Wednesday, July 1, 2009

my (admittedly amateur) review of The Demon's Librarian

The Demon's Librarian six stars ******
by Lilith Saintcrow

I finally finished this book, and I have to say that this is one those books that I'm glad I bought. I wrote earlier that at first I found it a little hard to get into, gradually did start really enjoying the book, and then realized that the reason I had a little difficulty at the beginning is the style of writing. Most of the books that I read by Lilith Saintcrow have all been in the first person. In fact, I usually pick out books that are written in the first person. This one is written in the third person. As well as being in the third person, when the characters have inner thoughts {which they frequently do, and boy do they have some sarcastic inner thoughts} the thoughts are written in italics, with no lead-in, such as 'she thought'. After I got used to that, I enjoyed that style much more. Let's face it, it can interrupt the flow when there are a lot of "she thought", "he believed", or "he thought to himself", and this way, throughout the book I was shown how the characters were thinking and feeling without being told.

The female main character is a librarian named Francesca, or Chess for short. But she is not your typical librarian, or rather your stereo-typical librarian. No, she is a smart-assed, strong woman, who uses some foul languange {somthing my daughter has been trying to break me of}. She sees something evil happening and does something about it.

The male main character - Orion, or Ryan - is a Drakuel, (part demon, part human). He is part of something called The Order, though he and others like him are treated as less than human. His duty is to protect a Malik (a someone who is able to use magic), though he does not seem to really respect his particular Malik, who seems to be a little flaky and too concerned with getting dates.

The Order has been around for many, many years. They fight demons, and are supposed to be against evil. Ms Saintcrow shows an organization that is supposed to be on the side of good, but has a few flaws. {kind of like almost every organization you can name, yes?} One of the flaws is their treatment of the Drakuelen. They are treated poorly, not really trusted, and used for their fighting skills and strength. Within their organization are some clear bigotry. The Drakulen males are known to acquire strong possessive tendencies when in contact with Malik females, so they are kept from the females, except for short sessions - when a female volunteers to be "company" to a Drakul.

The Demon's Librarian begins with a bang. We meet Chess toward the end of a fight with a demon. She kills the demon, and goes home with some injuries, shaken up and of course tired from the fight. She has a knife that glows blue when there are demons around. This encounter with the demon eventually brings her to the attention of Ryan and his Malik, Paul. Ryan is ordered by Paul to watch her, find out what he can about her while Paul leaves to take care of other business. During his vigil of watching Chess, Ryan begins to grow possessive and attracted to Chess, and Paul falls off the radar.

The rest of the book is a story with many aspects going on. There is a love story beginning here. There is Chess growing stronger and stronger. When she finally meets Ryan, she can't get away from him, as by this time he has grown quite possessive of her, something that he cannot stop himself from doing. She begins to have some feelings for Ryan, though she fights those. Not only does she have to deal with this human/demon, she has to deal with everything in her world changing. We find out later in the book how Chess has come about owning a demon-killing knife, and how she has learned about demons in the first place. It becomes apparent after a while that there are demons hunting Chess, and Ryan stays with her, to protect her while they search for Paul, who has disappeared. Then there is betrayal. Chess and Ryan end up in the demons' clutches.

I loved this book. I really enjoyed all the smart-assed comments that these two character thought at each other and at others. I loved how Chess stayed strong throughout everything, even when she was scared to death. I really enjoyed Ryan's point of view at times, along with his demon half, who was always stirring, trying to get out. There are times when Ryan saves Chess and when Chess saves Ryan. The passages when Chess and Ryan are in the demons' clutches were very poignant. The ending of the book was quite satisfying. A lot happens in this book; love, betrayal, personal growth of both characters, lots and lots of danger.

I have read two of Lilith Saintcrows series, (The Dante Valentine, and Jill Kismet series) along with her YA novel, Strange Angels. I would recommend any of those books to lovers of urban fantasy. I would also recomment The Demon's Librarian. I haven't heard anything about this being the start of a new series, I believe this was written as a stand alone novel. I would love to see more books about these two characters, Chess and Ryan though. If Ms Saintcrow would write another book about these two, I would definitely buy it.

Next up for me to read is Prey, by Rachel Vincent.

Note; There was a blog recently ( Kazdreamer which is also a contest ) where she asks about books that people are reading. One commenter had a list of books, a car book, a purse book, etc. I realized that I do have different areas where I read books, and tend to leave them. But I've never listed them all. Some of them are the car, the bedroom, and yes - the bathroom. There is one book that I keep in my bag for when I have to wait for presriptions, appts, stuff like that. So my bathroom book right now, is Amazon Ink. My main book that I'll be reading now is Prey.

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