Review: Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

Posted February 7, 2012 by Carmel in / 2 Comments

Demon Lover cover

Title: Demon Lover
Series: Fairwick Chronicles #1
Author: Juliet Dark
Publisher: Random House
Format: eBook, 416 pages.
Published: December 27th, 2011
My Copy: from NetGalley.
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating

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.

This book’s a bit of a weird one. At least for me it was. I liked it and I didn’t. I can’t really put my finger on what wowed me about it nor can I single out which aspects I disliked. So please bare with me while I try to piece together a somewhat coherent review to explain what I mean.

I liked the concept behind this book. I enjoyed experiencing one writer’s perspective through that of another’s. Callie and Dahlia LaMotte’s experiences with regard to a demon lover are very similar. It was neat watching McFay try to piece together the mystery via Honeysuckle’s previous resident’s writing. In some ways this aspect of the novel reminded me of Virginia Wolf’s Mrs Dalloway.

There’s a lot going on in Demon Lover. Countless characters, side plots and para intrigues are peppered throughout the novel. A lot of impossible to pronounce names are used too. Quite frankly, I found the book to be a bit crowded. Not only that, but there was no need for all of these complications. They didn’t add anything to the story and many seemed almost irrelevant. Which made the first installment in the Fairwick Chronicles tough to swallow. I think Dark tried to “go big” but didn’t quite succeed.

The succubus didn’t play as large of a role as I would have liked. He’s present for most of the novel but we never really learn much about him which is unfortunate. I wish Juliet would have explored his character a bit more. The ending was predictable but not completely. There are two main revelations. One I saw coming a mile away and one I did not. The later was meant to surprise readers and in that it succeeded but I’m not convinced that it did so in a good way. I was a little blindsided by it to be honest and not in a good way. It felt like Juliet was grasping at straws a bit.

The warped relationship that develops between Callie and the succubus is by far the best part of this book. She resists him and ultimately knows that he’s bad for her yet she’s not 100% convinced that he’s pure evil. Towards the end, McFay acknowledges that she has equal parts lightness and darkness inside of her. I was impressed by the depth that’s illustrated by this admission. For the most part, Callie’s a flaky narrator but she gained some ground with me because of this.

Demon Lover was an okay read. It had the potential to be so much more but was weighed down by too many unnecessary details and characters. Also, I’d expected a higher hotness factor from a book that revolves around a sex demon. There’s some really amazing symbolism and depth in the Demon Lover but the execution left something to be desired. In short, I liked it and I didn’t.

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I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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