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City of Demons Paperback – July 25, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Tyche Books Ltd. (July 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0987824848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0987824844
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,638,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"City of Demons is a terrific debut novel. Lock the doors before you set out on this journey... You will not put it down again." ~Alison Acheson, author of Molly's Cue

"City of Demons is a fast-paced page turner of a fantasy novel, with rich characters, vivid, evocative settings and a deep vein of universal truth." ~Wendy Phillips, Governor General's Literary Award winning author of Fishtailing


More About the Author

Kevin Harkness is a Vancouver-based writer who creates genre fiction. He has loved fantasy, scifi, horror, and mystery all his reading life, which supposedly started before kindergarten, if family legend is correct. Influenced by amazing writers such as Andre Norton, Ursula Le Guin, Cordwainer Smith, and Arthur Clarke, he eventually took up the pen (or keyboard and mouse) himself. Writing is his third career, coming after an early stint as an industrial 911 operator in Northern Alberta and many more years as a high school teacher in Richmond, British Columbia. These extremes taught him a lot about human nature and actual nature, both of which can be very cold.
He is currently writing the sequel(s) to City of Demons and thus may be seen walking the streets of Vancouver, muttering to himself.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kimbacaffeinate on August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
City of Demons is an epic fantasy that takes us on one young man's journey from the farmlands to the cities of Midland. Filled with demons, battles, political conflict, suspense and intrigue this is sure to enchant fantasy lovers. Harkness weaves a tale that will leave you breathless. I consumed this over the course of three evening and was sadden to see it end.

The tale begins when we meet Garet, he is a young sheep herder, who lives on a small farm with his family. He loves his mom and his little sister but he lives in fear of his abusive father and manipulative brothers. Garet dreams of escaping. As he watches the herds he dreams about the cities he has never seen and wonders what the roads are paved of. A need to protect his mother and baby sister, keep him from running away. One evening his life is forever changes when his family is attacked by a demon. As his father and brothers cower in fear, young Garet finds he is able to resist "demon fear" and slays the demon. When it's discovered he has this rare talent, he is taken to the city of Shirath. Here he trains to become a Demonbane. He he is schooled in combat, demon lore, and how to resist the demon's physic power. The tale that unfolds was breathtakingly beautiful, had depth and characters I came to adore.

Garet has led a simple, mostly miserable life on a small farm. Until his journey begins he has never left his home. Viewing the world through his eyes was simplistic, beautiful and fascinating. He is bright, brave and inquisitive. He absorbs the world around him, questions everything and sees the world with an understanding beyond his years. While he is excited by all around him, a part of him yearns for his mother, sister and the open fields of his farm. The town's people were fascinating and colorful.
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Format: Kindle Edition
City of Demons - not a series yet (one offshoot book - Marick and the Rat Demon, but no true follow-on story), and I really want to read more. Their are some familiar roles (hero that vaults from obscurity and oppression, sage mentor, amusing sidekicks, love interest, back-stabbing villains, etc.) but all of these characters are well written and the relationships that are created are, for the most part, solid and satisfying. I really liked the concept of the demons, and how the demonbanes are set up to oppose them. There are only a couple of weak spots in the story, and a huge amount of potential for the author to explore and explain (Where do the demons come from, and how do they sneak into cities if they are so easy to detect? What about the dragons?).
The book seems to be written for teen audience (age of protagonists, easy read, etc), and I am happy that this book has no clumsy sex scenes (that some other novice fantasy authors try to produce), only a bit of youthful romance and puppy love. You'll find the book an easy and fast read, and I'm sure you'll wish there were more books in this universe (there is only the aforementioned short story Marick and the Rat Demon - a good but short read itself).
I read this book in the Gods and Dragons anthology available on Amazon - a very good value if you haven't read some of the books in the collection.
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Format: Kindle Edition
My review is 4 stars out of 5. Enjoyable book, interesting concept, but with a few flaws.

I was struck by parts of the story that were similar to the "Harry Potter" saga: 1) Both were in a bad environment growing up 2) Both were offered a chance to go to a school where they could learn to use their "abilities" by a stranger to them 3) Each did things to save the school and their friends.

Enough was different so it was NOT an attempt to tell the same story with minor changes.

Chapter 21 - A gate was pushed, creating a small snow drift so the gate could not be closed. The gate (or door) pushes snow AHEAD of the motion of the gate. As it grows, it eventually may prevent pushing it further open - you can always bring the gate (or door) back, closing it again. (Except when the snow has fallen so deep on BOTH sides!) Minor point - but I think a book written for young people should not present WRONG concepts.
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Format: Paperback
I am not normally a fantasy genre reader; however, City of Demons is so much more than dragons and mythical beasts in a fantastical setting. The tale is strongly character driven and rich in dynamic relationships and personal challenges. The main character, Garet is wonderfully drawn, at once heroic and flawed and the author also uses vivid description in just the right measure. My problem with fantasy has always been excessive description and too much telling not showing which is never the case with City of Demons - smart fantasy from beginning to end. I'm a hard sell where fantasy is concerned, but City of Demons is a must read!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Garet loses his temper and kills a demon. The demonbanes come to search for the one beat the demon fear and offer him the chance to become one of their own. Garet's new life starts here.

Demons breed fear in any humans they come near, then feed off that fear to make themselves strong. Now there is a new demon, the type of which has never been seen before, as well as political intrigue within the king's court. Only the demonbane can protect mankind, but the demonbane have their own in-house fighting to sort out before they can save the city.

Garet has a natural ability when it comes to fighting demons and he picks up knowledge at a phenomenal rate which pleases some of his masters, but angers others.

This book reminded me of David Eddings fantasy series. The author has taken a great deal of trouble to ensure the continuity of the story is correct. The planet is well thought out and I felt as if I could step across the dimensions and be at home there. I saw no editing errors at all and the story locked together superbly. Can you tell I really enjoyed this book?

I love fantasy books but haven't read one of this quality for some time. There is a little bit of romance in it, but the fighting of demons and Garet's emergence from a gawky country boy to a young man skilled in the fighting of demons is the mainstay of the book. I could go on and on about how I liked it, but that wouldn't necessarily encourage a fantasy reader to try it. I will say if you like fantasy, you shouldn't miss this one. Take the plunge and give it a try. It will knock your socks off!

Originally posted at LAS Sci-Fi/Fantasy Reviews
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