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Speak of the Devil (Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – July 28, 2009
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“An exorcist with attitude, Morgan Kingsley is sure to win Black a legion of fans.” —Kelley Armstrong
About the Author
Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she's an "experience junkie." She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University. Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating. Concluding that this discovery was her life's work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation.
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Top Customer Reviews
Well paced and with a nice blend of continuity and ingenuity, Speak of the Devil is a nice read. There's quite a bit going wrong in Morgan's life right now, and not all of it self-induced. She's got a murder charge, a suspension, a cash flow problem, and serious boyfriend issues. Oh. AND she's possessed by the Demon King, Lugh.
Sucks to be her - big time.
As Morgan struggles to deal with those large helpings of misery, she also discovers she's got the anti-admirer from hell, literally, who's not pulling any punches in stripping her of even her friends and loved ones. Much fun to be had by all as Morgan's world starts crumbling more and more.
Looking at Speak of the Devil on its own merits, it's a tense book with nice plotting, and poor Morgan just can't catch a break, but it's a step down in the overall series, because where previous books were firm in setting up the obvious upcoming struggles between Lugh and Dougal, Lugh's usurper brother, this book shied away from that almost in total, and I think has less impact because of it.
Unfortunately, my major complaint with the series in total hasn't gotten any better. No matter how much I try, I can't warm up to Morgan. As a character, I find her tediously self-interested, judgmental, emotionally immature, at turns prudish and coarse. This is entirely my own personal opinion, but I feel she clings so tightly to preconceptions and quick fire assumptions that she keeps herself from any true growth. Even when she's called to the carpet on this exact thing, she acknowledges the truth in it but does nothing to even attempt to change it. Very frustrating. Also, in this particular book, there were a few incidents in which she was just not too bright, and that's both new and unpleasant. Admittedly, I have a personal issue with and no tolerance for people who are so driven by emotional impulse that they can't seem to help themselves from doing or saying the wrong things, despite admitting that they KNOW what they're doing or saying is wrong ("I know I shouldn't feel this way, but..." or "I know I shouldn't do this, but..."). Morgan's propensity for doing exactly that through the whole series has prevented the books from garnering a higher rating from me.
Morgan is a very flawed character. Usually, I can totally appreciate a flawed character. I think it makes for more interesting reading and adds humanity and depth to character and story both. But there has to be some sign that the character is not only acknowledging their flaws, but doing the right thing to either triumph over them or work around them. Morgan acknowledges the hell out of her flaws - to a point of repetition (by the end of the book I was ready to scream if she mentioned she sucks at lying one more time, or that she can't keep her mouth shut even when she should), but then stops there. In fact, she's stubbornly adamant about NOT trying to change the ones that consistently cause her the most trouble.
I did see her make some strides in her trust issues, but I'm not entirely sure about how I feel about how she went about it, or even how much good it'll do by the next installment, so I'm holding off on giving too much credit for it at this point. On the plus side, there is a lot of room for character growth over the length of a series, and that IS promising. But the promise is balanced by the fact that we're four books in already and not much has been accomplished in that area so far.
I'm going to keep reading so see what happens, because there ARE characters in this book I really like and I also very much enjoy the world Black created with this series. It's a refreshing change from other paranormal series that are vampire- or wereanimal-heavy (don't get me wrong, I LOVE vamps and weres, but it's nice to have a change now and again).
In fact, the only problem I really have with the series at all is just that, simply put, I like the demons more.
Insurance has yet to pay out on her house fire. She's being sued by the father of a demon host the court ordered her to have exorcised, because the host ended up brain dead. She's broke since being suspended by the exorcism board pending the outcome of the lawsuit and investigation. The death threats have escalated. She's set up for murder and an unknown demon is holding a grudge against her, bent on making her life miserable. But worst of all, her inability to trust Brian without any reservations leads him to break up with her.
This 4th book in the series continues with the same cast of characters who are now part of Lugh's inner circle, many of whom hate or have issues with each other, making the task of working together interesting. But we're slowly learning more about each of the demons and Morgan finds the labels she originally assigned to them aren't necessarily holding true.
The different aspects of the relationships are good, the characters are interesting, and the sexual tension will make you squirm. I have an easy time feeling Morgan's emotions. And best of all, the story has not gotten old with the same ole same ole feel that happens by book 3 of many series. I had a difficult time putting the book down to go to sleep and woke up early to finish it. I'm looking forward to the next release.
In the midst of dealing with this Morgan recieves a severed hand in the mail. Her boyfriend recieves a picture that shows her with another man, and although it's doctored, she can't convince him of this. Her car is vandalized, and she's getting letters in the mail threating everyone she knows.
She has to go through a crazy journey to find out who this insane stalker is, before they escalate to the point of murder. This was a good read. Not my favorite in the series, but a good addition non the less and I'm looking forward to reading the next.
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