Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)'s Reviews > Demon Angel

Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
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I put off reading this book for years. Let's just say, when I thought the heroine was the Lilith (of Biblical infamy), I wasn't sure I could wrap my mind around her being a heroine in a romance novel. Well, I'm glad that I finally did read this book. It was a very good story. And, by the way, she isn't that Lilith.

I think Ms. Brook did a great job of writing this story about a love affair over eight hundred years in the making. Two people who should have been mortal enemies, who ended up falling in love and finding their soulmates in each other. The die-hard romantic in me couldn't help but be enthralled with this concept. And that pull between Lilith and Hugh kept me reading, although this is a story that requires the ability to wait for delayed gratification. That, in itself is not a bad thing. Instead, it was appealing to see the back and forth between Hugh and Lilith through the years. Watching their verbal foreplay, and the fact that although they often went head to head as opponents on opposite sides of a war, but didn't treat each other as the mortal adversaries that they were.

This is a very character-driven book. The good thing about it, is the character are very interesting. Although Lilith is correctly thought of as a 'bad girl,' she has aspects that show that she really isn't all bad. In contrast, Hugh is definitely the white knight type of character. But he has some gray areas too. I loved that they were each other's weaknesses. Hugh was a very chaste, righteous man, but Lilith was the one woman who had the power to utterly seduce him, and he had to work hard not to show it. Hugh made Lilith want to defy her father, Lucifer, even though it was a great personal cost to her. Ms. Brook did such a great job at laying the groundwork for this great love story, and the execution was very good.

Now, this is one of those books that I had trouble rating. The reason why is, well it's a very good book. However, it had a tendency to be quite slow-moving. It was character-driven, which is good, but I think the action sequences needed to be more vivid. There was great potential for rip-roaring, intense battle sequences, and that didn't come to fruition. I think there needed to be more showing and not telling in that arena. Since this is the first full book in the series, I suspect that the further books have expanded in this area, because this story has all kinds of potential. Another issue I had, was sometimes I got lost with some of the aspects of the worldbuilding. I didn't always get what the objective was of everything, with the nosferatu, and the inscribing of symbols, and the drinking of blood with the murders of Hugh's students. I will probably need to reread this book to gain a better understanding of all that.

On the positive, I was really impressed with this story: the guardians versus the demons. The eternal struggle between the forces of light and dark. The worldbuilding had a uniqueness that spoke to me. The scenes describing Hell sent shivers down my spine. I loved Sir Pup, Lilith's pet hellhound. I thought it was awesome how the guardians, nosferatu, and demons could store weapons and other items (even bodies and evidence) in what's called a 'cache,' which I interpreted to be a psychic storage area. That was very cool. What made me uneasy was the parts where Lilith called Lucifer father, and talked about obeying and serving him. I'm a devout Christian, which means he's the bad guy to me, so it was just really odd to have the main character in allegiance to him. But, I liked the interesting dynamic of it all; after all, Lilith knew she was playing for the wrong team.

The best thing about this story was the love story. Hugh and Lilith were made for each other. They had sizzling chemistry that made the slow-moving story worthwhile for staying tuned into. I really wanted things to work out for them. I loved all the love scenes, because they were sizzling hot, and the passion between them really burned. You definitely got the feeling that this was a fire that had been stoking for almost a millenium. Hugh is a sigh-worthy hero. I loved that he was such a good guy, a virgin, with strong principles. Yet, he was not a supercilious, self-righteous plaster saint. He was very much a man, with a man's flaws. He was determined to save Lilith, even when she didn't seem to want saving. He was even willing to sacrifice himself to do so. And Lilith was a great character. I love a complex heroine. She's dark, but has a strong sense of doing what is right to her. She put herself in jeopardy several times, out of love for Hugh, and didn't take the many opportunities she had to destroy him, and make a mockery of his principles. I liked her, and I wanted her to get her man, and for things to work out for her. Because of their strong bond, that made them both stronger and complete as people, and a powerful unit together, I was seriously rooting for their happy ending. And I liked how Ms. Brook pulled it off.

Demon Angel is a book that I was pleasantly surprised with. It has a fresh spin on the ancient battle between heaven and hell. It gave me something to ponder, but I didn't feel like I was compromising my personal beliefs in reading this book. The love story was rich and involving. I definitely want to continue this series, and see how this war between the Guardians, the nosferatu, and the demons unfolds.
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Reading Progress

05/07/2010 page 26
05/07/2010 page 46
10.65% "An interesting battle of wits between Hugh and Lilith, so far. A bit slow moving, but I want to keep reading."
05/08/2010 page 189
43.75% "Oh, I like this author. The slow buildup is definitely going to be pay off."
05/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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Kelly Oh, I loved that book. I read it probably five years ago and it still sticks with me.

If you have a moment about halfway through where you get confused, keep going--it all comes clear about a chapter later. :)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I'm liking it so far. She's investing a lot into the character development. I'm glad to hear you liked it so much. That's a good sign, Kelly.

