Demons have existed without our knowledge for....well ever lol. And they all have only one name much like Prince, Cher, and Sting. They’re named after...moreDemons have existed without our knowledge for....well ever lol. And they all have only one name much like Prince, Cher, and Sting. They’re named after the emotion present when they’re created. It becomes the emotion they feed off of and also the energy signature they give off to other demons. While humans can become demons, they almost always go insane or don’t survive the dog eat dog or should I say demon eat demon (human souls aren’t the only ones on the menu) world very long.
Allay is one of these rare human/demon hybrids, which makes her extra tasty to her peers. But due to learning some hard lessons early on, negotiating for protection, and opening a dive bar where she can safely feed from her patrons/stay out of other demons way; she's done pretty well for herself all things considered. Demon friendships are rare (not surprising since they’re cannibalistic) but she’s created a real bond w. a (female) demon named Shock; which has much to do with her survival so far.
Unfortunately now her best-friend is on death’s door, and is being relentlessly hunted by another demon who has abilities that shouldn’t exist. Allay’s determined to save her; but the demon community is in upheaval, everyone has ulterior motives, and her resources are slim. What’s a Demon/girl to do? lol
The set-up is extremely unique, the demons fascinating, and Allay’s struggles between her demon and human natures were deliciously complex. I personally enjoy small amounts of back story interwoven into tales that keep me on my toes instead of info dumps. But if that’s not your fancy, you may find the beginning of the story a tad confusing. I loved this book and it’s gritty darker edged Urban fantasy theme. If you like Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series, Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian (‘of the demon’) series, or Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series, this should be right up your alley.(less)
This book initially reminded me of a harder edged 'Dead like me', so here's a quick run down of things Madeline Black and Georgia Lass have in common:...moreThis book initially reminded me of a harder edged 'Dead like me', so here's a quick run down of things Madeline Black and Georgia Lass have in common:
- They're both Reapers, collecting souls of the newly deceased and escort them to the great big "whatever".
- The business of death as a lame bureaucracy related gig, makes for lots of great dark humor. I especially like that in this book they were referred to as 'agents', it fit the morbid IRS feel perfectly.
- They both fell into the job through fate. Being an agent of death is passed on from parent to child upon death. So if your Mum kicks the bucket, congrats kid your hired.
-They're obligated to perform the service, that makes normal working hours impossible. But aren't paid, so have to find quirky side jobs/methods to make ends meat.
- They both have pushy Bosses. Though George's indulgent often fatherly Rube seems preferable, to Maddy gorgeous but pain in the ass JB.
That's where the similarities end. This book could have easily continued to follow suit with what I expected. Maddy might of uncovered some conspiracy, recruited her kooky friends into the investigation, experienced some supernatural amateur sleuth hi-jinks, became part of an ever convenient love triangle, and eventually saved the day a little wiser for the experience. Now despite my glib summary, if that's the way the book had gone I would've been a happy camper. But it wouldn't have left a lasting impression.
Black wings on the other hand is like 2 books in one. I really thought I knew where 'it' was going. But boy was I wrong because monstrous nephilim, the Grand Poobah Lucifer himself, possession, a creepy almost incestuous fallen angel tree, and shifty/intricate demon court politics in hell...er I mean the Kingdom of Morningstar; was not it. But hot damn was it awesome.
I especially liked the way Lucifer and the other fallen angels are portrayed. They're neither Mr.Rogers friendly uber seducers, nor do they seem mindlessly evil/cruel. And instead are frighteningly non-human in their thinking/behavior, extremely domineering, tolerate no disrespect/slights, and yet are capable of affection/moments of kindness (well....to a degree lol). Add to that, at times the prose was downright decadent.
Two thousand miles had passed beneath her feet, and many villages, as she left the green lands and walked into the dessert. she walked, searching for her lover, every step bringing her closer to ash and cloud covered gray mountains - The Forbidden Lands. She walked, always hearing his voice in her ear: "come to me. Come to me. Come to me." She did not care where her steps led so long as he was there at the end of it all
I liked the 1st 40% of Black Wings, but the latter 60% was LOVE. IMO a fantastic series debut, I can't wait to see how this story progresses. I'll leave ya, with one last quote.
I had no magic, and then all of a sudden I felt something enormous surge out of me, like a bomb going off. There was this burst of white light that sort of burned through my skin. He dropped me, and when I looked up at him I saw whatever had come out of me had melted away his skin
Souless was down right magical. Changeless had it moments but was all over the place. I probably would've have never finished it if a pal hadn't told...moreSouless was down right magical. Changeless had it moments but was all over the place. I probably would've have never finished it if a pal hadn't told me a spoiler connected to bk 3; that compelled me to push through so I could read Blameless. Blameless was slightly less irksome than Changeless, but still had whole sections where I had to force myself not to skim.
I'm not a big fan when slews of new characters are introduced, or too much focus on introduced side characters that don't significantly add to the plot and are just there to fill pages. Which has much to do with my discontent. Bk 2 and 3 have very minimal interaction btwn Alexis and Lord Macon and way too much everything else. The dialogue is still very witty ( maybe a touch too witty), but didn't put a dent in how bored I was 70%- 80% of the time reading these.
Also the way things were resolved at the end was very Silly, I definitely respect Alexia less and dislike Conall more for it. It was no where near enough, it's as if Alexia transformed into Miss Hisslepenny in the last few pages.
I'd rate Souless 5 stars Changeless as 2 stars Blameless as 2 1/2 stars ( I can't round it up to 3 stars, because saying "I liked it" would be a fib)
This was a very uncomfortable read, that was a near DNF miss. The concept is brilliantly original, but I hated this book when I read through the first...moreThis was a very uncomfortable read, that was a near DNF miss. The concept is brilliantly original, but I hated this book when I read through the first 50%. I haven't found every UF character involved this unlikable since Sins and Shadows . Also something about the wording and the way the plot unfolded unsettled me, often conversations and interactions were a definite 9/10 on the creepy meter.
But despite all that the later 50% of the story was fantastic. The complex way the major conflict was resolved surprised the heck out of me, and I can't wait to see where things go from here.
I'm going with a 3 star rating to keep in mind the entire book. But if you want a break down I'd rate: 0-20% 1 star 20-50% 2 stars 50- 100% 5 stars(less)