Lord LossDarren Shan - The DemonataShanville Monthly
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TEEN READS - reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts

It's a demon. Five long, spindly legs. The body of a giant ant. A long neck and the head of some sort of rabid monkey. No arms, but several small mouths in addition to its main one, sticking out of its body, set on mushroom-like stalks. The mouths are filled with blood-red, dagger-sharp teeth.

Here he goes again! Grubbs is back, but unfortunately so is Lord Loss. So many good things are happening in the life of Grubbs Grady --- his Uncle Dervish seems to be recovering from the last demon encounter; he, Grubbs and cousin Bill-E are becoming closer; and to top it all off, they are consulting with the great director, Davida Haym, on her newest movie. Maybe life is going to settle down for them. At least this is what everyone wishes.

On the movie set, Grubbs begins to grow very suspicious about a lot of things. The film Davida is working on is just too close to home. She wants to make a horror movie to end all horror movies, and demons are the main theme. In the very first demon scene, Grubbs knows there is trouble afoot --- that demon looks too familiar and is much too realistic. He is assured time and again that everything and everyone is just fine. There is absolutely nothing to worry about --- it's all movie magic, latex and great costumes. Even Uncle Dervish feels that Grubbs is totally overreacting. But is he?

Soon, people are missing and Grubbs is picking up a distinct pulse of magic. Magic becomes possible for Grubbs only when he is exposed to a dangerous demon situation. Finally, in a desperate attempt to prove that he's right, Grubbs and his friends search for the hot spot of activity on the movie set.

Demons don't appear out of thin air. They have to be summoned. Their universe has to merge with ours. A window or tunnel between worlds has to be opened...there has to be a place where they crossed. A secret place. A place nobody but their human partners can get into.

Their gruesome and heartbreaking discovery convinces Grubb's friends that the Demonata has indeed returned. Now everyone must be told, and they need to run while there is still a chance. Unfortunately, it might be too late because Lord Loss and Davida have formed a pact. Who else will have to die now?

This time we find that Grubbs has learned he has amazing magical powers. While these powers serve him well in fighting the demons, he is a reluctant participant because he knows what it means:

I can't escape. The universe of the Demonata will call to the magic within me and suck me back in. I know it will. This isn't over, not by a long shot.

Darren Shan once again has created a fast-paced, terrifically gruesome story. Fans will not be disappointed by the blood and mutilations in this third of the series, because by now readers know just what they will be getting when they tackle one of the Demonata books. Just when you think it can't get worse, it does. We will find out more in May 2007 when the fourth book in the series, BEC, comes out. Better practice some magic!





© Darren Shan 2005. All rights reserved.