Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Demon Road - Book Review

Demon Road - Book Review
Derek Landy
YA Paranormal
UK Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books


Full of Landy’s trademark wit, action and razor sharp dialogue, Demon Road kicks off to a shocking opener and never lets up the pace in an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers: they’re all here. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in… sixteen years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves.

Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be…


This was an interesting read as I really enjoyed most of the story, but found there were many times throughout the book when I couldn't relate, or get along with many of the characters. However I loved the many ideas, such as un-dead serial killers, demons, evil children and killer cars, that were woven into this story. Each was presented in a fun and very unexpected way and these unique plot lines were what kept me turning the pages. 

When sixteen-year-old Amber discovers she is a demon, and that her parents are out to kill her, she is forced into a life on the run. Now driving across America, keeping only a few steps ahead of her crazy, out-for-blood parents, she encounters vampires, witches and even more demons — all who seem to want to kill her. Only by making a deal with the biggest and baddest demon of them all, can she hope to find safety. But the big, bad demon’s protection comes at a price, and unless Amber can pay it, her soul will be taken in forfeit. Now Amber must decide, just which kind of evil does she want to become, and how much will she sacrifice to be free?

There were many great elements about this book. The author has an imagination I can only dream of and I loved all the sub-plots and side-quests that hindered the characters in their journey. However the main plot, I didn't like quite so much, mainly as I didn't think the reactions of Amber’s parents were realistic since they seemed to blow hot and cold all the time. We want to kill you - maybe you should join us - no, killing you is easier - Nah, let's be a family! This back and forth between them I found a little tedious and by the end of the book, I found myself wishing for her parents to die just to end their indecisiveness. 

The setting of the book was also really good. During Ambers Road trip, we get to see through her eyes much of America and its ever changing landscapes - and there was always a few facts and interesting backstory thrown in.

But the characters. As I already mentioned, I had a hard time relating to many of them. For instance the heroine, Amber. Ultimately I liked her, especially toward the end of the book when she was beginning to accept her demon-self and the perks that came with having horns and fangs. However in the beginning I found her excessively naive and thought she caused so many problems that could easily have been avoided.

Then there was Glen, the extremely chatty Irish guy. I understand he is meant to be an annoying character, but by the end of the story, when annoying should have turned to endearing… I still found him annoying. Mostly for me, the issue was his speech didn't read realistic and it tore me many times from the story. Admittedly however, I did sort of learn to drown him out by skim reading his lines (A sin, I know! And not something I usually do) but in this case, it helped make the book more enjoyable for me personally.

Milo on the other hand, I loved. A man of few words with an awesome, and completely demonic car — he was somewhat of a saving grace, especially as without him I’m pretty sure both Amber and Glen would have been dead by chapter ten. 

All in all, this was a difficult book to review. Ultimately I think the pros outweighed the cons, and I would be interested to read the second book. However I think younger teens would enjoy this more than older teens, mainly as I think the characters themselves had a younger mindset - thus leading to many mistakes, but a more exciting adventure. 3.5 stars!

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