Friday 3 May 2019

Book Review - Demon Road

Title: Demon Road
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Demon Road (Book 1)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 25 Feb. 2016
ISBN-13: 978-0008156923

For anyone who ever thought their parents were monsters… Amber Lamont is a normal sixteen-year-old. Smart but insecure, she spends most of her time online, where she can avoid her beautiful, aloof parents and their weird friends.
But when a shocking encounter reveals a horrifying secret, Amber is forced to go on the run. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers and red-skinned, horned demons – Amber hurtles from one threat to the next, revealing the terror woven into the very fabric of her life. As her parents close in behind her, Amber’s only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be…
Witty, action-packed and heart-stoppingly thrilling, Demon Road will take you on an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America.

My Review
I have always been a fan of Derek Landy, I have met him a number of times and read the Skulduggery Pleasant series more than once. I even dressed as the main character the last time I went to the London Film, Comic and Literature Convention. He is by far one of my all time favourite authors!
I bought this book when it first came out in Hardback but for some reason didn't find time to read it. I then found out it was a trilogy and so waited for all 3 to come out so I could read them together. But then I never seemed to get round to it. I think that because I am so much of a SP fan, I was nervous this wouldn't be as good.
However, last week we were looking up some book lists at work, and this one came up as a recommended read, one of my colleagues was going to read it so I thought I would try too so we could have a discussion. So I picked it up.
The premise of the story sounded quite intriguing, a young girl named Amber, just turned 16 - discovers that she is a Demon by birth. Both of her parents and their close friends are Demons too, but when an unexpected event occurs- Amber finds out the horrific truth - that her parents want to eat her so that they can absorb her power. And apparently she isn't the first of their children that they've devoured. Fearing the craziness and horror, Amber makes a run for it. Teaming up with a mysterious man named Milo who has one heck of a killer car.
All sounds great so far, right! Well that unfortunately was as good as it got for me. I don't know what it is but something just fell a bit short for me with this story. 
I found Amber to be rather annoying, very naive and a bit pathetic at times, she gets herself into far more trouble that I ever thought was possible and most of the time it's for the most stupid of reasons. I thought it was good that she wasn't the typical pretty, kick ass heroin - in fact as a human she is quite dumpy and unattractive, but this was also ruined somewhat by the fact that when she turns into her demon form she is of course absolutely breath-takingly gorgeous and sexy. I just couldn't get myself to like her and I really struggle to connect to her or even care about her problem.
Milo on the other hand was a different story, you don't really know much about him for at least the first half of the book and then slowly more information about him is trickled in. I liked the mystery and also his sense of humour which was very dry. 
Then we have Glen who is one annoying human being. Sometimes he can come across as sweet and goofy - a bit like an excited puppy, but other times he just seems to get in the way. 
I felt the book was a little slow for me - it started off quite exciting and got me interested in reading more, but it seemed to follow a bit of a pattern. They would drive somewhere looking for answers, they would unearth something dark and un-natural that threatened wither them or the town/village/city they were in. They would then overcome the threat and drive to the next location - where it would all happen again. They are faced with Vampires, Witches and Serial Killers. 
Skulduggery Pleasant is filled with fast talking dialogue, endless humour that literally makes me burst out laughing, and super kick ass characters - which was what I was also hoping for in Demon Road, but it didn't have the same magic or charm. There are a few attempts at humour and banter -but it falls short, i didn't find myself laughing once. 
Then there's the gore... After reading SP - I am used to a bit more nasty surprises, but Demon Road went a bit beyond. Towards the end there was one particular gory description that actually made me feel quite ill and I nearly shut the book and refused to finish, but I was just curious enough to want to know what would happen, that I just skimmed that part and carried on. It was just a little bit too gross for me.

I was so disappointed that I didn't like this book, I wanted it to be another series that I could fall in love and rave about. I'm not entirely sure I want to read the next one in the series, but I have it on my shelf so for old times sake, I'm going to give it a try and hope it brings back the greatest that I have come to know, love and expect from Landy.

My Rating