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The Trouble with Demons (Raine Benares, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2009
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"A wonderful addition to the urban fantasy genre." -- Ilona Andrews
"Lisa Shearin has the potential to become the Janet Evanovich of fantasy. She writes with a fun, unpretentious style."
About the Author
- Publisher : Ace; Original edition (April 28, 2009)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0441017126
- ISBN-13 : 978-0441017126
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.3 x 1 x 6.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #896,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The humor is intact, As is a strong plot that keeps you rooting for the bad guys as they try to survive another day
When a shopping expedition turns into a demon free-for-all, Raine knows that's just how her life is going lately. She's hardly surprised when she finds out the Saghred's protective wards are failing and demons are pouring out of a Hellgate someone opened on the Isle of Mid. Demons and the Saghred are definitely a couple of unmixy things, and Raine's up to her pointed ears in danger as she and her friends race to find and close the Hellgate and stop the insane goblin Rudra Muralin from forging an alliance with the Demon Queen before Mid becomes a demonic smorgasbord and the Saghred is forced to release its souls. And if that wasn't enough of a good time, there's always Sarad Nukpana, less crazy, more pure sadistic evil, who's only a whisper away as he manipulates from inside the Saghred.
Yeah, if it wasn't for the two gorgeous men who care about her, one a source of light, Paladin Mychael Eiliesor, and the other cloaked in darkness, goblin dark mage Tamnais Nathrach, Raine wouldn't be having any fun at all. Oh...wait...even with the two lovelies, she's not having any fun. Not that they wouldn't line up for it if she so much as blinked at them the right way, but a girl's got to have priorities, and staying alive while not corrupting the two men she cares most about is right up there on her list.
The Trouble with Demons is an action-packed thrill ride of danger that takes off fast and goes nearly supersonic as it races along towards its conclusion. Raine and her friends and family are in full sardonic form and the narrative, told in first person from Raine's point of view, is full of her dry, sarcastic wit. It's hard not to like the fiercely loyal but doubly stubborn elf who seems especially adept at stumbling into life-threatening situations. Supported by a rich cast of secondary and ancillary characters full of charm and personality with a backdrop of a wildly vibrant world that's been well defined, the strength of the series lies with the irrepressible Raine and it shines because of her.
That's not to say the series plot arc isn't good, or the individual books don't have intriguing plot threads - it is, and they do. The problem is that in this book in particular, there was tons of action but little story arc progression. A few new wrinkles were added, and a bit more information, but strip that away and Raine is almost exactly where she was at the end of the last book. She's still shackled to the Saghred with all the same nasty implications, still has no clue how to get free of it, still has enemies gunning for her (the same enemies), and she's still conflicted over her relationships with Mychael and Tam. In fact, instead of making strides forward, Raine and crew are actually slightly worse off than they were at the end Armed & Magical (Raine Benares, Book 2) courtesy of an old enemy that made a reemergence.
After three books of increasing conflict and badness piling up on Raine's head, I'm starting to wonder if anything is ever going to go her way, and questioning how soon before we start to see some resolution to the myriad of plot threads introduced so far.
Another issue I had with this book actually extends to the series as a whole. There is a lot of repetition of information and phrasing in the narrative and significantly more exposition than necessary. By now I'm more than passingly familiar with the fact that Raine is a Benares, and all that implies. In each book she mentions that again and again...ad nauseum...and as I'm neither suffering from memory loss nor any other cognitive malady, it's the least appealing aspect of the series for me.
The excessive exposition isn't what I'd prefer, either, but it's easy enough to skim through and I do appreciate the points that I do need refreshed. I just don't need nearly enough refreshing as is provided in each book. For readers new to the series, there's enough provided to get them up to speed without having to read the first two books, but honestly, I wouldn't recommend it. There's too much between the characters - the nuances, the emotions, the bonds - that can't be glossed over in condensed form and which add so much to the series.
I'm a big fan of the series, even with the issues I have, because I'm a big fan of Raine and the rest of the characters. I just hope that subsequent books in the series start resolving some of the many plot threads that have been piling up, including the romantic triangle between Raine, Mychael, and Tam. To be completely honest, though, while I normally have little tolerance for romantic triangles, the one between those three isn't bothering me too much. Of course that's mostly because there hasn't been time for Raine to breathe, let alone expand her dating resume.
