On Saturday, I read a book. I read, and read. I begged my daughter to let me read instead of being Mission Control to her game of Super Sisters, I did the occasional household chore and then ran back to my book straight after. I ate lunch while reading. I left my family to their own devices, went and lay on my bed and read until I was done.
This, needless to say, is a rare event in our household. Once upon a time, reading all Saturday afternoon was a normal thing for me, but that was before I became a mother of two. My reading is usually snatched in ten minute intervals, between larger and more immediate demands on my time.
But this was The Demon’s Surrender.
When my honey lifted an eyebrow at my complete immersion in the book, I said firmly, “I have been waiting for this book for FOURTEEN MONTHS” and he nodded gravely and left me to it. Wonderful man.
I review books all the time, and I was expecting to be able to review this one sensibly, but it turns out I have no ability to distance myself enough from my sheer crazy fan love of this series to be thoughtful and articulate. I’m more – “wheeee, all the right people in the tree, K – I – S – S – I – N -G!” because, baby, all my ships came home to roost, every single one of them.
Brennan has created a very fast-paced, entertaining series of YA urban fantasy with an elegantly simple magical system at its centre (you’re either part of the Goblin Market, or you’re a Magician, and by the way? Demons are scary), and a whole lot of horrible, angsty things happening to cute, witty people with knives. Like if Buffy was British, but better.
She has also done some extremely clever things, sneaked in amongst all the distracting banter and hot boys taking their shirts off. At first look, constructing a trilogy in which each volume has a different point of view character, sounds nuts. But in fact, it was the perfect choice for this story. With each point of view change, we get different ways of seeing the various characters, and the world looks slightly different. It’s a way to delve into different corners of the story, quite intensely. The danger of course is that if you don’t like one protagonist, you aren’t likely to wait around for the next book to come out. There are plenty of readers who didn’t engage with Nick, the teenage sociopath who narrated The Demon’s Lexicon, and plenty more who objected to the shift of POV to Mae, a girl with pink hair who has kissed more than one boy, in The Demon’s Covenant. There were even some who were concerned to hear that Sin, a minor character in both those books, was lined up to narrate Book Three.
Ahem. Some spoilers abound below. But I am quite restrained, honest.