Author: Angie Fox
Publishing House: Love Spell
Publication: 1st May 2009
Review written by Lady Entropy
(ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers is the second book in a collection and, once again, I made the mistake to not check the first one, well, first. However, the book is well written in the way that you don’t really need to read the first to be able to analyze the second. It was a light, fun read, but little more than a tasty piece of marshmallow. It really left no lasting impression in me other than the main character was very forgetful.
This book has a very defined and strong mythos (as usually is the case with this sort of Urban Fantasy books), which usually makes me happy, but between flashes of brilliance, the setting pretty much left me dead in the water — Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series still remains the uncontested winner in this department — much to my pity. I would like someone who could write setting to her standards. But let’s face it, “switch” stars as weapons are ridiculous.
The bad thing that comes with the mix of “forgetful protagonist” and “well-made if not very inspired setting” is that the lasting impressions that I get from the book are the secondary characters – I loved the idea of a biker witch coven forced into that lifestyle because they need to constantly be on the run, coming up with impromptu utensils and ingredients to do magic in motel rooms. Hell, I would love to see a book about the Red Skulls, minus the gryphon and the main character and her blood annoying dog.
Ah, let me talk about the dog sidekick: our protagonist has a dog that talks, is as stupid as two rocks, but while he whines he’s a dog and can’t count, he’s smart enough to be able to pass judgement on his mistress’s clothes and give style opinions. ARGH, the dog was the character I hated most. He was annoying, but beating the “Marketing-forced Disney Cute Pet Sidekick” level by a WHOLE lot of levels. He wasn’t cute. He was just outright annoying and a danger.
He saved his owner from the “more irritating character”, but I still haven’t forgotten the protagonist for her ridiculous decisions and outright stupidity (spying on demons after riding a Harley is something that NOBODY with two functioning brain cells would do while wearing a tight leather miniskirt). Throughout the book, the main protagonist whines, complains, puts people in danger because she’s too dumb, or doesn’t think that telling people the truth outright. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one who has that problem — a “Hunter” is running around gathering demons into a prison, but he can only contain them, not kill them, because that needs a Slayer (ie the protagonist) with switch stars. He actually brings her home one day, but instead of having her kill them there and then (she actually kills the strongest of them as a test from the Hunter), no, he just lets her leave and keeps sitting in the timebomb that is a bunch of demons trapped in a single building. And this isn’t the only situation: stupidity runs rampant and the plot advances just because people are “stupid”. And I hate hate HATE that in a book.
And this leads us to the end: this writer is amazing at writing conflict, and upping the stakes to a point where you’re left breathless. Unfortunately, that means she ends up writing herself into a corner and to get herself out of it, she had to resort to one of the greatest Deus Ex Machina I’ve read in a while, and puts Terry Pratchett to shame. I could see it happen if Max had been there, but she suddenly made it happen? Really? It was ridiculous and ludicrous and I howled with laughter to the bitter end of the climax. At least there was a price to pay for the victory, but all in all, the ending remained just every bit as bit as ridiculous.
Finally, this book had a LOT of typos. Editors: if me, a non-native reader can spot them, you have a serious problem. They didn’t bother me much, because I tend to be somewhat impervious to them, but I suspect they will annoy the hell out of native readers.
I don’t regret reading it, it was a light, fun read, but it could do better without the protagonist, her boring love interest and her annoying dog. I want a book on the Red Skulls, this book was way too forgettable.