Jamie Collins's Reviews > Personal Demon

Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong
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's review
Oct 22, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy-urban
Read in April, 2008

** spoiler alert ** This started out dull, got fairly interesting in the middle, then had an irritating ending.

I really dislike the inclusion of a surprise "chameleon" character who can assume the countenance of other people. Ditto for glamor spells that achieve the same purpose. These things are acceptable if they are known quantities throughout the book, but sneaking them in at the end is a lame plot device.

It's trite and annoying to trick the reader into thinking that a beloved character has been killed and then reveal that it was really someone else disguised by one of the above bits of magic. The trick doesn't even work here because Armstrong isn't the kind of writer to kill off her main characters. Not for one second was I really worried that the death was real.

Also, it's not okay to include such incredibly cliched elements as clues left behind on half-burned paper in a fireplace, even if you have your characters recognize the cliche.

I don't like Hope very much, so I was glad that Paige and Lucas were in this book. They're my favorite characters from this series. I especially enjoy the relationship between Lucas and his father. Although that brings me to another complaint about Armstrong: I think she gives us too many different points of view. I like Lucas better when seen through the eyes of other characters. His first-person accounts don't ring true for me. The same goes for Clayton; I think he is a better character when you don't know exactly what is going on in his head.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Loren Harway I agree with you on the plot devices - it was laughable and predictable. However I think you have to give Armstrong a bit of a break; have you seen her (self-inflicted) workload? Four books this year plus a full length novella. This is not an acceptable reason for poor writing but if the reward is three otherworld books this year... I'm not complaining.

Have you read Savage, Ascension, Beginnings or The Case of El Chupacabra? These novellas (appropriately titled by KA as Men of the Otherworld) give Clay and Lucas' point of view and *my god* you can't possibly stand by that criticism if you've read them.

And yeah, the Paige trick was REALLY trite.

Jamie Collins I did notice that she's publishing a lot this year, and I look forward to reading them, but I do find this series to be uneven. I love Bitten and the two Magic books, but I didn't like Haunted, and the rest are okay. I like the way Armstrong writes, but I find some of her characters uninteresting (Eve, Hope, Adam, and Cassandra).

And no, I haven't read those novellas, but it looks like she's trying to get them published so I'm sure to read them one day. I have read one of her short stories written partially in Clay's voice (the honeymoon story) and I stand by my assertion that I like Clay better when he's written from Elena's point of view.

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