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The Demon King and I Paperback – November 4, 2008
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About the Author
Candace "Candy" Havens is a best selling and award-winning author. Her novels include Charmed & Dangerous, Charmed & Ready, Charmed & Deadly, Like A Charm and The Demon King and I. She is known for writing strong female characters, who save the world, but aren't exactly perfect. She is a two-time RITA, Write Touch Reader and Holt Medallion finalist. She is also the winner of the Barbara Wilson award.
Candy is a nationally syndicated entertainment columnist for FYI Television. A veteran journalist she has interviewed just about everyone in Hollywood from George Clooney and Orlando Bloom to Nicole Kidman and Kate Beckinsale. You can hear Candy weekly on 96.3 KSCS in the Dallas Fort Worth Area.
Her popular online Writer's Workshop has more than 1000 students and provides free classes to professional and aspiring writers.
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Top Customer Reviews
What I Liked: The Caruthers family in general. They are complicated, smart, fashionable, and multi-taskers that make you go WOW! This book was defiantly a good launch to this series.
Why I gave it a 4: Snark, Fun, Hot Leading Man, and my face was in a permanent grin when I finished :) Reason enough for a 4!
Who would I recommend it too: PNR readers that like Chicklit because this was a great cross between the two!
Author Website: [...]
The sample was good - actually very good, but it went downhill from there. Formulaic doesn't begin to describe the problems. The author name dropped like she was still writing press releases for celebrity photo mags. Do I really care that the "heroine" had to chose between Marchesa or Zac Posen for the dress she was going to wear to the ball?
And don't get me started on the "heroine" - she's an art gallery mogul, lawyer, head of an international conglomerate, Paris Hilton wannabe that travels through spatial dimensions by matching the little tattos on her dainty wrists and kills "demons". Give me a break!
There was no real climax or ending to the book - the author wrote it in first person, so when the heroine got knocked out at the end of the book, all of the action ended there too. We find out who the villians were having her family fill her in on the details after she wakes up. And speaking of the villians - the heavy handing foreshadowing during the heroine's one and only meeting with the chief villian gave the game away. And the relationship between the chief villian and the second villian was just too dumb for words, completely out of left field and totally unnecessary.
I didn't want to give this book 1 star because there was so much promise - but I did, because that promise was wasted in poor plotting and even worse world building. This book is barely a romance and certainly not an urban fantasy.
Believe me, I won't spend another dime on this series or this author.
There were also an awful lot of descriptions of how awesome Gillian and her family were supposed to be, but precious little showing us that same awesomeness. Example, while having a contrived tender moment with Mr. Demon King he and Gilly are called back to his castle where he locks her in her room. We get to see her storm around a bit and get angry about being locked up and then be told, 'oh yeah, we were under attack.' (Um, why wasn't the warrior Guardian in that defensive battle again?)
She is then returned home, where said attack is reported and we, the reader, get to see her and her sisters decide which dress to wear to the ball. Leaving aside the whole, 'oh shoot, the universe is seriously endangered and maybe we aught to blow off the charity public appearances' I'd be much more interested in seeing the outcome of a pitched demon battle than whether Gillian or her sisters chooses to wear a pink Carmen Marc Valvo or a coffee-colorer Zac Posen. But the latter seemed to be much more important, since it and other such scenes were the only ones that seemed to be related real-time.
This sort of issue reared its ugly head again and again. Even the final conclusion was spent telling the reader what had been discovered in the last days of the investigation instead of showing us the investigation. If I wanted a memo on the highlights of the events I would have chosen something bullet-pointed instead of a novel. The reader is given far, far more firsthand information about what characters are wearing, or driving, or what event they are attending than the actual fight scenes, romance, or mystery solving.
Further, I'm not certain how I'm supposed to really feel the tension of the universe almost being overrun by evil when it's of so little importance to the characters in question that they don't even bother to rearrange their social schedules. Yes, I did gather the fact that the Caruthers sisters lead this double life, but their (and the book's) strong focus on fashion and celebrity meant that nothing else felt important--least of which the supposed universe-wide war that was being waged.
Add to that the fact that I felt like the actual plot point that tied everything back to Gillian made little sense. There really isn't a way for me to address this without spoilers, but it was shaky at best. I saw no reason any aggression should have been directed at a single Guardian. I do see what the author was probably trying to infer, but it really didn't come across.
I also thought there were some inconsistencies. Arath, for example, didn't know who Jesus was or what seat belts were, but recognised Fall Out Boy, DVDs and Dancing with the Stars. What? Really?
Lastly, another side-effect of the bullet-point like plotting was that, with the exception of the fact that you know it's coming by virtue of what type of book it is, the romantic element amped up out of nowhere. I can't even call it insta-love because until the very end, where a perfunctory and very brief sex scene was shoe-horned in, there wasn't any love expressed. Sure Gilly told herself she was in love with this man she had spoken to a mere handful of times, but that's it. There was no sexual tension, no flirting, almost no whispered sweet nothings--she was just suddenly in love. Go ahead and check that bullet off, will ya?
Now all this isn't to say I hated the book. I like the idea of the strong female warriors. And since Gilly didn't do a lot of actual fighting she didn't pull any of the horrid heroine cliché moves, like falling and twisting an ankle so the hunky hero has to carry her home. All right, he carried her home. But at least it was after a fair, if rushed and unprovoked, rare fight scene.