new_user's Reviews > Demon Angel

Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
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's review
Sep 03, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: paranormal-romance
Recommended to new_user by: Catherine

** spoiler alert ** Hid this because looking at it now, I get kind of disgusted...
Well, my friends probably know what's coming. I loved this book!

LOL, JK, JK. I had you for a second there, didn't I? I agree with reviewers that realistic Part I of Demon Angel exceeds Part II by far. In Part I, we enjoy tension between medieval knight Hugh and demon Lilith as enemies and lovers, equals. Lilith tries to lure him, and Hugh parries- yet admirably remains a gentleman, though she throws herself at him repeatedly. They engage each other and laugh together, despite the dangerous undertone to their game. Their banter's by turns clever innuendo and intriguing theological debates about sin, both quintessential to their period. (Props. Brook must have some medieval British literature instruction.)

By Part II (the remaining 33 chapters of the 40), events have undergone a seismic shift. Hugh wallows in guilt. Lilith plays the wounded, enduring heroine while the hero takes her actions at face value and responds accordingly. He's kept in the dark, the better to make a martyr out of Lilith. Later, he feels guilty because he did not know that under the lying cocktease (for centuries) there's really a complex woman dying to be loved. He ought to have known that when she said "no" she really meant "yes." I'm sure rapists everywhere will be vindicated.

Chapter 20 reveals almost all of Lilith's woes, and the hero forces himself on her, justified with an explanation plausible only in Romancelandia. Once again, we must pity Lilith and vilify the male. It's notable that our hero only has the advantage or control of their interactions during love scenes, animal that he is. Good to know that if the hero can't be good, at least he can still rouse an orgasm from the heroine. What else is he good for, after all? Following this, he becomes fawning. He repeatedly flagellates himself for... everything. He exposes his feelings, and when she balks to reciprocate he lets her wheedle out of it. Some readers might have found him patient. I didn't care for their one-sided relationship.

Rinse, repeat. Meanwhile, as the hero is expounding upon the heroine's greatness, apologizing to the heroine for the umpteenth time, receiving reassurance from the heroine, or borrowing guilt and thinking about the heroine in melodramatic fashion ("Spilt milk, oh no! Will she be upset? Will she think it was her fault? Oh no!"), demons kidnap people. The suspense/action takes a distinct backseat to the "romance" and frequently involves demon's bargains that hinge on a technical point in the demon mythos invented by the author -so already, we're relying too much on "telling"- and nested, convoluted lies that would only interest the author ("I was lying when I said this and this, so what I really meant was..."). There wasn't a lot of action in this PNR. It was a bit like reading about Lady Gaga without mentioning her wardrobe.

Too bad. I liked the writing style, and the emotion was deep, the characters and story complex and layered. I just cannot find their one-sided relationship and all the guilt and pity and martyrdom romantic. Even for a lover of angst like myself, this was too melodramatic. This read almost like women's fiction: Lilith and Her Progress using Hugh as a Conduit. Or misandry. For those interested, I recommend reading this in chapters since the dialogue is self-referential and imbued with subtext. Although this encourages continuity, one loses the vein of events or dialogue stopping in the midst of a chapter, just FYI.

Update: After reading some excerpts from her other novels, I think I've come to the conclusion I don't care for Brook's one-sided relationships. They seem invariably to feature a heroine who doesn't need the hero -'cause she's all that- while the hero oozes admiration and lust. Also, the heroine is invariably A Strong Female. She's had to endure so much and with spirit. The hero cannot compete. Despite the fact that her narratives sometimes speak from the male's point of view, they are always exulting the heroine. I wish she loved her heroes as much as her heroines.
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Reading Progress

