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Devil's Kiss Hardcover – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Series: Devil's Kiss
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First American Edition edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423119991
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423119999
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,626,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Sarwat Chadda's fast-paced novel (Hyperion, 2009) combines modern London with a fantasy world of ghuls (vampire/ghoul), weres, the Grigori (fallen angels), the Knights Templar, Arthurian characters, and a dash of Harry Potter. Thanks to a prophesy, Bilquis (Billi) SanGreal is the only female member of the Knights Templar. Since she is also the youngest, she tries to combine school with a rigorous training and patrolling schedule which she resents. This makes her easy prey for the attention of Mike, a handsome and mysterious young man who appears to understand her better than anyone else. But Mike isn't what he appears. He's the Archangel Michael on a quest to bring forth his watcher brothers and sisters, trapped in the ether by Solomon's mirror—protected through the ages by the Templars. Filled with Biblical lore, magical words and symbols, and medieval history, the novel takes listeners on a roller-coaster ride, leading to a tumultuous denouement. Anna Flosnik does an excellent job of voicing all the characters. A highly recommended listen.—Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Starred review. Chadda's fast-paced debut introduces 15-year-old Billi SanGreal, who is drafted into the modern remnants of the once-great Knights Templar by her fanatical, emotionally distant father, leader of the order ("How was school?" he asks while she's still "covered in slimy gore" after an exorcism). Though skilled in weaponry and educated in obscure religious history, Billi is a poor fit for the Templars: the lone girl in an otherwise all-male organization, of Muslim extraction but surrounded by Christians and lacking the unblinking ruthlessness required by the eternal war between the Knights and the forces of darkness. Nonetheless, she finds herself standing between the Angel of Death, Michael, who has become blinded by imagined glories of enforced salvation, and the multitude of innocents Michael would happily slaughter in the name of God. Scenes of spiritual warfare are gripping (and often gruesome), as is the undercurrent of supernatural romance. Chadda offers an original take on familiar creatures like vampires, the undead and fallen angels, but it's Billi's personality and tumult of emotions that will keep readers hooked. A promising beginning to both this series and Chadda's career. Ages 13-up. --Publishers Weekly, September 7, 2009

This fast-paced debut novel introduces readers to a modern London in which humanity is threatened by the hungry dead. The Knights Templar, an ancient order now operating in secret, is all that stands between the regular world and supernatural threats-and loner Billi is the only girl ever to become a member of that order. It is not a position of honor, however: her father, leader of the Order, demands ridiculously high standards without ever giving her a word of support, comfort, or love. Instead, he praises Kay, once Billi's best friend and possible love interest. She longs for a normal, simple life, which will have some readers sympathizing with her, while others more familiar with the genre will realize long before Billi does that normal is well outside her reach. Urban fantasy readers will also see plot twists before they are resolved. Chadda does an excellent job of drawing on Christian, Jewish, and Muslim folk stories to create the mythology for this world. Billi's mother's Muslim background and her father's oddly secular Christian devotion provide the book with a feeling of authenticity, as those traditions are meshed over the course of the book. The open ending leaves room for sequels, and Billi's growth makes her a more appealing narrator for future installments. Devil's Kiss will certainly find an audience, despite its prickly narrator.-Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT --School Library Journal, November 2009

Forget the jacket blurb's come-on to paranormal-romance fans, this is an old-fashioned high-octane horror tale, dripping with ghastly portents, eldritch violence and an embittered heroine facing down the looming Apocalypse. Billi SanGreal has been training since childhood to fight alongside the remnants of the Knights Templar, the mysterious medieval order founded to oppose the dark powers. Now dwindled to a handful of battle-scarred men, none is more grim and cold than their master, her father. Billi takes comfort in her friendship with the young psychic Kay, but when he carelessly invokes a long-dormant evil, she must confront a force more powerful, more monstrous, more tempting than anything she could imagine. The glorious splendor of the Templar mythos is deftly contrasted with the squalid dreariness of their present, illuminating the refuge they find in the cleaner, simpler problems of ghouls and werewolves and the fleeting beauty of innocence they so brutally defend. But Billi, in her anger-from simmering to white-hot-and her pain-physical, emotional and spiritual-dominates the story with gritty, fierce humanity. Love, loss, betrayal and sacrifice, leavened only with the bittersweet grace of doing what must be done. Deus vult! (Horror. 12 & up) --Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2009

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Customer Reviews

Overall, this is a great read for both teens and adults looking for an action-filled, epic story.
YAReviewer
I loved the fact that Billi is scared of the monsters she has to face, and that she is constantly questioning her loyalty to the Knights Templar.
Dee18
Devil's Kiss has a very enticing plot that is filled with constant action in it's endless battle of good vs evil.
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa M. Kirk on November 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was torn between 3 and 4 stars for this one so let's call it a solid 3.5!

This book opens with a bang. The first line...

Killing him should be easy; He's only six. (Okay, the first line gets 5 stars!)

