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The Demon's Lexicon (The Demon's Lexicon Trilogy) Hardcover – June 2, 2009
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From School Library Journal
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 Kraus
Top customer reviews
On to what I liked.
* The dialogue was realistic and entertaining.
* There are some beautiful descriptions.
* Nick was an interesting POV character. Although he could easily be unlikable it was easy to sympathize with him. I could feel his struggles trying to understand people and how to communicate.
* The story is heavily focus on the characters and relationships. (Though the secondary characters weren't as fleshed out. I feel like part of that is because the story was from Nick's view.)
* I loved Alan and I kept fluctuating between feeling hope and betrayal on Nick's behalf.
A good night for Nick is going to the Goblin's market and dancing to summon demons. A bad night might involve killing a few magicians. Well...for Nick that might not be such a bad night. Going to school is definitely less of an appeal for him.
Nick Ryves is your typical bad boy. The girls love him, or love to look at him would be more accurate, as he would never be considered ideal boyfriend material. He is the dark, mysterious, silent type. The guys he hangs with either respect or are afraid of him. He is not someone you'd want to face in a fight. His skill at knife throwing is pretty amazing for someone so young. Add to that the fact that he keeps a sword under his sink. Definitely not someone to be messed with.
Someday he figures they won't have to continue running from the magicians, but Nick is not looking to settle down like his brother Alan hopes to. But Alan isn't as perfect as he may seem, the good son and loving brother, picking up the mantle that his father left behind when he died. Alan has been keeping secrets and telling lies. And Nick is determined to find out the truth.
The Demon's Lexicon is a fast-paced, exciting read. The characters are believable and extremely likable and the action will keep you engaged throughout. Once this story gets moving there is no mid-book lull and it all leads up to the very shocking conclusion.
This story about demons and magicians is distinct from other books in this genre. It's a mystery that will keep readers guessing as it slowly unfolds, combined with all the action expected from a book about demons. There is even the start of a love triangle that is to be continued in the next book in the series. This is not an angels and demons tale, nor is it a sweet, heartbreaking tale of love and longing. It's got action, it's got demons, it's got swords...need I say more? This story will appeal to boys and girls as well as young and not-so-young readers.
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009
1st in series
Source: Bought from amazon
Summary: Alan and Nick are brothers and Nick would do anything to protect Alan. So when Jamie and Mae show up, the former with demon marks and the latter similarly protective of her brother, Nick wants them gone. But Alan reaches out to the confused and scared siblings and now Nick has new complications in his life.
Thoughts: I had a lot of trouble with this review so I put it aside to come back to after I read the second book. Part of my problem was expectations; having read some of Brennan's blog posts, I thought this would be a really funny book. Obviously I wasn't looking closely at the cover as this is rather dark and not very funny.
I liked some of the characters some of the time but not as much as I wanted to. Nick and Alan obviously have deep dark secrets that are only mostly revealed at the end. I loved their relationship because while I am a sucker for sister stories, brothers are less common but still almost enjoyable and Nick is fiercely loyal to Alan.
I'm not sure about the universe of demons and magicians created so I will reserve judgment. There is also a lot of fighting which is not my thing but is pretty much advertised on the cover so don't be surprised.
Overall: Not what I was expecting but I am planning to read the second and see where Brennan takes me.
Cover: Dark but the angle at which he is holding the sword seems really awkward.
I found the pacing a bit slow, but the story is compelling and the characters are fairly interesting. If you need a little break from watching a girl find love AND discover her own destiny (all usually within a few short weeks!), check this book out.