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The Demon's Daughter (Tales of the Demon World, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – November 2, 2004
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Inspector Adrian Philips has long felt on the outside. A human who has been "enhanced" by Yamish implants in order to police the rougher parts of town, he is feared by his coworkers and has been spurned by his former wife. After a fight leaves him wounded, he finds himself in the care of the infamous artist Roxanne McAllister. Despite social norms that say they aren't a good match, each finds in the other the sense of home they've longed for. Holly crafts a thoroughly engrossing tale, deftly melding an alternate Victorian London with a retro-futuristic flair. That alone would make this an exceptional book, but the deeply sensual and emotional nature of her work also makes this a must-have for fans of more erotic romance. Nina Davis
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Holly brings a level of sensuality to her storytelling that may shock the uninitiated."
Emma Holly is a name to look out for. (Robin Schone) [She] creates tantalizing tales. ("Rendezvous") Holly brings a level of sensuality to her storytelling that may shock the uninitiated. ("Publishers Weekly")
Top customer reviews
Emma Holly's trademark erotic scenes are very hot indeed, and there is a sweetness and vulnerability in both Adrian and Roxie that I find very appealing. The secondary plot concerns the appearance of Roxie's powerful and enigmatic demon father in her life and his intentions toward her. The book probably should be 4 stars, because the wrapping up of the secondary plot seems a bit rushed, almost an afterthought. However, the character development is so strong and the book so entertaining, I had to go for 5! THE DEMON'S DAUGHTER is a definite "keeper". I don't know if there are the seeds of a series here, but I'd enjoy another visit to Adrian and Roxie's world.
Both Inspector Adrian Phillips, DEMON'S lead male and Roxanne McAllister, DEMON'S heroine, have strength of character and body that they must come to recognize over time as well as an overwhelming passion and sensuality just bubbling underneath polite emotional shells of vulnerability and shyness.
Adrian isn't a normal male lead. There are cracks in what would otherwise be the typical romantica/fantasy author's Ken doll, if you will. He's a sensitive detective who follows all the rules...and looks for lost children on his time off.
Roxanne McAllister is a painter who wants to fit into the world she lives in and is simultaneously unwilling to sacrifice the beliefs and behaviors that make her unique. Her generosity as exhibited by her informal fostering of two street children is not the only thing that sets Roxanne apart; and when a distinguished and eerily familiar Yama `demon' shows up at her door one day to engage Roxanne's expertise as an artist, her awareness of just how different she really is deepens.
I think Holly uses Roxanne to represent the reality for most women (and maybe men too) that individuals are often desired for the same qualities about which the world's most harsh judgments are made-sexuality, strength and race (species, rather), among other things. Roxanne is as in need of love as Adrian, and the love story between Roxanne and Adrian is as tender as it is seductive.
Holly's crafting of the story, Adrian, Roxanne (and all the characters really) is masterful. With both lead characters, I think Holly strives to bring androgyny to gender stereotypes-that is, showing that behaviors that may seem distinguishably male or female can and do exist in BOTH genders in reality. Holly has created a world that made me think-about stereotypes, about the imperfection of love, and most importantly, about myself.
Furthermore, the fantasy foundation of DEMON and the underlying story regarding the Yama `demons' and the humans is intellectually stimulating and very creative. This sci-fi background is given proper respect and attention, and it does not feel thrown together as an afterthought.
Holly's finesse with the 'gray areas' in life (lacking so many extremes in behavior that the subtlety of characterization is properly achieved) allowed for the creation of characters that allow the reader to step into their shoes for awhile, feel pity for them, feel angry for them and keep his or her fingers crossed, hoping that their situations will eventually sort themselves out.
Two Thumbs Way Up!
The rest of the plot is fine and the other characters are good, but what drew me in was the emotional and sensitive nature of Adrian.