Voya (USA) | 01 February 2008 | Erin Kilby
Shan's latest Demonata installment resumes where book five, Blood Beast (Little, Brown, 2007/VOYA February 2008), leaves off-soaring through the sky in a jumbo jet plagued by bloodthirsty demons. The initial appalling aeronautical carnage will rattle those with flight phobias; certainly the scenes here are Shan's most ghoulish work yet. It is the decision that Grubbs must make that lies at the beating heart of this novel, however, and as Shan readers know, when the Demonata are around hearts are often ripped out. This transitional novel is less plot- and character-development-driven than propelled by the need to answer questions and unite the action and characters of previous books. Characters like Beranabus and Kernel Fleck make more than cameo appearances, as well as Juni Swan and Bec, who are key players in the resolution. Yet from the initial chapters, the battle scenes quickly wax redundant, and the reader leaves the novel feeling a bit confused about the purpose of the Kah-Gash, and about the time lines Shan follows. In his usual non-didactic way, however, Shan forces characters to make very gritty choices, many of which are brought about by their own flawed pasts. Thus Grubbs must make the most momentous decision of his life and in doing so becomes the textbook tragic hero-one that despite the tedium in this novel, readers will want to learn more about in book seven.
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