Reviewed: February 15, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Demons, Book 1
Rating: 3.5 Star
Length: 354 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Hellion Guard Maggie O'Malley is used to being the Big Witch on Campus. She and her team track down and capture all those pesky preternatural criminals who break the worst laws. She's sort of like...Glinda with a gun. And a killer bod, a killer spider, a killer attitude...
Maggie definitely rocks the deadly vibe.
That fact is certainly not lost on Declan, new owner of Damnation Alley, the underground club that gets trashed within ten minutes of Maggie's arrival, when a supposedly easy capture goes explosive, squishy, and smelly. Half fire demon, Declan gets more than hot under the collar when he first sets eyes on Maggie. The destruction of one of the club's bars and several walls doesn't cool his ardor for the wickedly sexy witch, despite the fact that demons and witches are inherent enemies. If anything, it further inflames him.
When Declan's sister gets picked up by the Guard, he beards the witch in her compound. His sister hadn't broken the law, the precognitive vision she saw was so horrifying that it drove her a little mad. She'd been picked up for her protection, as well as that of everyone around her. Though Declan wants his sister back, he agrees to allow her to stay at the compound, so long as he's involved in averting the death and destruction she's foretold. So long as he's working with Maggie.
As Declan starts to wear down Maggie's meager resistance to hot half-demons who are totally into her, she's tasked with a job that's far outside of her comfort zone. She's to guard the teen-aged girl who is fated to be sacrificed to a monstrous Mayan deity in an attempt to bring him forth into this realm. So, in other words, young girl dies...world is painted red in the wash of blood and viscera of the masses, human and preternatural both, then dies.
Hey, at least Maggie won't have to worry about job security any time soon. Or, if she can't stop this prophecy, ever.
Sophisticated and sexy, Wisdom kicks off her Demons series with a bang. Maggie was one of my favorite kinds of heroines in the paranormal genre. Just enough baggage to make her sympathetic and a little damaged, more than enough strength and determination to save her own ass and everyone else's around her.
Declan was a sweet bit of male yumminess, too. He wasn't the warrior and power character that Maggie was, but he wasn't a beta male either. He could hold his own, but his presence was more pertinent in the romance than in the threads of external plot conflict.
This book was a little different than a traditional paranormal romance, developing in a more unconventional manner. Not all of that worked for me. The first half focused more heavily on the world-building and romance arc of Declan and Maggie. The threat of the Big Bad was there, but the plot threads supporting the evolution of that conflict didn't start to really have presence in the story until the halfway mark. That made the book seem almost bisected to me. I would have preferred the plotline of the two halves be better woven together throughout the whole of the book.
Still, I enjoyed most of the book very much, though I admit, the first half was the strongest for me in terms of story and character development, as well as world-building and mythos creation. The last ten to fifteen percent of the book, though, had some major problems and the external conflict took a few big missteps.
When one of the major players of the Big Bad movement, a nasty sort who trusts no one, suddenly put his plans in the hand of someone with a history of defying him, I lost my grip on the story. Sure that mistake helped the good guys, but it was such an implausible scenario that it was impossible to maintain a willing suspension of disbelief.
And the conflict resolution came too quickly to an abrupt and jarring end, leaving a plot hole or two and a disappointing sense of anticlimax.
This book has a lot of promise, and it speaks well for the quality of the rest of the series. Wisdom's world is creative, and it's filled with extraordinary characters who are pivotal to the depth of plot and story. The romance filled out in all the right places, and it's sexy as hell. I would have liked the two halves of the story more if they had been better blended, or if the plot holes had been addressed. And the climax of the conflict was disappointing on more than one level. I've got to admit, though, I'm intrigued by the world and the creatures inhabiting it. I'm not done visiting that world just yet. I want to know what comes next.
"I am beginning to think that my way is so much better," Elle announced. "Have sex, eat my mate, lay eggs, and leave them to hatch on their own."
"You're a regular softie, Elle."
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