Jocelyn No's Reviews > Demon Angel

Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
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's review
Oct 07, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, romance
Read in September, 2009

First in a series that get more and more awesome. This book was fun, but the narritive lost me a few times. The author shows rather than tells a little too often sometimes - it's easy to miss things because she assumes your reaction. I'm not sure if this gets better in later books, or if I've learned to adjust my reading style to accomodate, but it really struck me in this novel (which was her debut) that I occationally had no idea what someone was feeling or what just happened, because she trusted my reading skills a little too much. Hey, I'd rather have authors err on the side of respecting my interpretation of their text too much rather than too little (much as I love Jane Krentz, her "repeat every plot point three times" gets a little old).

I'd held off buying this series because as much as I've heard "Angels and Demons are the new Vampires of the paranormal genre" I just don't trust many people to make the judeo-christian pantheon sexy, you know? So a debut novel with an angel hero and demon heroine and big fluffy wings on the cover was a default no-buy for me. But I kept on running across this author on blogs and online communities and she's hilarious. And I love funny people, so I bought this one, thinking even if it wasn't great, it'd be funny (and on purpose!).

It's actually very angsty and wonderful - the judeo-christian pantheon serves as an underpinning to the story rather than overwhelming it, and basically just gives this series a familiar base to start world-building on. The guardians aren't really angels, and all the main characters are human in all the ways that matter. The build-up to the present day is very nicely done. For a first-time novel, the writing is awefully good, and gets better with her later releases.

Hugh and Lilith are hilarious main characters, and balance each other out nicely. Their sparring is in turns hilarious and angst-ridden. It's rare to find this much high-drama in a novel without a plot cheat driving it, but there are no shortcuts here. Though this is my least favorite of Meljean's novels, I did really enjoy, and will re-read for the series if not for it's own sake.

In terms of the series - though this is the first novel, there was a short story in an anthology released before this one was published. A number of the other books in the series are actually novellas in anthologies. Since it's hard to find anthologies after a year or two, this can be frusterating. The author's website has background so you can start with any book or skip any book without missing out, but I'd recommend reading them in order to the extent possible.
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