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Author: S. L. Wright
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Publisher: Roc Fantasy
Allay Series Book #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book
I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review.
From the author’s website:
Half-human and half-demon, Allay has finally warmed up to her new life feeding off the customers at her downtown bar when she finds herself brokering a truce between New York City’s most powerful demons. But when she senses assassins around every corner, Allay hides out of sight and underground-until combatants in the growing war tempt her back above the surface. Her choice is clear: live in fear or change the world as everyone knows it.
What B is talking about:
Allay is a demon hybrid who owns a bar on the lower east side in New York City and has just obtained independence from her demon progenitor by contributing to his death. Now, she just wants to take care of the human regulars at the bar while she drinks from their emotions, as all demons must do in order to feed. With her only friend, Shock, and offspring, Bliss, by her side, she hopes to stay out of the politics that consume the powerful demon factions vying for power in the city. As the only half-human, half-demon in existence, however, she’s unable to avoid all those who want to use her for their own machinations, and discovers that standing on her own may be the only way to find out who her true friends are and hold onto what’s left of her humanity.
Demon Underground is full of vivid characters and Wright does an excellent job keeping the action moving, while flatteringly trusting her readers to keep track of all the players, major and minor alike. She occasionally spends too much time on the details of individual settings, but the dedication to her overall vision generally pays off. My biggest problem with Demon Underground is that, as the second novel in the series, it relies too heavily on information from the first, Confessions of a Demon, which I haven’t read. It took a long time to familiarize myself with established characters, especially since these demons can change their visage at will and have multiple personas, and it made reading the first part of the novel a lot of work. Not that I mind novels that make me work for the happy ending, but a more thorough explanation of the plot and characters would have made me feel more welcome in the world Wright has created. The novel did what it was meant to do, though, as I’m now curious enough about how the story started to consider buying the first book to fill in all the gaps: I just wish this novel didn’t begin with quite so many.
If you’ve already read the first novel in the series, Demon Underground will likely not disappoint as a continuation of the story. As an introduction to the series, it didn’t really draw me in until nearly halfway through the book. Once it did, though, it was difficult to put down, and I found myself rooting for Allay for the duration of the novel.
Liked it, there were a few issues – recommend (B)