REVIEW: Meljean Brook's Demon Angel

Demon Angel by Meljean Brook  is her paranormal romance debut.  Here is the description of the plot:

For two thousand years, Lilith wrought vengeance upon the evil and the damned, gathering souls for her father’s armies Below and proving her fealty to her Underworld liege.  Bound by a bargain with the devil and forbidden to feel pleasure, she draws upon her dark powers and serpentine grace to lead men into temptation.  That is, until she faces her greatest temptation — Heaven’s own Sir Hugh Castleford….

ANGEL

Once a knight and now a Guardian, Hugh spent centuries battling demons — and the cursed, blood-drinking Nosferatu.  His purpose has always been to thwart the demon Lilith, even as he battles his treacherous hunger for her.  But when a deadly alliance unleashes a threat to both humans and Guardians in modern-day San Francisco, angel and demon must fight together against unholy evil — and against a desire that has been too long denied….

This book has been pretty well reviewed so I won’t be adding anything new about the story. The story seems to center around Hugh and Lilith matching wits with each other for several centuries.  I thought it went on a bit too long.  Lilith is a demon set out to tempt and condemn souls for Lucifer’s army Below. However, her human prey, Sir Hugh Castleford thwarts her plans at every turn. This intrigues Lilith and her actions inadvertently leads to his untimely death.  Sir Hugh  ascends to Heaven to be a Guardian and protect humans from demons and Nosferatu’s. After centuries of being a Guardian, Hugh decides to Fall after centuries of disillusionment. Meanwhile, Lilith is fascinated by Hugh and it is this fascination that leads her down a path of temptation that will ultimately lead to her death…or will it?

Do you need to brush up on your biblical history of Lucifer and his rebellion against God? I did. Other players include the Nosferatu’s, who are blood suckers who are hunted by demons and Guardians alike. Nosferatu hunt vampires who are their offspring. Then there’s Lilith’s Hellhound named Sir Pup who protects her and her vampire friend, Colin. A character I think we’ll see more of in Demon Moon. Then there’s Beelzebub disguised as a politician among many other demons in high positions of government.  This is all apart of Lucifer’s “master plan” to bring more souls to Hell by manipulating the laws of mankind. Enough about the plot because there is a lot going on in the story.

Demon Angel is a solidly written novel for a debut. I was impressed. The good points: The world building was fascinating and complex. Great atmosphere, great dialogue, solid characterization. Loved Hugh, baffled by Lilith. Her feelings, her friendships were an anomaly for a demon like her.  Loved the humor and the setting. Now for the bad: the story was too long; could have been tighter. Pacing is too slow especially in the second part of the novel. Hugh and Lilith’s outwitting each other started to tax my brain after awhile, as I am not going to pretend  that I understood fully, everything that was said between them. Often, I was quite confused and baffled by their many exchanges. There is a lot of head-hopping that confused me and made me backtrack which slowed me down even further. In important scenes, you do want to know which character said what to whom. But again, this is a first novel.  However, I look forward to reading more from Ms. Brook. My grade, B.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Grade B Reviews, Romance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to REVIEW: Meljean Brook's Demon Angel

  1. May says:

    It’s almost freaky how everybody says the same thing about this book.

  2. Jane says:

    May – that is so true. Although some people like the first half better and vice versa. We’ll all be anxious to read Colin’s book.

  3. Avid Reader says:

    [quote comment=”6560″]It’s almost freaky how everybody says the same thing about this book.[/quote]

    My grade or enjoyment for the story would have been much higher if the story wasn’t so long and was paced better. The story was dialogue-heavy and as with everything you must have balance. I loved her dialogue, loved the imagery of the story, loved the first part of the story and enjoyed the second half just as much despite the pacing. I thought this book would make a great movie. Ms. Brook did a great job. It seemed like a very ambitious book. I can’t wait to read Colin’s story. He intrigued me. And I read the teaser when I said that I wouldn’t.

  4. May says:

    See Keishon, you’ve just proved what I said all over again!

