Monday, January 4, 2010

I was simply blown away

And so one day I found myself in a bookstore wanting to buy a quick read. In times like these, I naturally gravitate toward the young adult section, which, in my own experience, can have very short but satisfying novels. I bought the first book of Darren Shan's The Demonata series, Lord Loss, since I liked his more well-known Cirque du Freak. I started to read it in the car going home and I couldn't believe that I've read more than 50 pages during the entire commute! Yes, it's that good.

The Demonata Book 1: Lord Loss is definitely scarier and more plot driven than Cirque du Freak. I guess this has something to do with The Demonata series aiming for a more mature readership. I couldn't help but compare The Demonata from Cirque du Freak; CDF can be a bit quirky, whereas The Demonata is just terrifying throughout. I think adults can also get a kick out of reading this series as it puts most horror novels to shame. In a way, Lord Loss calls to mind Stephen King's monsters lurking in small towns and Clive Barker's gross-out brand of horror involving demons straight out of hell.

In Lord Loss, we meet Grubbs Grady, a teenager who has witnessed his parents and his older sister killed by the demon Lord Loss and his familiars, Artery and Vein. He finds himself traumatized by the incident and is confined in a mental institution. One day, he gets a visit from his uncle, Dervish, who takes Grubbs to his home and becomes his guardian. Uncle Dervish eventually explains to Grubbs how Lord Loss is forever tied to the Grady family because of the family's curse. Only Lord Loss can reverse the family curse by beating him in a game of 5 simultaneous chess games and then by a duel in the demon world. When one of Grady's apparent cousin shows signs of having this curse, it becomes up to Uncle Dervish and Grubbs to summon Lord Loss and attempt to beat him once again.

The blurb at the front cover says that Lord Loss is guaranteed to gross out anyone. Well, I wasn't, probably because I've been exposed to this genre for the longest time that it would take something really spectacular to gross me out. (I think I've been desensitized.) Still, I think a lot of readers would find Lord Loss spine-chilling and terrifying. It will certainly please fans out there who are dying to get their horror fix.

I'm currently restraining myself from dashing out of the house and getting book 2, The Demon Thief. I just hope I can find a copy, since I haven't seen books 1 to 3 in bookstores for the longest time. (It was very surprising to find a single, slightly yellowing copy of Lord Loss the other day.) I couldn't care less -- as they say, the thrill is in the hunt.

Read this book if:
  1. You think that demons are real.
  2. You're big on horror serials.
  3. You love chess.

15 comments:

savidgereads said...

I havent read any Shan at all but my younger sister reads quite a lot. I shall give this a whirl when I am next back home!

Peter S. said...

Shan is an excellent novelist, Simon!

josbookshelf said...

Hi, Peter! Again, you've come up with another book to tempt me. I want a book to really scare me.

How many books are in this series? I'm now wary of series books because they take such a long time to complete--like I'm pulling my hair over George R.R. Martin's hanging series (A Song of Fire And Ice).

Are they easy to come by as well?

josbookshelf said...

Oops, you already have the answer to my last question. You said they aren't readily available. :(

Peter S. said...

Hi, Jo! The earlier books are quite difficult to come by. I think there are already 8 in this series.

Ryan G said...

I'm going to have to take a look at this one the next time I'm at the store. Thanks for the review.

fantaghiro23 said...

How funny! I've had the first two books in the Demonata series in months, but I haven't worked up the interest to read them. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with Cirque du Freak because it wasn't scary enough, and I was afraid that Demonata would be a disappointment, too. But your review is enough to kick-start my interest again. Thanks!

Diane said...

Okay Peter, I am scared just reading your review, so I won't rush right out for this one. Sounds like I'd like to try though.

Dannie said...

Everything this guy writes it just mind-blowing.

Peter S. said...

@Ryan G: You're welcome!

@fantaghiro23: Oh, I'm sure you won't be disappointed with this series. It's totally different from Cirque du Freak.

@Diane: Try it!

@Dannie: I'm sure Shan gets that a lot.

Jhay said...

Your review has tempted me to get a copy of this book. I'd like to see for my self how it compares to Stephen King's works for his are the only ones I've been exposed to in this genre.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Jhay! Thanks for dropping by!

Sumthinblue said...

I loved Lord Loss too. Book two takes a weird turn though, and I haven't read on in the series, but I recently got book 3 so I need to pick it up again soon.

CdF movie this month!!! Aiee!

Peter S. said...

Hi, Blooey! I'm going to see CDF, but I'm not pinning my hopes up. The reviews haven't been kind.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

This sounds goooooood! Now you have gone and put another book on my radar. :0 Seriously Peter.... my book shelves are full already. Stop it. ; )