Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Released: August 27th 2015
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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Full of Landy’s trademark wit, action and razor sharp dialogue, DEMON ROAD kicks off with a shocking opener and never lets up the pace in an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers: they’re all here. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in...Sixteen years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves.
Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be… (from Goodreads)
I was really excited about Demon Road as I absolutely adored Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series. Overall, while I didn’t love it quite as much as Skulduggery Pleasant (though it’s only the first books, so there’s still time!), I really enjoyed Demon Road and will definitely be continuing the series.
Amber thought she was a normal girl until the day she was attacked by two guys outside her workplace. After sprouting horns, red skin and claws, she bit the finger off of one her attackers and mauled his face. The other guy ran away. Unsurprisingly, Amber was wondering what the effing hell was happening to her. Cue her parents attempting to kill her, a surprise betrayal and a random guy named Milo announcing that he would be driving her out of town and protecting her from her parents and their friends - for a fee, of course. I don’t blame Amber for being angry and frustrated, because everything she’d ever know about herself and her parents turned out to be wrong, and now she was forced to go on the run because her own flesh and blood were trying to murder her! She didn’t take it very well, and she certainly did trust Milo at the start of the book. I liked Amber quite a lot because she wasn’t all composed and certain about what to do. She was shaken up from what had happened to her, she had no idea where her life was going, she was forced to rely on the help of random strangers, and she was selfish - which I think was pretty realistic, because if this had happened to most people, the number one thing they would be concerned about would be themselves. I do wish at times she would maybe have listened to people more, like Milo, because it was obvious he knew what he was on about, and it was sad to see Amber still have hope in her parents when she really, really shouldn’t have (they were literally the WORST). And while she was battling this darker side of herself (some parts of this book were fairly creepy/gory, so beware if you don’t like that sort of thing), she did try to show compassion when she could. By the end, she had become a bit more sure of herself, and that scene with the Shining Demon? Loved it! I also loved Amber’s frankness with Glen; the weird friendship between them was really funny.
Speaking of Glen, he was an odd sort, wasn’t he? He was definitely a complete idiot, but the loveable kind that grows on you. He did not stop talking, and he was reckless and completely fascinated by things that would be best left alone, but you could tell he was a decent person and he ended up helping Amber and Milo out in unexpected ways. The way he seemed shocked by obvious things just made me laugh, and some of the stuff he came out with…ah. He was like the bumbling comic relief. I am definitely intrigued to find out what exactly happened to him because I don’t believe what Amber thinks happened is the thing that actually happened. I have a theory, and we shall see if I am right in book two (it is possible I am entirely wrong, Derek Landy is kind of unpredictable).
Milo was…mysterious. I mean, dear old Glen guessed a lot about his origins, so I wasn’t too surprised by that, but he was mysterious in other ways too. He was very closed off - not the type to talk about his emotions. He was unhealthily attached to his car, and you could never tell what he was thinking. He seemed to go beyond what he was paid to do for Amber, which tells me he did care about her more than he let on in the book. It was reminiscent of Skulduggery and Valkyrie - though Milo’s sense of humour was a lot dryer. He was a bit less jovial, and a bit more serious. I am very intrigued to find out more about him in book two.
Plot-wise, a looot happened that I did not expect. I mean, I was surprised by the opening pages, so I already knew this was going to be a good book. There was also more death than I expected, and a lot more creepy stuff, but I ended up really enjoying it. I especially loved all the parts involving anything demon related. Whether it was Amber’s demon form, or the Shining Demon, or just a story someone was telling, it was all great stuff. Really can’t wait to find out more about the demons in book two. It will be interesting to see how Amber adjusts to everything she’s learnt, as well as see how she copes with dealing with the aftermath of what happened at the end.
Overall, Derek Landy has once again impressed me with his work, and I am really looking forward to book two. Recommended to Skulduggery Pleasant fans or anyone who likes paranormal/urban fantasy with demons abound.