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Taming Demons for Beginners (The Guild Codex: Demonized Book 1) Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B07X2WZ819
- Publisher : Dark Owl Fantasy Inc. (September 13, 2019)
- Publication date : September 13, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 4405 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 362 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,929 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The book spends a good deal of time building Robin’s back story and her partnering with her demon. They are opposites as well. Both are small in the context of their own worlds, but where Robin is retiring and non-confrontational, the demon is feisty, canny, and aggressive. By the end of the book, it’s pretty clear that the two will temper each other, although it’s doubtful that Robin will ever change the demon - more that he will learn to make allowances for humans based on what he is learning from Robin. And, what can I say, I loved the bickering between them - it’s the vehicle that teaches Robin how to assert herself and really helps establish the relationship between Robin and the demon (yes, he has a name, but discovering it is half the fun of the reading).
In the last half of the book, as Robin, her demon, and her cousin Amalia strike out on their own after an unbound demon, they start to cross paths with Tori and the crew from the Crow and Hammer. I really enjoyed how their stories overlapped with readers being given glimpses of Tori and all from an observer’s perspective instead of being part of the main action. I can see them crossing paths in the future without ever really combining into one story and that’s fine. The world building is excellent with more than enough room for both arcs.
I truly loved this book - so much that, like the Spellbound series, I purchased the books rather than just borrow them through my Unlimited subscription (which I’ve gotten excellent value for, I must say). I’ve really enjoyed the Spellbound series as well and am anxious for the next adventure in Tori’s arc, but I can say that I had just as much fun with this one and look forward to more adventures with Robin, her demon, and Amalia as they search for Robin’s inheritance and more information on her lineage as a sorcerer and summoner.
I absolutely adored this book. It has been almost a week, and I still don't have a day go by where I don't think about it several times and feel a grin start on my face. I just really want to do a fun review this time around, and Amazon does not let me do gifs, so I am just going to narrate a really fun scene.
I will start with a brief introduction, however, so you know who I am talking about.
Robin lost her parents six months ago, and her Uncle Jack was named the executor of her parent's will. To her dismay, he forced her to sell her parent's property and made her move in with his family who barely tolerate her. She still has not received any money from the sale or any of her family's heirlooms, including her mother's precious grimoire. She is determined to stay until she finds a way to retrieve it, and within only a few days, she stumbles across her Uncle Jack and his partner Claude arguing over an illegal summoning circle—a barrier that contains a demon, although it is hiding itself from sight. (And in case anyone was wondering, this would be a good time to point out that the demon is not from theological Hell; he is merely a being from a different realm.)
Robin technically belongs to the Arcana class of magic, but does not practice it because she believes using magic attracts trouble and mayhem. Unfortunately for her, she just got thrown into the metaphorical frying pan.
Now for the fun part! This scene happened early on in the book, so it is not a major spoiler!
Is horrified because she dropped a cookie and it rolled into the summoning circle.
Me: Oh no.
But also me: Oh, this is going to be good. Get the popcorn!
Impulsively decides to throw in another cookie when nothing happens.
Proceeds to throw another cookie.
Robin: Flips the rest of the tray into the inky dome of darkness.
Me: *grins even wider*
That's it. I will follow this woman anywhere.
Robin: Hears them hit the floor this time, and is trying to figure out what—
Zylas (aka the demon): Throws a cookie with perfect aim back to smack Robin in the forehead.
Me: *snickers* Him too.
I am kind of joking. It takes more than a single scene to make me fully invested in characters, but they definitely captured my heart very quickly.
Ok, so now onto the more professional side of the review.
Things I loved:
-Robin is such a wonderfully real character and a young woman after my own heart. She adores books and learning about magic and magical history (just not practicing it). She is shy and has social anxiety, and I cannot tell you how much it means to me to have a character like her as the heroine of the story. Because so often in our stories it is the bold, outgoing, fearless characters who save the day. There are moments when Robin is terrified or panics or is overwhelmed, and yet through it all, she is true to her own convictions. And I love reading about someone like Robin because she reminds us that the quiet, book-loving young women in the corner of the room with hearts of lions can save the day. Moreover, I loved her curiosity and quiet moments of wonder, and how it often led her to making impulsive decisions. She also has a bit of a rebellious streak.
From the book:
"The door called to me, but I felt tethered in place. It wasn't fear that held my butt to the leather cushion and my socked feet to the hardwood floor. A new feeling had awoken inside of me.
My archnemesis: curiosity."
Interestingly enough, curiosity is a trait she shared with Zylas.
-I cannot say a lot about Zylas because of spoilers. But. He is certainly dangerous, with a "kill first" attitude, and was a bit of a bully in the beginning. With that being said, his characterization is complex, and I loved seeing new facets to his personality emerge as the story progressed. Like Robin he can be incredibly stubborn, but also, dare I say, loyal. And the banter between the two of them was incredibly amusing at times.
-Annette Marie does an excellent job of creating fast-paced stories that keep you glued to the pages. I started the excerpt a little over a week before the release date, and I about died waiting for the book to release. I was checking and re-checking Amazon the night it was supposed to come out. As it turns out, I was thrilled to be able to start reading it a little before midnight on my Kindle, and I finished it that night/early next morning. And that is knowing I had a ton of school work to do. What can I say? My self-control for books like these is not high (aka practically zero).
-Perhaps one of my favorite things about Annette Marie's books is the way she develops character relationships. This includes romantic relationships (my fingers are crossed), but also friendships. She knows how to slowly build up the intimacy and trust between characters, and the relationships are nuanced.
-Several times throughout this book I felt chills. The first came just within the first couple of pages, and I always treasure books that can impact me like this. Moreover, Annette Marie cleverly revealed enough plot twists and discoveries to make me super curious about what happens next while also progressing the plot.
-I loved that Robin was 20 in this book (close to my age). I wish there were more books for people in their late teens and early twenties who are starting on their own in the world and are facing so many new experiences for the first time. We need more new adult books!
Trigger warnings: [START VAGUE SPOILERS] violence, including knife wounds, claw wounds, and blunt trauma; scenes where characters die or almost die; a short torture scene; deprivation of physiological needs [END VAGUE SPOILERS]
This was a fantastic start to a new series, and I absolutely cannot wait for the second book!
Also, to fans: THE PAPERBACK HAS A LONGER EXCERPT FROM THE NEXT BOOK THAN THE KINDLE VERSION!!!
(So, check it out if you want to read about fun stuff like certain characters hiding under a table from a librarian! There is also an enlarged version of an important emblem revealed in this book at the beginning of the paperback, which I thought was really fascinating to see up close.)
Update (3/31/20): Whenever I review a series, I usually try to update my review of the first book if something problematic comes up later. In book two, there are problematic issues of non-consensual touching and repeated, demeaning remarks. They were mostly attributed to the character's very different and harsh upbringing. However, although these issues were addressed to varying degrees, I believe there should have been more discussion. And they could be very triggering, so just be careful, everyone.
We met Robin, a shy and socially awkward woman. She navigates a her way through a new world for her. This book has it all! Suspense, action, comedy. Seriously, read it, you won't be disappointed.
Top reviews from other countries
I would 11000% recommend reading this book, it's funny, got crap tons of action and intrigue, and just has that feel good feeling making you want to go back for more (we're onto a good one guys 😉)
Honestly can't wait to crack on to the next book, keep them coming please ! X