Monday, January 12, 2009

Review - Personal Demon

Title: Personal Demon
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publishing Date: April 2008
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Hot

Personal Demon is book 8 in Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Underworld series. The narration switches first person point of view between Hope Adams and Lucas Cortez. Hope is a half chaos demon. She was raised by her human mother but discovered in her teens that she was not like everyone else. She would have gruesome visions of death or accidents. It turns out her biological father was a demon. She can sense chaos and it becomes almost like the equivalent of drugs to an addict.

Coming to terms with who she is, Hope takes a job as a tabloid writer. It is a guilt-free way for her to use her powers to detect unusual stories. She has been in a relationship with Karl, a member of the New England Werewolf pack. Their relationship has been going south. After having sex, Karl all but told her thanks for the good time and left her, telling her she was free to date other guys. He hurt her very badly and she wants nothing more than to put him out of her life and out of her heart.

Hope is approached by Benicio Cortez, the head of the Cortez Cabal. He calls in his favor from Hope. He needs help infiltrating a gang of sorcerers that are causing trouble in his jurisdiction. Hope, unable to resist the chance to prove herself, jumps at the opportunity. Soon though, Hope is in over her head and Lucas, with the help of his wife Paige come to her aid. Lucas and Paige have appeared in previous books in the series, Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic.

The first part of the book started out slow. Hope is infiltrating a gang of rogue sorcerers and the reader meets a new cast of characters. I kept wondering when Karl was going to put in an appearance and he actually doesn't show up until later on in the book. The second half of Personal Demon was super intense. I didn't want to put the book down. It was a little weird at first how the book switches back in forth between Hope and Lucas's point of view. Occasionally, I wouldn't realize that there had been a change in narration and would have to go and check the chapter to see who was narrating.

At first, I didn't like Karl. He seemed selfish and was basically described as a jerk through Hope's point of view. Then slowly a different, caring side of him is revealed as he takes care of Hope. I really liked Hope's character too. She struggles with her need for chaos and wants so badly to over come it. I like the fact that even though Hope is far from average, she still comes across as a normal woman, who wants to belong and be normal herself. I found it to be very touching how Karl knows this and does what he can to support her. He is able to give her a safe, guilt free outlet for her chaos cravings.

My initial impression after finishing this book is, "Wow". Kelley Armstrong has completely blown me away. I really like the direction this series is heading, especially the part involving the Cabal and Lucas. Lucas never ceases to amaze me and he plays a huge role in the second part of the book. More light is shed on the Cabal and Lucas has no choice but to become more involved in Cabal doings. I really enjoyed seeing this "take charge" side of Lucas.

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Leslie said...

wow Jill, i am just so impressed with you blog!

nath said...

Hi Jill :D Seems you enjoyed it more than I did... which is good for you :) and in which case, I think you'll also love Living With the Dead :)

Like I said in my review, I was more interested in Karl and Hope's relationship more than anything... and personally, I think that Hope and Karl make an awesome couple. Karl really understands Hope and he really loves her.

I'm curious to see how the Cabal will change with Lucas in charge. You know, something else I like is how time evolves in this series. It's done really well :)

Kwana said...

Thanks for the review. Love your blog!

Marg said...

I love this series so much. It grows and evolves and just keeps your interest in tact!

Thanks for the link! I;ll add you to my review as well.

Jill D. said...

Hey Leslie, Thanks for stopping by!! I gave Allison the link for my blog last night. She reads romance too!

Nath, I don't know why, but I have a soft spot for Lucas. It might be because he is so unassuming. He can really take someone by surprise. Let that be a lesson of never judge a book by its cover.

I am a little hesitant about Living with the Dead though, since I don't know this Robin chick. Who is the narrator?

Kwana, Thank you for stopping by! Feel free to drop by anytime. I try to keep things informal and fun.

Marg, I love this series. I don't know what I am going to do when I am all caught up.

Marg said...

Luckily there are a couple of releases in quick succession, but then what? I did read her first Nadia Stafford book and really like that as well, and now I am waiting for The Summoning to come in at the library.

nath said...

The narrators in Living with the Dead switch a lot... Hope has a big part... there's also Robin, the cop (forgot his name... Sean?) and the villain.

Christine said...

Wow! Book 8 and still going strong! That's so impressive. I have the first book in this series in my TBR somewhere. I look forward to finally reading it someday. :)