improbability.ultralab.anglia.ac.uk | 28 April 2010 | Kelley Townley
Hot on the hells of the finale of his international, multi-million selling, twelve book vampire saga, Darren Shan has plunged straight into another horrifying series. Lord Loss is the first in the Demonata series, specialising in demons and demon worlds (very much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Grubitsch Grady, better known as Grubbs, thought he was just an ordinary teenager. That was until he returned home one night to discover a bunch of demons murdering his family and only barely escaped with his life. Going into mental breakdown after such an horrific event, Grubbs finds salvation in the only person who believes he really saw demons, Dervish, an uncle he’s never met. Turns out there’s a lot about his family he doesn’t know, like the hereditary werewolf gene. Basically a death sentence, the only way to avoid succumbing to the curse is to do a deal with the demon Lord Loss, who has a penchant for chess. But the chances of winning are slim. All Grubbs wants to do is get on with his life but when the curse comes-a-calling there’s only one person to call. An excellently plotted book full of strong characters and genuine emotion. It’s not just about blood and guts - although there is a fair amount of that (Grubbs literally sees his family’s murderers in the VERY grizzly act of murdering them, so be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted) - but also an engaging look at teenage family values and the inner fight of courage under fire, all wrapped up in an action-packed, thrill-filled, fright-fest. Perfect for getting reluctant tough boys hooked on reading. Does get a bit boring in places, such as when Grubbs is stuck in the asylum for what feels like ages but otherwise a totally wicked book. Highly recommended for those aged 11+ with a taste for the macabre... and chess!
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