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The Demon's Lexicon (The Demon's Lexicon Trilogy) Hardcover – June 2, 2009
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Sixteen-year-old Nick and his brother, Alan, are always ready to run. Their father is dead, and their mother is crazy—she screams if Nick gets near her. She’s no help in protecting any of them from the deadly magicians who use demons to work their magic. The magicians want a charm that Nick’s mother stole—and they want it badly enough to kill. Alan is Nick’s partner in demon slaying and the only person he trusts in the world. So things get very scary and very complicated when Nick begins to suspect that everything Alan has told him about their father, their mother, their past, and what they are doing is a complete lie. . . .
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I first picked up The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan in 2009 when I went to an all Sarah book signing at Books of Wonder. Brennan was extremely funny and made a great case for her book and I had every intention of getting to it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it kept getting pushed to the back burner as other reading obligations came up. Then recently I made the mistake of telling two of my blogger friends Dani of Overflowing Bookshelf and Jen of The Secret Life of a Bibliophile that I hadn't read it yet. It wasn't long after that the book bullying began in earnest. Knowing that resistance was futile I dusted off my copy of Demon's Lexicon and began to read....and didn't stop reading until I hit the final page.
From the opening chapter I was riveted with the world that Brennan had created and couldn't wait to see where the story went. I'll admit that at first I was a little confused on to what was going on as the book starts off with action and doesn't stop. As a reader, you are thrust into this world of magic and are forced to learn all the rules and secrets on the fly. Which is where the characters of Mae and Jaime come in handy as they are the newbies to this seedy magical underbelly of the world and so those in the know (Alan and his brother Nick) get to parse out relevant information to them. So while there was a wee bit of confusion initially its quickly dispelled as you read.
This book was narrated by Nick and I loved getting introduced to this world from his point of view. Which is kind of funny in a way since of all the characters met within this series Nick has the least amount to say. There is no denying those that Nick has a fierce loyalty to his brother Alan and a rough tolerance for Mae and Jaime. Although some of my favorite scenes in the book came from Nick's interactions with Jaime. Nick can be described as a bit of a brute, always playing with knives and whose first instinct is to stab someone with them and worry about getting answers later. So its a good thing that his brother Alan is always nearby to help prevent the death of any innocent (and not so innocent) bystanders that happen to get in Nick's way.
The Demon's Lexicon is also a book that is filled with a lot of humor. It was really hard not to laugh at loud even during some life and death moments as one character or another tossed out some snarky line. Most often from Jamie as he cowered behind something trying to avoid getting stabbed. I also liked the diversity found in this book from Sin who is a person of color to Alan who was dealing with a crippled led to Jaime who is openly gay. All the characters accepted who they were and those around them either accepted or didn't. And while life wasn't always easy for the diverse characters but they accepted who they were and tried not to let the actions of others get to them.
This is a book that I am sad to have waited so long to get to....and at the same time happy that I did. Because if I'd read this book right in 2009 then the wait until the second book, The Demon's Covenant, would have been long and grueling. Whereas all I had to do was run out to the bookstore and I was able to pick up books 2 and 3 and have no wait in between. This is a highly enjoyable series filled with many twists and turns that will leave the reader guessing. All the main plot points raised in Demon's Lexicon are answered by the end of the book. So if a reader doesn't want to move on to book 2 right away they won't be left hanging. Which is something that I appreciate in a book series these days. If you've been waiting to read this book then I suggest that you stop and move it up on your TBR list. Its one that is worthy of your time.
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.