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Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–In this riveting debut novel, 16-year-old Nick and his older brother, Alan, are accustomed to life on the run. Since their father was murdered, the boys have been forced to slay demons set on them by magicians seeking the powerful charm stolen by the boys' mother. Nick is furious when Alan receives a first-tier demon mark while saving a neighborhood boy. While seeking to remove it, Nick begins to suspect that his brother is lying to him about the reason for the magicians' attempts to kill them and about why their mother screams whenever Nick touches her. Fans of the Supernatural television series will be hooked from the novel's opening lines (The pipe under the sink was leaking again. It wouldn't have been so bad, except that Nick kept his favorite sword under the sink.). Even teens who don't consider themselves genre buffs will appreciate the solid writing, fast-paced plot, and sense of authenticity that Brennan gives to the shadowy world between ordinary, modern-day London and the otherworld of demons and magicians. Though Nick and Alan's story is mostly resolved with Nick discovering the truth behind his father's death and his mother's fear of him, readers will no doubt clamor for the next book in this planned urban fantasy trilogy.–Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD
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What if the bad-boy hunk in your class was actually a sword-wielding demon slayer? That’s the enticing scenario offered up in Brennan’s debut, and although the results are periodically workmanlike, they will satisfy the legions currently clamoring for this brand of dark fantasy. Nick (the aforementioned hunk) lives with his empty-shell mother and older brother Alan, but they’re constantly on the move as they hunt—and are hunted by—evil magicians and their conjured demons. Their brutal routine is interrupted by the arrival of two teen siblings in need of help, one of whom has been “marked” by a demon for certain death and the other of whom fosters a growing desire for one of the brothers. Though unique, the mythology has some holes and feels needlessly convoluted. That said, Brennan excels when she dwells upon her characters’ more human emotions (desire, loneliness, loyalty), and hits her stride in the final stretch, creating several scenes of unexpected horror and piling on some truly surprising twists. Stick with it, and you’ll be glad you did. Grades 9-12. --Daniel KrausSee all Editorial Reviews
Excellent read and I really enjoyed the twist! Let's just say I wasn't sure how I felt about feeling such a strong connection to the main character at the end! Well done!Published 2 months ago by Kendra Y.
I saw this recommended on tumblr, took a look at the preview and immediately knew I had to buy it. I've been looking for a book about brothers for ages, and it's set in all the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Esme Symes-Smith
One of the most complex and brilliant books I've ever read!Published 12 months ago by Sheila I. Smith
just want to start off by saying that this book is the first book in one of my favorite series. Seriously. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Danielle @ Overflowing Shelf
First book in series is the best. Outstanding relationship between the brothers. The dimension and depth that she has engineered with words I can't even begin to touch.Published 20 months ago by Monica Biancardi
I cannot say enough about this book's awesomeness.It's all about the character of Nick, someone I should not possibly be able to like, but who I somehow adore. Read morePublished 22 months ago by CindiJeanie
I stumbled on this series when I was researching books by Sarah Rees Brennan, who recently wrote Unspoken which has been getting really great reviews. Read morePublished on July 3, 2013 by Janita @ Book, Interrupted
I found this book to be dark dangerous and full adventures that were told from a narrator who was not human but also not completely alien. Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by Amy