09/15/2010 page 1
0.0% "I can start on this now that I've finished my Driven review!" 2 comments
09/15/2010 page 1
0.0% "Hero's actually 17. That's nice to see in a historical." 8 comments
09/15/2010 page 13
3.0% "So is the heroine the seducer then or does that change?" 19 comments
09/16/2010 ""No man lives who does not live long enough." Kekekeke! I like their innuendoes." 4 comments
09/16/2010 "D'oh! "No man lives who does not think his blade long enough." There! That's what it's supposed to be! LOL." 1 comment
14.0% "Oh noes!" 17 comments
16.0% "Caelum is Latin for Heaven. Interesting."
16.0% ""Lucifer adores ignorance.""
19.0% "She inspired Shakespeare and Donne! How cool! She could have chosen better though. LOL!" 16 comments
09/16/2010 "What! How dare they waste a book!" 6 comments
09/17/2010 ""An ang-oh, for fuck's sake!" LOL! That was awesome!" 2 comments
09/17/2010 "*sobsobsob* Now I'm on Part II. And he's still my darling Hugh! *weepweep*" 9 comments
31.0% ""She hated recycling her tricks; being caught doing it was worse."" 4 comments
35.0% ""'It is,' he lied, and knew it was the first of many." Ironic that he's finally begun lying. When are we going to find out how she became a demon, dagnabit!" 18 comments
50.0% "<3 Auntie and Savi. The cat and mouse game is dragging now..." 12 comments
50.0% ""But if he realized that it was the books I enjoyed, and not the theft... He'd take my ability to read, and it is one of the few true pleasures left to me." Oh, boo hoo! How long are we going to listen to martyr Lilith for?" 10 comments
58.0% ""'My fangs,' she breathed. 'Then I will bleed.'" He's a devoted one, isn't he? LOL." 12 comments
78.0% "Slow going..." 23 comments
82.0% "OMG!!!! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY! How many times is this guy going to apologize? I'm going to hang myself, LOL." 3 comments
87.0% "Only five chapters to go!" 9 comments
88.0% "Who are you kidding, Ms. Brook? Wearing leather is okay, but God forbid she should eat meat or see blood? That's sorry." 7 comments
89.0% ""Colin sat on the sofa, watching spellbound as a woman chopped and sautéed on the television." LOL." 19 comments
100.0% "C'est fini!" 5 comments
08/02/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-37 of 37) (37 new)

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Catherine Hope you like this one!

new_user Hope so too! Here's hopin'!

Shera (Book Whispers) Looks like you're enjoying this. I started it back in May and I stopped about page 150. I just can not get into it. It started off good, now I'm bored.

new_user LOL. Not exactly, Shera. I have a few more chapters to go. Then I'll review. Needless to say, I'm not really enjoying it right now. ^^'

Shera (Book Whispers) Oh, well I don't feel too bad then. I've been trying to finish this book off and on for 4 months. I think I need to throw in the gauntlet.

new_user Had they gotten to the modern era yet when you stopped?

Shera (Book Whispers) Yep. I decided to keep chugging along to the modern era. I really liked the medevil era, so I thought the modern era would catch my interest again.

new_user That's where it died for me.

Shera (Book Whispers) Hmmmm . . . I'm very interested to read your review on this now.

Catherine And the review is up! I read the first line and was like, Wait, what? LOL!

new_user wrote: "The suspense/action takes a distinct backseat to the "romance" and frequently involves demon's bargains that hinge on a technical point or technical, labyrinthine schemes ("First we're going to do this, then he's going to do this, and then we'll...") and nested lies that would only interest the author."

Would you make fun of me if I said I was interested? Because I'll totally lie if you will! :P

I liked your review! Even though we both know I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum with this book, I still thought you were extremely clear about what you did and didn't like.

new_user LOL. Thanks, man. I appreciate that.

LOL! You liked the bargains! Do you like riddles too? It must be the IT in you, LOL! I almost said the dialogues were recursive before I caught myself.

Catherine Yes, I liked the bargains! Shocking, I know. :P Now, don't be making fun of the teeny, tiny bit of nerd in me. ;)

new_user LOL. That's cool, that's cool.

Catherine So...are you going to try again? :P

message 15: by Shera (Book Whispers) (last edited Sep 28, 2010 07:20PM) (new) - added it

Shera (Book Whispers) ("Spilt milk, oh no! Will she be upset? Will she think it was her fault? Oh no!")

Got a love it. That is one of the reasons I stopped reading it.

new_user Catherine wrote: "So...are you going to try again? :P"

Another from this series? Hmmmn. I just read an excerpt from Demon Bound, and I think the problems I have with her characters are still present, so methinks not.