Kelly Oh, definitely tons of character development. That's part of what makes it awesome.

message 5: by Shawna (new) - added it

Shawna Great review, Danielle! I've had this on my TBR for a while, but I'm not sure I can handle getting hooked on yet another series, LOL! :)

message 6: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (last edited May 10, 2010 07:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Shawna. There is definitely the potential to get sucked into this series. I know what you mean, though. I'm having that issue myself!

Cindi Very good review, Dani! You have such a way with words and are very good at being fair with your positives and negatives. I just finished a Nina Bangs book Eternal Cravingwhere the concept was good but the articulation wasn't. I couldn't find the words to express my feelings about that but didn't want my saying so to influence others because it was still a good book - so long as ya just didn't think too much about it! Ms. Brooks had such intricate details in her world that I appreciated the time she took explaining it, but laughed when you said she should spend "more time doing, not telling"! That was true also!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Cindi! You're very kind! This series has a lot of potential. Too bad the Nina Bangs book wasn't good. I'll make a note of that. Have you read any of the other books in this series?

Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog) That was a great review, I have seen those books around but am never sure if I want to read them. Was the first book also good?

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Suzanne. I haven't read the short story that takes place prior to this book. But, I think this is a good place to start.

message 11: by Brylit (new)

Brylit Sounds very interesting and a powerful dynamic too!
I have a large pile of favorite series to finish first. Maybe U can let me read this one someday.:)
Thanks for the good review,Danielle.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks for reading, Brylit. Of course you can read it. Let me know when you want to read it, and I'll pull it off the bookshelf. I think you'd like it!

message 13: by Cindy (new)

Cindy FYI - there's a related story in Must Love Hellhounds...

message 14: by Brylit (new)

Brylit Thanks, Cindy. I just happen to have that on hand, and I will read it.

Cindi Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Thanks, Cindi! You're very kind! This series has a lot of potential. Too bad the Nina Bangs book wasn't good. I'll make a note of that. Have you read any of the other books in this series?"

I liked the 1st one enough to go for 2 . . . it was a 3 star, you know?

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Oh, thanks, Cindy. I'm the same way. I'll keep reading a 3 star series if it keeps my interest.

Catherine Great review Danielle! You've described my opinion of this book to a T. On subsequent rereads I've had a much easier time reading this book. There was no more confusion (which I suffered from at times on the first read) and I picked up on things I missed before.

The author did have a bit of a problem with a slow moving pace in this one. I felt that her plotting and pace was significantly cleaned up in the second book. Have you read that one? It was one of my top three in the series. I loved Colin and Savi.

The romance between Hugh and Lilith was quite intense. It was impossible (for me) not to get as caught up in their emotions as they themselves were.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Catherine. I haven't read past this one yet, but I bought all the other full-lengths in the series. I'm excited to read them. I'm glad you enjoyed Colin's book. I liked him in Demon Angel.

message 19: by Catherine (last edited Aug 02, 2010 08:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catherine You definitely need to read on! The series gets better and better. When I was browsing the author's site I was surprised to see this:

my advice is to skip to Demon Night* (and catch up on everything that happened in Demon Angel and Demon Moon here). There’s a couple of reasons for this, but the big ones are:

1) My pacing improved and the writing became more straightforward, IMO. I wrote Demon Night after receiving a lot of feedback on Demon Angel — and many readers who enjoyed that book still had some trouble following exactly what was going on. So I wrote Demon Night with that in mind.

2) Charlie, the heroine, is a newbie to the Guardian world. I know the worldbuilding can be complicated and dense, but Charlie’s outsider status means that everything is explained to her (and the reader) as the book goes along. Now, there’s still a LOT happening and a lot to take in, but compared to Demon Angel/Moon, I think the presentation of that information is easier to swallow, and there’s not as much reading-between-the-lines.

3) Demon Night opens up the second story arc in the series and follows a minor arc resolution in Demon Moon, so it’s a good jumping-on point.

*Don’t get me wrong, I love Demon Angel and Demon Moon. But I know some readers have had trouble getting into the series because of the writing in those books, and recent comments in various locations have made me realize that maybe it’s just easier to skip those two for now (and maybe they’ll be easier to take in after the reader already has some familiarity with the series and the characters.

So, the author became aware of the difficulties and fixed them. I do not recommend skipping Demon Moon though. I thought it was excellent! But, if you have the same pacing problems with it that you had with the first, you might want to wait to make up your mind about the series until you read Demon Night. FYI for you in case you care. :)

message 20: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (last edited Aug 02, 2010 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Oh, thanks for the information, Catherine. I'll probably read all the books, but at least I will be prepared for issues with those.

message 21: by Tina (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tina Catherine wrote: "You definitely need to read on! The series gets better and better. When I was browsing the author's site I was surprised to see this:

my advice is to skip to Demon Night* (and catch up on everyt..."

Thanks for this. I just reviewed Demon Angel and I had the very same issues about the pacing. I did want to continue in the series because i did hear that it gets better later, but I wasn't hurrying to pick up the next book.

Catherine I hope you both enjoy it if you decide to read on. It has turned into one of my favorite series and I can't wait for 2012 when we finally get Michael's book. Too bad it's the end of the series though. :(

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I'm excited to read Michael's book. Too bad we have to wait two years.

Catherine No kidding! It feels like forever. At least I'll have Demon Marked next year to tide me over.

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