Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

Title: The Demon Lover 
Author: Juliet Dark (pen for Carol Goodman) 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Series: Fairwick Chronicles #1
Publisher: Random House/Ballatine
Number of Pages: 410 
Source: Netgalley
Release date: December 27, 2011

 I gasped . . . or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. . . . His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked in my breath and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: He’s not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart (goodreads)

The Demon Lover is one of those books that even after reading it my mind is still a jumbled mess. Parts of me really enjoyed it, and other parts of me were exceedingly frustrated by it. I'm still not completely sure what genre to put this in. It's not paranormal romance like the blurb led me to believe, but at the same time it's not completely urban fantasy either. It's sort of a cross between the two.

I've got to be honest. Even though it's been a week since I've read the book, I still can't decide if I liked it or not. There were so many references to Charlene Harris and Ann Rice that I found myself saying every time her name was mentioned to hat there are other vampire writers out there!  However, the one thing that kept from thinking that this novel was somehow poking fun at the genre was that the tone of the book was very gothic in nature, and I loved that part of it. The character states several times that she wants to prove to her students how far the heroine has come since the days of gothic literature in her classes, and I can't help but think that is what the author has planned for this series. If so, she did a brilliant job with showing the parallels in this first book and has makes me look forward to see how Callie grows as a heroine.

Callie is so hard to describe as a heroine. She was so likable and able to sympathize with that I was almost able to forgive her for being so slow to figure things out and for rushing into things without thinking them through. (especially her actions at the end of the book, which I can't say what they are without ruining everything.) Having her be new to Fairwick college made me feel like I was experiencing everything with her. I loved the descriptions of the college and town.  The secondary characters came to life and I loved them all. My favorite though was Callie's pet mouse Ralph. He was just adorable and a scene stealer.

The romance part in the book is one that is hard to describe. While I enjoyed the sex scenes in the book, they just seemed a little out of place with the tone of the book until you get to the end and everything makes sense.  So much of the romance has to do with the continuation of the series that I don't want to say more without giving it away except to say that it was frustrating and good at the same time-just like the entire book.

The Demon Lover was an interesting read, and even though there were times I thought I wouldn't be able to finish it, I ended up appreciating it and know that I am going to be pulled into this new series.