also becoming popular too as well there are several series out there at the moment featuring them :)

Naomi said...

Totally agree with you on this review - I was surprised to read reviews from people that were uncomfortable with the sex scenes. I've read much more graphic, more BDSM-style stuff in other urban fantasy. I thought Black did it really well, without making it gratuituous or mere titillation.

LesleyW said...

I'm going to try out her vampire series, though I have the feeling I'm going to prefer this one.