Booklist (USA) | 28 April 2010 | Debbie Carton
Older fans of Shan's gory, gripping Cirque du Freak series will welcome this first book in the Demonata series, which features a similar horrific spin, dark humor, and graphic detail. Grubitsch Grady ("Grubbs" for short) walks into his parents' bedroom to find his mother, father, and older sister torn to pieces by Lord Loss, a powerful demon that feeds on human pain and suffering. Grubbs is attacked by Lord Loss' familiars, marvelously creepy hybrid creatures, and to his great astonishment, he manages to escape. Not surprisingly, he ends up in a mental institution, completely derailed by the horror he has seen and experienced. Eventually, he is taken in by his uncle Dervish, discovers a cousin he never knew, and, alas, learns that lycanthropy runs in the family. The plot rolls along at high speed, but Shan is still quite adept when it comes to capturing Grubbs' roller-coaster emotions--loss and grief and, later, trust. A sneak peek at the second book in the series, Demon Thief, shows Shan continuing in the same vein but with different characters.
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