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Prosper's Demon

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,211 ratings  ·  488 reviews
In a botched demonic extraction, they say the demon feels it ten times worse than the man. But they don’t die, and we do. Equilibrium.

The unnamed and morally questionable narrator is an exorcist with great follow-through and few doubts. His methods aren’t delicate but they’re undeniably effective: he’ll get the demon out — he just doesn’t particularly care what happens to
ebook, 77 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,211 ratings  ·  488 reviews

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Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
fulfilling book riot's 2020 read harder challenge task #17 Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages)

I woke to find her lying next to me, quite dead, with her throat torn out. The pillow was shiny and sodden with blood, like low-lying pasture after a week of heavy rain. The taste in my mouth was familiar, revolting, and unmistakable. I spat into my cupped hand: bright red. Oh, for crying out loud, I thought. Here we go again.

best. opening. ever.

short and not even a little bit sweet, unless
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

I have an idea you aren't going to like me very much.

By all accounts, the above quote should be correct. A morally grey, snarky, violent, heartless antihero main character? He's awful, truly, absolutely vile at times... and yet, the joke's on you, unnamed narrator, because I happened to love this protagonist.

Prosper's Demon features one of the most unusual devices I've ever read, in that we follow an anonymous narrator who plays both hero and villain in his own story, and the casualties
Elle (ellexamines)
I woke to find her lying next to me, quite dead, with her throat torn out. The pillow was shiny and sodden with blood, like low-lying pasture after a week of heavy rain. The taste in my mouth was familiar, revolting, and unmistakable. I spat into my cupped hand: bright red. Oh, for crying out loud, I thought. Here we go again.

In Prosper’s Demon, a man lives his life exorcising demons. The demons, naturally, have not taken well to this.

I've read one novella by this author before, and
Johann (jobis89)
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“And belief, like love and sleep, is something you can’t do anything about. You can’t make it come if you want it, and you can’t make it go if you don’t.”

A short and sweet review for a short and sweet novella! First of all, thank you so much to @torbooks for sending me a free copy! I dug the hell out of this one. This is not a horror book, by any stretch of the imagination - although a few parts are somewhat gory - it’s more of a fresh take on demonic possession.

Our morally questionable narrator
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-shelf, fantasy
There's a lot of great stuff going on in this novella.

My first, I believe reasonable, reaction was one of, "Hey! This is like Bujold's Penric's Demon!"

But very quickly, it went down the rabbit hole, scaring away every mouse, drenching itself in blood, and proving that art really IS mightier than the sword.

I like. A lot.

I doesn't end there. It doesn't even begin there. What I got during the reading was a treatment of the prisoner's dilemma wrapped around a despoiled world much like our own and
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A witty novella by the inimitable K.J. Parker. We get our unreliable narrator, a lot of demons, a situation with no apparent solution and a surprizing and explosive ending. (view spoiler)

Not quite as entertaining as those featuring Saloninus, but close enough. Worth reading nonetheless.

3.5 rounded to 4 stars.
The Artisan Geek
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------

I really enjoyed Prosper's Demon! It was a dark but funny read altogether, with a marvellous ending!! A full review is to come!! ;)

Oh my gosh! Look at that cover!! A sincere thank you to for gifting me a copy of this book. :) Can't wait!!

You can find me on
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Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
2.5 Stars
As someone loves dark fantasy and possession stories, this novella was one of my most anticipated releases for 2020. From the premise, I thought it could be a new favourite, but I was disappointed to find that this piece of short fiction did not quite fit my expectations.

This novella was written in a very literary style. While this is common for novellas, I was still hoping for a bit more focus on plot, given the synopsis. The narrative voice of the main character was easily the
Valliya Rennell
1 star

Worst work I've read so far this year. I was confused most of the time and I didn't really care at all for anything that happened whatsoever... We follow a remorseless exorcist encounters a demon-possessed great scientific/artistic mind in a fantasy Renaissance and things go down.

To be honest, this book gave me a huge headache... It was probably the writing style. We did NOT click. I was thoroughly confused both with the dual conversations that kept on happening (when the protagonist spok
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, novella

I have an idea you aren’t going to like me very much. That may prove to be the only thing we’ll have in common, so let’s make the most of it. I do terrible things.

KJ Parker has mastered the art of writing short fiction. With instantly recognizable voice, unreliable narration and humorously cynical tone, he makes me laugh, think, and loathe his protagonists.

In Prosper’s Demon the unnamed narrator can spot demons and communicate with them. The church has authorized him to evict them from th
greta ⛈️
Jul 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
what the actual hell did I just read?
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-n-sweet, horror
Set in a world surprisingly similar to our own, Prosper's Demon was a short, but very worthwhile read.

You're not given much to work with at the start, but the story comes out over the next chapters - and though our protagonist warns that you're not going to like them, I found them surprisingly sympathetic. Certainly intelligent, more than a little cynical, and of necessity willing to ignore the rules, there's a certain tenacity that I admired.

Definitely a great novella and one I'd like to read
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rating: 8.5/10

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Prosper’s Demon in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this eARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novella.

Prosper’s Demon is a darkly humorous take on demonic extractions, written with exquisite prose and featuring a protagonist that I absolutely loved and loathed. Only Parker (aka Tom Holt) has the chops to write something so profound and complete in such a short work.

I have an idea you aren’t g
3.5 stars.

A wonderfully unique concept, Prosper's Demon follows the story of our unnamed narrator on his journey to meet, and expel, the demon inhabiting the body of an enlightened genius. Which leads to a bit of a dilemma. Should he ruin the chance to give the world a genius and all he has to offer (which is largely due to the demon) regardless of Their long game goals?

