Saturday 3 August 2019

Book Reviews - Desolation & American Monsters

I haven't done this before, but I'm going to review 2 books in the same post. I actually read them a couple of months ago but didn't get round to writing the reviews. They are part of the same series so I thought I would do them together. So here are my reviews for Demon Road Books 2 & 3  by Derek Landy

Title: Desolation
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Demon Road (Book 2)
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
Release Date: 28 July 2016
ISBN-13: 978-0008156992

Book two in the mind-blowing new supernatural thriller from bestselling author DEREK LANDY, creator of international sensation Skulduggery Pleasant.
Reeling from their bloody encounter in New York City at the end of Demon Road, Amber and Milo flee north. On their trail are the Hounds of Hell – five demonic bikers who will stop at nothing to drag their quarries back to their unholy master.
Amber and Milo’s only hope lies within Desolation Hill – a small town with a big secret; a town with a darkness to it, where evil seeps through the very floorboards. Until, on one night every year, it spills over onto the streets and all hell breaks loose.
And that night is coming…

My Review
So after being quite disappointed with book 1 I wasn't expecting much from this one, but I was just curious enough to give it a try, and I love Derek Landy, so felt like I owed him the chance.
Amber, Milo and Glen are still on the run, but they have a location where they think they will be safe for a while - Desolation Hill. A small town with some secrets of its own. When they arrive, they aren't exactly welcomed, but manage to get a room and a few of the locals to make awkward conversation. 
The Hounds of Hell are kept out of the city by a sort of forcefield, so Amber and Milo have a bit of time to catch their breaths - until the town starts to unravel its secrets around them and the group find a whole new threat, this time from within.
Not expecting much after all, i kind of started to skim read this one, but did find myself getting more involved with it. I liked Desolation Hill and thought it was a great setting, I liked the new characters and the strange dynamics of the town. I actually found myself enjoying the book, I wanted to know what would happen and how they would get round the numerous problems that were bound to occur.  I found myself really starting to like Amber, she developed a lot as a character and I started to almost understand her more. Milo is by far my favourite character, and he maintained his charm and slightly sarcastic air. Glen continued to annoy me, but not as much.
The people of the town intrigued me and I enjoyed the side story lines. In fact, if the series could have continued with them, I think I would have rated the series higher overall. 
For me the book was still a bit slow but I didn't find it as annoying, I enjoyed learning about the town and its people, but then towards the end, Amber's parents returned, as did the Hounds and the whole chase me, escape, run, chase, escape run and repeat thing started again, and I immediately found myself losing interest. I clearly don't like her parents as characters - they are supposed to be dislikable but evil and cunning, but I just find them super irritating.
Overall, I enjoyed this book much more than the first, but wished they could have stayed in the town. I don't hold out much hope for Book 3, but I've come this far...

My Rating
But bordering towards

Title: American Monsters
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Demon Road (Book 3)
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks 
Release Date: 9 Mar. 2017
ISBN-13: 978-0008157111 

The epic conclusion in the mind-blowing supernatural thriller from bestselling author DEREK LANDY, creator of international sensation Skulduggery Pleasant.
Bigger, meaner, stronger, Amber closes in on her murderous parents as they make one last desperate play for power. Her own last hopes of salvation, however, rest beyond vengeance, beyond the abominable killers – living and dead – that she and Milo will have to face.
For Amber’s future lies in her family’s past, in the brother and sister she never knew, and the horrors beyond imagining that befell them.
My Review
Having enjoyed book 2, I was a little more hopeful for book 3, however I could see it falling back into the pattern of the first book, so it was with some trepidation that I started. Amber now has power - a lot more power than she had as 'just a demon' but now she's taken on a new role and the power is intense. 
The book starts off quite gory again, with some very vivid description of fingers being brutally broken and smashed, I almost stopped reading right then, but I was just curious enough to want to know how it all ended - plus I was at a theme park with my husband and had to wait for him to come off a rollercoaster and had nothing better to do whilst waiting for him - so I kept reading.
I liked that some of the characters from the previous book made another appearance, but Amber seemed to jump from one thing to another with no real in depth explanation, and the amount of characters that die was quite over-whelming, almost like loose ends just being tied up. But Amber is still trying to break the shining demon contract and yes - she is still trying to get back at her parents, or rather get rid of them.
There was a lot of action and gore, but nothing that really made me want to read more, I pretty much skimmed through the entire book, just wanting to know how it all finished, and I would have to say that overall, I was disappointed with the series.
I absolutely love Skulduggery Pleasant and continue to follow the series (I have the new one and am still hooked by it), but this series just left me feeling flat. I wouldn't ever re-read it. 

My Rating   
with hints of

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