I get the feeling that's something she'd like to see change. And really...who could blame her?
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
I went back and re-read the first two before I read this one, and enjoyed them just as much. That doesn't happen often enough for me.
I knew I had liked them the first time, and it was the wait for this one that had seemed like a forever. So I wanted to stretch it out as much as possible, and re-read the first ones.
Lisa Shearin has a talent of blending all the elements of fiction into a very readable product that makes you keep turning the pages, and wanting it all in one gulp because you like the characters so much and you want to know what happens - but you don't want it to end.
I won't go into plot, as I don't think anyone needs any more hints than are posted here already.
What I do say is read the first two in order, and you will want to plunge into this one - and it will not disappoint you.
In this installment Raine manages, with no small amount of help from her two main admirers, to get herself in DEEPER trouble while simultaneously saving the world. I don't think I stopped giggling as I flew through this book, unable to put it down.
Court intrigue gets more dangerous, goblin plotting becomes more insidious, and the bond between Raine and the men in her life becomes stronger- and more inescapable. By the time this books ends, you are gasping for breath, wiping away tears of joy and nothing short of DESPERATE for the next installment.
MORE! MORE! MORE!
Top reviews from other countries
I am pretty much speechless. Seriously, can these books get any better?! Well, I know they can because I reached the end and have inklings about the next book, but oh my wow. Just one word. Amazing.
The pace of all of the novels in the Raine Benares series is awesome, but it gets to unbelievable measures in The Trouble with Demons. When you're racing against demons to save an island full of people AND to stop said demons releasing countless evil souls from the Saghred to her royal demonicness' bidding, there really isn't any time to stop, pause, and take a breath. As weird as this may sound, while reading, I had to resist the urge to get up and run, to help everyone get where they needed quicker.
Raine is such an unbelievable woman. As you can tell, she's dealing with a lot of crap, and it would be completely understandable if she were to fall to pieces, but not Raine. She has strength, of the physical, mental, and emotional kind beyond belief - seriously, it's practically a miracle that this girl doesn't just drop to the floor from mental exhaustion - but realistically, the girl doesn't have time for a breakdown; lives are at stake, the ones she loves are in danger, and demons, ghosts, and Death's freaking minions are turning up around every corner, for crying out loud! The girl deserves a holiday, if not a medal. Kudos to the fictional elf.
The bond to the Saghred isn't the only bond in this novel. Magical bonds and pairings make some appearances, and what was once a mildly confusing perhaps-perhaps-not love triangle gets several kinds of complicated, and kind of scary, if you ask me. But good too. Even with having to deal with Hell - quite literally - Raine is lucky in some ways.
There are so many awesome supporting characters in this novel, I can't tell you, and you come to love pretty much all of them, even the baddies; you love-to-hate them. I really want to go for a drink with Phaelen, Raine's pirate cousin, Sora Niabli, demonology tutor, and Archmagus Justinius Valerian; god, that would be an awesome night, the stories that would be shared! Vegard, Guardian knight and Raine's bodyguard is just awesome, he's the big brother I've always wanted - and reminds me a hell of a lot of Barak from Eddings' Belgariad series.
The end of this book is just... there are no words. Raine realises decisions need to be made on all sorts of things, people are making their thoughts known, Raine finds herself a girlfriend in Sora for a good heart-to-heart, and things start to get seriously complicated and... well, bigger. I can't go into much more detail without spoilers. The only bad thing is that I now have to wait a whole year before I can find out what happens next.
David Eddings has sadly passed away, but never fear; we have a fantasy master (mistress?) in Ms. Shearin!
I won't post any give-aways, but anyone who has read the book will know exactly what I mean when I say that I wish that I was a student on Mid looking to join a defense class ;)
I do wonder though whether self-defense will EVER have quite the same meaning for me it used to!!
Enjoy the book. Lisa Shearin is a refreshing author with a simple style of prose that entertaining and most definitely fun.