Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lilith Saintcrow - The Demon's Librarian

Demons are preying on schoolchildren in her city, so Francesca Barnes does what any red-blooded librarian would do-she does some research and goes hunting. But the books she finds in a secret cache don't tell her the whole story. Chess has no idea what she's just stepped into or just how special she is. Orion is Drakul, part demon, and a loyal servant of the Order. He doesn't expect a motorcycle-riding librarian to be messing around with demonic forces, and he doesn't expect her to smell so damn good. But Ryan's got bigger problems. His partner has disappeared, and the forces of Darkness are rising. Now Chess is Ryan's only hope of finding his partner, and Ryan is Chess's only hope of survival because the demons now know Chess exists and that she is the heir to a long-lost power that could push back their dark tide. If Ryan can keep her alive long enough, she just might be the key to destroying the demons completely. But Ryan doesn't know he's been betrayed by the very Order he serves. And if Chess does, by some miracle survive, he won't ever be able to touch her again. . .

Comment: I've picked this book because of a book club. I wasn't very anxious to read it so I started it with a bit of trepidation, although it was quite a small book, which gave me hopes of finishing it soon, even if I ended up not enjoying it that much.

This story is set in a world of fantasy, where monsters are real and most people don't even know it. Francesca is a librarian and the story starts it her killing a children preying monster. She's aware of their existence and makes it her job to hunt them and kill them. What she doesn't know is her magic is traceable and what she does isn't as hidden as she thinks.
Ryan is a drakul, a half demon who helps the humans, like all drakuls. They act like protectors or guardians to those who are smarter and have more magic. He follows Francesca because he thinks she has magic but when meeting her he starts having strange reactions but he gets to slowly know her better until the bad guys discover her and what her real potential is.

This wasn't my first experience with the author's writing. I've read a short story once, in one of those Mammoth Books and to be quite honest I don't remember anything in particular, only the notion I had trouble reading it due to the fact it was part of a series and everything sounded very confusing.
The same think happened here. I wasn't very excited to read it and after only the first 10 pages I realized, once again, the author takes very long to explain, to create the setting in which to make the reader understand what's going on. Fine, it's her way, perhaps even her trademark, but it was confusing not only to keep track of what was happening but who was saying what.
So, two issues I had with the book: the confusing writing that, despite being a single title, was done in a way that it was almost as the reader had to know things beforehand and also the way the characters would speak and "think" in following sentences and there wasn't a distinguished mark for either, which complicated the reading. They would say something and think and the narrator would talk, all at once and it got very difficult to keep track. I don't like this sort of narrative that much, but I respect those who do, because in a way, I think it's an acquired taste too.

Then, the story itself. It has potential. I think that exploited in a different way it had a lot to go on, many things caught my eye, especially the way drakul's were wired, they world, the type of people who could wield magic...very intriguing indeed. I was very sorry to see everything happen so fast and almost like in a detached way..and of course, confusing.
The romance was more about sexual tension and clues than real thing, but I kind of liked it...obviously, I'd have lied to see them develop the relationship more in the end.
All in all, not the most satisfying read. Many strong points, yes, but personally I don't think they were done in the best way. It's the author's way, but it's not a style I enjoy much.


  1. I agree. This book began okay for me and then turned out to be such a disappointment. It just seemed as if the author couldn't make up her mind which way to go with it. A stand alone? The beginning of a series? It was just lacking overall.

  2. Hilcia, did you understand my text with so many grammar mistakes I did? Even with spell check I'm awful at this :(

    Her writing is very confusing, I think she has so many ideas and I never felt she was explaining anything felt more like a spoken story but you know in writing we have to be more objective and I think she wasn't...