So the first line is to die for (pun intended)! Loved it! Then it rolls right into a great action sequence.The pace stays fast. Chadda's characterization, description and plot development is very good. I enjoyed the history/folklore of the Knights Templar. There was enough to be interesting and move the story along without bogging it down. I thought the endless description of their vast array of weapons got a bit tedious but that's a minor point.

The mood is dark and stays that way throughout. There isn't any humor which I usually like but this wasn't that kind of story so it would have been out of place.

The love story was good but mild (appropriate since they were only 15), and certainly secondary to the action and the themes of family, responsibility, self-sacrifice for the greater good and saving the world.

The jacket pushes the love triangle concept which, after reading the book, appeared to be a ploy to entice readers. I don't want to give anything away but the love triangle never developed, which annoyed me simply because of the fact that it was pushed as a spicy plot factor.

At times I found Billi annoying, immature and whiny but the protagonist isn't supposed to perfect and it is about her developing and finding her path in life. The story dragged a bit about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through but then picked up again. I found some things predictable early on but I'm not sure a younger teen would.

But minor complaints because overall, I thought this book was a good read. Again, it's dark (the term 'gritty' comes to mind), so while the ending does have resolution and satisfaction in some areas, I wouldn't call it a happy one.

I did like the cover!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By HHK VINE VOICE on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really like this book. I find that YA Fantasy is much more innovative than adult paranormal stuff, and this book had me engrossed from start to finish.

Bilqis is a half Pakistani/half British girl who happens to be the daughter of the Master of the last remaining Knights Templar. The Templar Knights have survived in hiding after the October 13th massacre by the Inquisition. Their mandate is to protect all of humanity from Vampires (Ghuls), Weres, and the Grigori (fallen Angels). Her Dad is ruthless in training 15 year old Bili and she thinks he does not love her. Her Mom was killed by an evil Angel. This is her story of growing up, re-engaging her relationship with her Father, and coming into her own as a Templar.

I loved the mix of genres and lengends. I like that she was half Muslim and that the Templars are engaged by God to protect all humanity regardless of religion. One of the characters is an Oracle and goes to Jerusalem to train with a Rabbi, Imam and Priest. I think it sends a nice message of tolerance. There is some violence, but no overt sexuality. A critical characters dies, and I give credit to the author for taking a risk with this.

Overall an enjoyable and at times gritty, Girl Power book, that I think many Middle School and above young girls will enjoy. Also great cover!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sara VINE VOICE on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up Devil's Kiss. I'd heard widely varied reviews, but I was intrigued nonetheless. I've always loved fantastical stories that are rooted in truth and I was even more intrigued by the fact that the main character was female.

Devil's Kiss pulled me in right from the beginning. While I had a pretty good idea of who the villain would be, it wasn't definite, the story could have progressed in a couple different ways. I liked that it wasn't completely obvious.

I really enjoyed Billi as a protagonist. I could understand how she felt pulled towards being a participant in this epic battle between good and evil and, at the same time, her deep resentment toward the life she had been raised to lead. I felt that her relationship with her father was written particularly well. As the reasons behind her father's actions and demeanor were further explored, I really grew to like him - which I didn't think would happen when first intruduced to his character.

Devil's Kiss moved at a quick pace and I was interested throughout. I felt like, at some points, the plot could have slowed down a bit and Chadda could have added a bit more detail. Especially when it came to historical information about the Knights Templar and monsters they battle.

Always a romantic, I loved the relationship between Billi and Kay. I'm a fan of plot lines where friends turn to into more and I felt that Chadda wrote that aspect of the novel well.

My one complaint was the ending of the novel. I can't say more than that it left me disappointed without spoilers. I could see the ending like that of Devil's Kiss as necessary in some novels, but I didn't feel that it was for this particular novel. I kept hoping for some type of loop hole, but none appeared.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By small review on July 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Billi has spent her young life in the unusual role of the only female member of the Knights Templar. Yes, THAT Knights Templar. The group is alive and well, though smaller and largely unknown by modern society. Billi's father leads the rag tag group as they vanquish evil in the form of werewolves, ghouls, vampires, and fallen angels. While Billi has learned to fight like a Templar, she spends her time chafing against the group's rules and wishing for a normal life. When she meets an attractive man named Mike, she quickly falls for him and the freedom from the Templars she thinks he offers. Mike is not what he seems, however, and Billi soon realizes she's in way over hear head.

This book had great potential, but it never fully realized that potential. The author (and readers) would have benefited from a little more practice and more time spent on both the drawing and editing boards. The good? The overall story is a good idea. The storyline worked and nicely integrated biblical events and people in a way that wasn't forced or out of place. The descriptions of the bad guys were also deliciously creepy. The bad? Everything else.

The development of the characters was probably the worst part about the book. Billi is a weak character with few redeeming qualities. She is not easy to like, as she has a huge chip on her shoulder that doesn't go away. Sure, she has her reasons, but it's still annoying to read. She's also very weak, both physically and mentally. The book jacket makes it seem like she's the next Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but she lacks Buffy's charm and strength. Instead, Billi is whiny and weak.

The romantic aspects of the book were also very off base. The descriptions of Billi's father make him seem like the main love interest.
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