Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Demon's Lexicon - Sarah Rees Brennan

Book #2 of 50 on the Goodreads Book Challenge

GENRE: Young Adult
PAGES: 432
PUBLISHER: Simon and Schuster
FORMAT: Paperback
BUY IT: Waterstones
RATING: 5 Stars

Nick and his brother Alan are on the run with their mother, who was once the lover of a powerful magician. When she left him, she stole an important charm - and he will stop at nothing to reclaim it. Now Alan has been marked with the sign of death by the magician's demon, and only Nick can save him. But to do so he must face those he has fled from all his life - the magicians - and kill them. So the hunted becomes the hunter...but in saving his brother, Nick discovers something that will unravel his whole past...

If you're one of those people who adore YA literature but aren't too in love with the romantic side, (one of which I count myself) then I highly recommend The Demon's Lexicon to you. The cover portrays this book as some-what masculine and perhaps in its way it is but there is something in it for everyone: action, shocking plot twists, family drama, teenage angst, the potential of a complicated romance and the obligitory bad-boy. What more could you ask for?

This is Sarah Rees Brennan's debut book, and what a way to start. She builds suspense perfectly, making you sure of the facts before completely undermining your world. You are never really sure what is going to happen, and thankfully it's not predictable in the way that so many YA plots regurgitate each other. 

The main gist of the plot is that there are people in our world who are born with the ability to be magicians, who generally become desperate for the power given to them by demons, who are in exchange given bodies to possess. Alan and Nick are on the run after their mother, (who used to be a magician), who ran away from the circle with which she was affiliated, and stole a charm. Now magicians are coming from everywhere to get this charm, but Alan and Nick are ready for the coming attack.

Just so you're not lost and drifting, wondering what sort of alternate world you are in, Reed Brennan introduces two extra characters who are obviously there to instruct the reader, and although this is really a stock plot feature, it manages to do it without patronising. It's lead characters, Alan and Nick, are completely opposite as heroes, but both are loveable in their own ways.  I also love the idea that their way of life could easily run alongside real life. Oh, and if I haven't called its praises enough, I adore the fact that Rees Brennan makes no attempt to be 'down with the kids'. There are no tenuous links to pop-culture like in Cast's House of Night series. These make me cringe unbelieveably.

This series has so much potential, and I honestly don't know where it's going to go from the shock ending. All I am sure of is that if Sarah Rees Brennan keeps up her quick, witty writing style I'm in for the long run.

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