teenreads.com | 29 April 2010 | Sally M Tibbetts
“So here I am. I want to be an average teenager whose only worries are puberty, acne, scoring with girls, impressing my friends, and getting through school in one piece. But I’m forced to spend the better part of every day brooding about turning into a werewolf or becoming a whiz kid wizard who has to fight evil, heartless demons.”Physically Grubbs Grady is like any boy his age with changes taking place in his body everyday. Emotionally he has been through more than anyone ever would want. Grubbs has seen his family slaughtered by demons, has been in a mental hospital, has fought unspeakable forces of darkness, has been haunted and stalked, and has helped his Uncle Dervish back from the brink of insanity. Through it all, he has continued to try to live a “normal” life.At school his best friend is Loch Gossel --- a towering, athletic boy, much like himself --- and they hang out with a small group of weird kids. Loch happens to have a lovely sister named Reni (with whom Grubbs finds romance), so this makes their friendship even more meaningful. Grubbs feels constant twinges of guilt because he has, more or less, abandoned his half-brother Bill-E, who doesn’t realize their familial connection. But in Loch’s circle, Bill-E is an outcast --- the butt of jokes and teasing. Though he tries to stay in touch, Grubbs simply doesn’t know how to handle their distance. Painful as this is, it is only a small part of what is on his busy mind. He has nightmares. But are they only nightmares?“I see my face in the mirrorlike water before I drink. Blood everywhere, caked into my flesh and hair. My eyes widen and fill with fear. Not because of the blood, but because I can see the shadow of somebody behind me.”Everything seems to point in the direction of Grubbs becoming a werewolf; it is part of his heritage. The nightmares are relentless and, at times, physically debilitating. How much should he tell his Uncle Dervish? Should he wait, or will it be too late? Then there’s the matter of his increasing abilities with magic. He doesn’t want any part of that and is not ready to face those demons again.The house Grubbs shares with his uncle has a colorful and dark history. “It was once the property of a tyrant named Lord Sheftree, a charming guy who enjoyed chopping up babies into little pieces and feeding them to his pet piranha.”While this legend may not be completely true, stories say that the riches of Lord Sheftree still might be buried on the property. Sometimes Grubbs enjoys exploring and digging around the grounds. At a party with Bill-E and Loch, he invites them to join him in the digging, but what they uncover and the horrible tragedy that ensues is totally unexpected. Grubbs knows there is a powerful force pulling him back to the cave they unearthed. Is there something coming from another world? How can he live with the horror that happened to Loch in the cave and cope with his sense of impending doom? There seems no way to escape all the dark forces closing around him.Darren Shan keeps the energy and mystery flowing strong in this fifth book of the Demonata series. Fans will enjoy every exciting, demon-filled moment!
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