Monday, September 27, 2010

Review: Demon From the Dark by Kresley Cole

Title: Demon From the Dark
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark 10
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 31 August 2010

**Warning – Minor Spoilers for Pleasure of a Dark Prince**

Carrow Graie has been kidnapped. She doesn’t know by who, or why, until they come to her and demand she retrieve someone for them. They are the Order, a group of mortals who rise up to clash with immortals every Ascension. Some want the Lore all destroyed, others want to study them.

The Order tells Carrow that she must go into Oblivion, the Trothan Demon-world, and bring back Malkom Slaine, a vampiric demon they’ve been unable to capture. When she tells them where they can shove their demands, the Order reveals it’s ace. Something that makes Carrow not only cooperative, but eager to be done with her mission.

Carrow is thrust through the portal, finally able to use her spells once more – if only she can find a source of power here. Setting off to search for the notoriously savage venom, Carrow wonders why she was chosen, and starts to realize that she may have vastly underestimated the hazards associated with the unforgiving world she finds herself in.

Malkom Slaine has spent his entire life going from one betrayal to the next and has a strong hatred for vampires, killing them whenever he meets one. Having been a slave, been made to scavenge for food, betrayed by the people he had served so faithfully and finally forced to do the one thing he regrets most, Malkom now lives only for revenge on those that have deceived him. For someone only betrays him once. They won’t live to do so again.

But when he scents something different in his guarded mountain area he instinctively takes off after it, saving a female from a band of ruthless demons. Their first meeting goes badly, Malkom realizes that she is his fated mate and wants to claim her – both parts of him, vampire and demon. Fighting impulses he’s never felt before, Malkom tries not to hurt her, but things go badly. He doesn’t understand why she won’t recognize what she is to him, and with a language barrier between them understanding is not easy in coming.

Carrow is furious at Malkom after their first meeting, running off and hiding herself. But he eventually finds her and presents her with the head from a disgusting ghoul (his idea of a courting gesture). Thinking that the profile the Order had given her on him was right and he was a big, bloodthirsty brute, Carrow continues to fight and flee from him, having no idea how to get him back to the portal for their retrieval. But as he continues to save her life, she begins to trust him, eventually following him to his lair.

There they learn more and more about each other. With ground rules laid, no sex, no biting/drinking, Carrow and Malkom begin to form a fragile trust. Malkom begins to believe that fate has finally dealt him something beautiful – love and family, and begins ever so slowly to dream of the future. Carrow feels increasing guilt as she starts to care for Malkom, realizing that when she betrays him to the Order she will have sealed her fate in his eyes.

Malkom is a tortured hero unlike many I have ever seen. His past and history, told in the prologue, literally made me tear up. Every time I saw through his eyes, I fell a little more in love with him. Loyal, noble, strong, smart, and hotter-than-hell – once he got a bath anyways, which in itself was incredibly hot – he dreams of the simple things in life after meeting Carrow. A home, family to raise, and a woman to love and trust. His attention to Carrow as he learns her is sigh-worthy.

Carrow was never a character who’s story I was clamouring for, but I greatly enjoyed seeing why she acts the way she does, taking a peek into her own lonely childhood. And while I could easily understand all her choices and the reasons behind them, something was missing with her for me. I also thought that she depended on the hero a bit much, kind of a side-effect of one of the restraints that were placed on her by the order, so I understand it, but I still would have liked to see more of them as equals. Finally, I didn’t really feel a connection to her until the very end, when she does something that almost literally made me cheer.

The romance between them was a dance of circling each other, stepping just slightly closer, each giving a little bit more. The betrayal that Carrow deals Malkom is very real, and how they came back from that was really well done. There wasn’t some magical forgiveness, and they didn’t try to brush it under the rug to suddenly disappear later.

The action in Demon From the Dark is non-stop! From the first moment when we find out who has taken Carrow, and a lot of her friends, to the very end I had a hard time putting this book down. There are a fair share of surprising moments, and glimpses of characters that I’m dying to read more of, including Lanthe, Thronos, Lothaire and a few new ones that have piqued my interest. Regin’s cameos in the story made me ache for her, and I’m anxious to see how Kresley Cole resolves that storyline in the next book, Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

While I think that Demon From the Dark can be read as a stand-alone – all the information you need is there for the main story – I really feel that it’ll be better appreciated if you’ve read the previous books in the series. You’ll get a more thorough picture of the world, and the beings that show up in it. Also, there are a lot of great gems waiting to be found in those earlier books too.

Demon From the Dark is an intense, hot addition to the Immortals After Dark series that kept me turning pages late into the night. Get ready to dive into the strong world that Ms. Cole has built and filled with characters that you’ll be begging to know more about. While I had a couple of issues with Carrow in this one, I still feel this is a good addition to the series. It’s not one of my favorites, but Ms. Cole has set the bar high, and I’m eagerly anticipating some of the foreshadowed stories coming up!

Grade: B

Book Link | Amazon (print) | Kindle | nook | kobo | Sony | Book Depository | Simon & Schuster


Ragan said...

I can't tell you how much I loved reading this review, especially your take on Malkom. Gotta love the tortured heroes.

And am I the only one that wouldn't mind the gift of a disgusting ghoul's head? I think I might. =)

Angela said...

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the review.

I actually thought the ghoul-head gift was cute. LOL.

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