  5. Janine says:

    [quote comment=”6560″]It’s almost freaky how everybody says the same thing about this book.[/quote]

    My opinion is a bit different from the majority’s. I’ve written something about Demon Angel for Dear Author in a roundabout way (not really a full review, more of an opinion piece), but I’m not sure when it will go up on the site.

  6. Avid Reader says:

    Hey Janine,

    Love to discuss this book with you. I didn’t see much discussion going on at the bookclub (wonder where everybody went to). Anyway, I read your mini-review on it. I guess I’m surprised at a couple of things that you mention:

    I wish there were more visual setting descriptions in Demon Angel. I’m a reader with a strong visual imagination, and I like to be able to form pictures in my head as I read. Right now I’ve got great pictures of Lilith and Hugh, but not much of places. A lot of the book is taking place in dialogue and character thoughts, and I hanker for more concrete physical details — visuals, but also scents, textures, sounds, etc. Some of the character thoughts are a bit repetitive and could be more compressed.

    Please know that I respect your opinion and value it a great deal. Ok. Unlike you, I thought that there was GREAT imagery. I think this book would have made a great movie. I could easily imagine some of the places, like the ruins for example at the beginning, the castle, the nosferatu’s, Lilith’s demon form, Hugh’s glasses (stretching here as I think you get the point. ) What I do agree with you on is that there was a bit much in the way of dialogue and like I mentioned, there does need to be a balance.

    I am so looking forward to Colin’s book. I like Brook’s detail for character and places. I really enjoy her authorial voice. I am surprised that you didn’t enjoy this one. Did you eventually finish reading it? Where did you stop?

  7. Robin says:

    I also had a great sense of visuals in this novel, but I live in the Bay Area, so the second half was very, very easy for me to connect with. If anything, I thought some of the descriptive prose was a bit over the top, even as I appreciated Brook’s attention to the details of what each character was wearing (I have a very strong image of Lilith’s FBI suit and Hugh’s basic professor uniform of khakis and button down shirts or t-shirts), what they were eating, where they were, etc.

    But then again, everyone else is raving over Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Raven Prince, and I found it to be a B- read with some promising aspects but a number of things that wore me down, too, like Hoyt’s writing style, which felt too modern and not very pretty to me. I will most certainly read The Leopard Prince, becuase I think she has potential and I could appreciate what she was trying to do with her first book, but if she’s being compared to Julie Ann Long, I find Long’s authorial voice much fresher and more compelling. Who know what makes us connect to one book and not to another — I still love Sherryfair’s analogy of matchmaking because the chemistry idea seems appropriate.

  8. Avid Reader says:

    [quote post=”376″]Hugh’s basic professor uniform of khakis and button down shirts or t-shirts)[/quote]

    Don’t forget the glasses 😉

    As for Hoyt’s historical, the opening wasn’t a page grabber but I am still willing to give it a go. I bought a slew of fantasy novels and more manga. Oy. I really want to read another really good romance novel right now.

  9. Janine says:

    Keishon,

    Yes, there were some great visuals of the castle in the beginning and great physical descriptions of Hugh and Lilith throughout the book. But in the contemporary section, it seemed like one interior after another was described as very plain and that was it. Maybe it was actually because of the vivid descriptions in the opening and the descriptions of Hugh and Lilith that I wanted more description of interior settings in the later sections.

    I wanted to be able to visualize where the characters were, and most of the time, I felt like I was visualizing the characters, but without much surrounding them. Hugh’s room was plain, Saavi’s (did I spell that right?) room had a lot of equipment in it but almost no description otherwise, the other FBI demon’s office was plain also.

    I only read the first half and it’s been a while since I read the book so I could be misremembering, but was there much in the way of description of Caelum and hell? There was such opportunity for vivid descriptions of those places and the fact that I don’t remember much says that it didn’t stick out in my mind. Also when Lilith and Hugh first met again in the present day (when Hugh discovered Lilith was alive after all), it was outside, but I don’t remember much description of the setting. Maybe it was my imagination that was at fault, and not the writing, but for whatever reason I visualized Hugh and Lilith in that scene very clearly, but their surroundings were fuzzy to me.

  10. Janine says:

    The opinion piece I mentioned earlier is now up. Click this link to get there.

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