horrorchannel.com | 28 April 2010 | Jennifer Hairfield
The author of the teen series Cirque du Freak, Darren Shan, has started a new series of books called The Demonata. Lord Loss is the first of ten books in the series and is set in a world in which werewolves, demons, and the game of chess run the show. What would you do if your normal everyday life was taken from you in one swift blow and you were face-to-face with the demon killers that did it? Personally, I would probably pee my pants and run, but that's not quite what our main character Grubitsch, call me Grubbs, Grady does. Tapping into some unknown force inside himself, he fights back two demon familiars and dives through a dog door, which he’s too big to fit through, without breaking any bones in his body. His world is shot to Hell, both figuratively and mentally. Everyone has at one point or another wondered what it would be like to wear a straightjacket and be placed in a padded room . . . well, Grubbs lives through it. People think he’s crazy because all he talks about are the demons that killed his family and nothing else. After meeting his Uncle Dervish, who believes him, he starts to get "better" and is released into his care. Grubbs goes to live with his uncle in a town called Vale and befriends Bill-E, one of the locals who turns out to be related to him. What is their connection? Brothers? Cousins? And why are there so many portraits of young family members on the walls of his home? Chess also plays an important role throughout the book by means of strategy. Why? What purpose does it serve to push the plot along? And let's not forget the werewolves that are scattered throughout the book. What role do they and the demons play? What is it they want from the Grady family? To give away any more information would spoil the fun for the reader. I can say that Shan sets the pace pretty quickly right at the beginning and keeps the reader guessing what will happen, which I truly liked. He keeps your interest piqued and then turns the tables. Who wins in the book, good or evil, will keep your mind working, trying to figure it out until the end, and the twist on the very last pages will bring a smile to your face, or at least it did mine. In short, Lord Loss was a fun, quick read that had me giggling in places and uable to put it down in others. This book sets up the series to come very nicely. I can't wait to see where the author is going to take the next one, which already has a title: Demon Thief.
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