This novella really throws you into the story without an explanations or backstory. It relies on the reader picking up on info
K.J. Charles
Short and nasty (in a good way) novella about an exorcist and his battles with demons. Very dark and bleak, drily witty in a grim way. I mean, you like KJ Parker or you don't. Excellent writing as ever. ...more
Amy (libraryofamy)
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
“Take the truly dreadful, evil men of history, slaughterers of nations in the name of some twisted ideal. Of necessity you must allow them to have had Faith (which moves mountains, and without which mere works are in vain) and Hope, Loyalty, and Self-Sacrifice in the Name of the Cause, and practically every other noble and glorious characteristic you can possibly think of, except for the small matter of being in the right.”

That one quote made this read worth it for me.

Prosper's Demon isn't n
Amy Imogene Reads

Really really cool, but didn’t live up to expectations? Odd one.

Prosper's Demon was one of my most anticipated TOR releases for the year. If I'm honest, mainly because THAT COVER. Also, the idea of a demon exorcist closer to the demon than the divine was intriguing. Either way, I knew I'd be reading this.

The main character is never named, so we'll call him MC. MC is an exorcist. He's one of several people who can see demons and forcibly remove them from their human hosts. Too bad MC's not t
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
There's a lot to like here in what amounts to a very amusing and unusual urban fantasy in a medieval like setting.

The story follows the exploits of a brash, hardboiled, remorseless yet somewhat cheeky exorcist for hire, who is frequently a target of demonic possession himself. The demons seem to be more intent on making trouble, or even just hiding from the protagonist, than actually committing evil deeds. Anyway, unable to permanently dispatch the demons, they are immortal after all, he takes t
rachel ☾
i can't stop thinking about that ending...

Caidyn (he/him/his)
I received an ARC from in exchange for an honest review!

I wanted to like this more than I did.

It's a very interesting premise and a fresh take on demonic possessions. But I never felt like I had enough of a grasp on the world to fully understand what in the hell (pun slightly intended) was going on. It's interesting and written well, but in the end I felt like it lacked details that made it fully immersive for me as a reader.
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Not entirely sure what I’ve just read to be honest.

A dark and quirky novella featuring a morally grey character who can hear and extract demons. What follows is his attempt to remove a demon implanted within the palatial staff of his district.

I honestly lost the plot of this half way through and nothing could get me to pick up the thread again. So I’m not even sure why I think as I was just in a perpetual state of confusion.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Prosper's Demon is on my list of the Best Short SFF of February 2020: ...more
Delightful new novella kindred in style to Blue and Gold. Clever, witty and cynical... A great example of Parker’s writing.

Enjoyed a lot! It is definitely one of the better ones...
Manuel Antão
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Not to Exist: "Prosper's Demon" by K.J. Parker

“It’s a bizarre but widespread myth that only heroes have good qualities, and the only qualities heroes have are good; villains are, by definition, all bad. Bullshit.”

In “Prosper’s Demon” by K. J. Parker

Actually many writers and others who went through that experience in WW1 and WW2, though they may have believed in good and evil, did not end up believing in wholly good or evil people - a
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
See this review and others at Whispers & Wonder

Sometimes I wonder if it's more that I hate Them than that I love my fellow humans. But nobody pays me to think that, so I don't do it often.

Prosper's Demon was my first descent into the mind of K.J. Parker, and what a curious and entertaining introduction it has been. Upon turning the final page, I immediately questioned why I've waited so long to finally dive into the works of such an incredible author, and truly regretted not doing so sooner.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Here’s the deal. It is probably unwise in the extreme to be reviewing this book right now. I am soooooooooo tired and my post-surgery pain is really kicking my butt today, but I finished this book last night and I’d feel a bit remiss without saying something about it.

So, here I am.

It’s no secret that KJ Parker is my favorite author. Something about the mix of cynical wit, dark humor, and his realistic worlds just work for me on every conceivable level. Whi
This is a novella set in the magic/demons etc universe (sort of, as details sometimes vary, but with Saloninus, Invisible Sun etc) of the author and it is one of the best of its sort - I generally prefer the smaller scale pieces in this universe, but Prosper's Demon which touches on the bigger scale issues (for example, we find out that there are some 70K odd demons per religious authority, but any demon hunter/exorciser will generally encounter only a few as they tend to stay local) manages to ...more
˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
artistic demons & asshole exorcists: aka everything I NEED & DESERVE IN A BOOK THANK U
Anna (lion_reads)
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I'm a bit at a loss of what to say about this novella. On the one hand, it has the trappings of all that I like in books: an unreliable narrator of dubious moral standing, an interesting magic system and allusions to other literature. On the other hand, I was left feeling confused about whether I actually enjoyed reading it. Maybe it's that I'm not enough familiar with Plato, Marlowe and Goethe to truly appreciate the implicit commentary. Or maybe it's the strange almost red-flag moments in the ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another classic Parker novella. In this one our narrator is an unnamed exorcist, born with the ability to perceive and remove a certain type of immortal entity from human hosts and recruited into a branch of the church tasked with so doing. Each is assigned a specific territory and comes to know the "demons" in their territory individually. Entertaining as always. I do seem to prefer Parker's novellas to his novels in most cases. ...more
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K.J. Parker is a pseudonym for Tom Holt.

According to the biographical notes in some of Parker's books, Parker has previously worked in law, journalism, and numismatics, and now writes and makes things out of wood and metal. It is also claimed that Parker is married to a solicitor and now lives in southern England. According to an autobiographical note, Parker was raised in rural Vermont, a lifest

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40 likes · 7 comments
“It’s a bizarre but widespread myth that only heroes have good qualities, and the only qualities heroes have are good; villains are, by definition, all bad. Bullshit.” 7 likes
“We live in a miserable world, where the best we can honestly hope for is that one empty, meaningless day will follow another without things getting actively worse.” 3 likes
More quotes…