Book 4 in an exciting “New Adult” urban fantasy series with a “kick-ass” heroine
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Pages: 224 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
In this fourth book in the Demon Underground, New Adult, urban fantasy series, “kick-ass” heroine, 18-year-old Val Shapiro, is hiding a dangerous secret. After losing her virginity to her handsome, demon boyfriend, Shade, her slayer powers vanished. She had hoped that as the latest guardian of the Encyclopedia Magicka, these enormously powerful books would offer her new magical abilities to replace those she’d surrendered for love, but so far, that has not happened. These books take away more than they give, because there is a price to pay for using any spell they offer.
While Val is still floundering without any magical resources to protect herself or anyone else, her roommate Gwen and her mentor Micah, the incubus leader of the San Antonio Demon Underground, are kidnapped by a rogue demon, who commands Val to surrender the Encyclopedia Magicka to him as the price for her friends’ lives. As Val contemplates the nightmare such an exchange would produce, the gorgeous, succubus leader of the Austin Demon Underground arrives, insisting that the deadly books be destroyed to prevent their falling into the wrong hands. She also employs her succubus powers to bind Shade to her, and a devastated Val can do nothing to prevent it.
Meanwhile, demons and vampires begin disappearing in San Antonio, and Val is torn between the needs of the vampire and demon communities. The vampires of the New Blood Movement demand that Val uphold her oath to work for them as they search for the perpetrator of these threats, but there is dangerous turmoil in the Demon Underground without Micah in charge. As if all that weren’t enough, Val’s best friend and sidekick, Fang the talking hellhound, chooses this moment to unaccountably betray her.
Val, as always, is a valiant, determined, very active protagonist, and she has plenty of exciting, scary problems to deal with in this latest action-filled installment of the Demon Underground series. Val inhabits a compelling, magical world, and I thoroughly enjoy reading about that world and experiencing the many intriguing subcharacters inhabiting it.
Poor Val can’t ever seem to catch a break in the romance department, but since this is not a series that focuses a great deal of attention on romance as an end in and of itself, I won’t downgrade my score for this novel for not delivering a strong paranormal-romance subplot. Instead, I am giving it a high score for a great deal of success in its main focus: relentless warrior, Val, giving her all to the goal of defeating scary villains against impossible odds.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book through Net Galley.
I rate this book as follows:
Fantasy World-Building: 5
Action-Adventure/Thriller Plot: 4