REVIEW: Demon Night by Meljean Brook
Dear Ms. Brook:
Thank you for sharing your book with me. As you know, I’ve always thought you were a tremendous writer and I appreciate that you bring to the genre an unusual pairing of individuals. In Demon Angel, it was the halfling demon, Lilith, and the honorable knight, Hugh. In Demon Moon, it was the unworldly gorgeous Colin and the tech genius, Savitri. Demon Night brings us still another unusual hero and heroine.
Charlie Newcombe was an opera singer whose voice rivaled the angels (real ones who know what angelic voices sound like). Her love for the bottle was greater than her love for music. A car accident that she caused while drunk stole her voice. She picked up the broken pieces and decided to make a new life for herself. She’s in the midst of studying for a degree that will enable her to get a job besides serving up drinks. Just when it seems like Charlie is on the verge of making something good of herself, she becomes a pawn in the fight between vampires, nosferatu, demons and guardians. Long lived beings view humans with some disdain and while demons and Guardians cannot affect a human’s free will, someone like Charlie is easy prey for the vampires and when one human could tip the scales in an overall battle, her value is nothing.
Ethan McCabe sacrificed his life to save his brother’s and lived over a century without knowing that his sacrifice was for nothing. The evil that haunted him years ago took his brother’s life and challenges his position as a Guardian. When Ethan meets Charlie, he thinks he knows who she is and because of his loss, says she cannot rely on him and worse, that he does not want her to rely on him because she is just too danged needy. Ethan’s own view of himself, his weaknesses magnified decade after decade, only served to provide a barrier between the one person that existed who could be his equal.
My major problem or complaint with this book is the time it took to bring the story to a close. After the penultimate event and big fight scene, Charlie lingered too long awaiting something from Ethan. It was the one point in the story that I felt was contrived and given that the book was already so long, I didn’t understand the drawing out of the relationship tension.
The beginning was a little confusing for me, but overall, the plot of the story was less complicated than the previous two books. It was more accessible either because I am learning your world or because the vampire/Guardian theme took place more on the corporeal realm than the spiritual realm. I really enjoyed the texture of the characters. Ethan and Charlie both had very flawed pasts and to some extent, I think that they both thought they had moved on when in reality their respective pasts were predetermining their future.
Even the secondary characters were multi dimensional. Jane, Charlie’s sister, appeared to be the stronger one. She was Charlie’s bailiwick but eventually the roles reversed and you saw that Charlie had more backbone than Jane would ever find in herself. The storyline between Jane and her lover, Sammael, added a very poignant touch and that with Charlie’s loss of her voice made the love story between Charlie and Ethan more touching. B+
Disclosure: A quote from a review by Janet at Dear Author is on the front cover of the book.