Desperado Hmmmm. I don't agree with most of the things you wrote in your review, NU. I didn't feel like the relationship was one-sided at all, nor do I feel like Lilith was a "woe is me" character, just to name a few. None the less, your review was very well-written & I am sure that others that had/will have problems with this book will agree with you. Great review & I'm sorry it didn't live up to your expectations. :(

Catherine new_user wrote: "Catherine wrote: "So...are you going to try again? :P"

Another from this series? Hmmmn. I just read an excerpt from Demon Bound, and I think the problems I have with her characters are still prese..."

Yeah? That sucks. :( Oh well, probably better for you to quit than go through the torture of forcing yourself to finish again. I guess we can't like all the same books! ;)

message 19: by new_user (last edited Sep 29, 2010 09:31PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

new_user Thanks, LL. :) Don't sweat it. I don't regret trying books.

LOL, Catherine. We'll find more we love together!

Catherine I'm sure we will. I still have
Gabriel's Ghost and Sea Witch waiting for me to pick up!

new_user Yay! <3 I hope you like those. Otherwise, I'll have to be all mature like you when I read your subsequent review. Don't make me do it! LOL.

Catherine LOL!

Katyana Catherine wrote: "Yes, I liked the bargains! Shocking, I know. :P Now, don't be making fun of the teeny, tiny bit of nerd in me. ;)"

I liked the bargains too, and yes, I like riddles. Ah well. Sorry you didn't like it NU. We'll always have The Smoke Thief!

Catherine True, true, we all liked that one!

new_user Good times. :)

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Finally read this book last night. Man, how could something so promising not deliver at all? They have the same conversation again and again and he's all pained, patient true love, and she's all 'Do not save me, do not tryyyy". Her writing is so fabulous, but did anyone edit this book? Gah.

new_user LOL. I don't think an editor could have helped this one. It really is a shame because she writes well.

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah, her writing is SO compelling, but I also think it's very self-indulgent. She gets to say the same thing five different ways, repeatedly, and in an increasingly more arch and melodramatic fashion every time. And everything is SO momentous, so ponderous, so impooooortant. A little editing would have brought out the beauty of her prose without allowing the continual wanking on. Sigh. I'm ranting, but I'm getting the next book....wait, unless you advise against it?

new_user Hmmm, well, I haven't read the next book, just excerpts, so I can't say. For me it was the relationship dynamic -her next books seem to go on in the same vein- that was the problem more than the writing style (although I can certainly see the melodrama). I've heard that the next book is better from fans though. :)

message 30: by Shari Kay (new)

Shari Kay Wow. You hit this on the head... the author must be in to using the same ongoing theme... exactly the same stuff is happening in Iron Duke.

new_user Wow, rereading my review four years later, it sounds so sexist I'm embarrassed... I wonder if I would still feel this way if I reread the book.

message 32: by Shari Kay (last edited Nov 23, 2014 08:40PM) (new)

Shari Kay Not at is literally the same plot base in the female to male relationship...I thought it was astute of you. The proverbial lightbulb did not go off in my head until you pointed it out!

new_user LOL. Well, I was thinking of trying Iron Duke. Maybe I'll try another!

Fani *loves angst* new_user, I read the Iron Duke, albeit ages ago, and I think Shari is right: it's pretty much the same relationship dynamics but in a different setting. If you want to read it as a fantasy/adventure, go ahead, but as a romance it didn't work for me either. The hero once again lusted after the heroine from start to finish, while she tried to rebuff him all the time... drove me nuts in the end.

new_user Really? Maybe I should've just worded it more gently then...?

message 36: by Fani *loves angst* (last edited Dec 09, 2014 09:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Fani *loves angst* No, it was perfect:) I'm sure those who like the "hero who worships the heroine even though she repeatedly rebuffs him" premise, will even consider it a positive review:P

I guess it's a premise that works for some readers but not for others. Personally, it's a big no-no for me; I do want my heroes to have a smidge of pride in them.

new_user Yeah, I don't really like it either. I don't mind if he has to work for her a bit, but this seemed excessive...

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