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Book Review: The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers by Angie Fox (Series, #2)

Lizzie and Pirate sitting on a motorcycle.Summary:
It’s only been a couple weeks since Lizzie found out she’s a demon slayer, and she’s already been to hell and back–literally.  You’d think she could get a vacation to Greece with her hunk of a griffin boyfriend, Dmitri, but her fairy godfather, Uncle Phil, has got himself tangled up with a succubus.  Lizzie, accompanied by the geriatric biker gang, the Red Skulls, and Dmitri run off to Las Vegas to save him.  They discover an unusual amount of demonic activity in Vegas, however, which points to a possible demon invasion from hell.

Review:
This was definitely a step up from the first book in the series.  The action is tighter, characters more well-rounded, and the impetuses for decisions are more believable.  The demon invasion winds up being a secondary plot point to Lizzie’s attempt to figure out what exactly the slayer truth “sacrifice yourself” means.  I also enjoyed the fact that Fox gave the talking terrier, Pirate, more to do besides be excited when Lizzie shows up.  The fact that she’s paying attention to animal characterization makes me happy.

One of my main complaints with the previous book was the romance story-line, in particular the sex scene, and I can’t say that that’s improved here.  Although by the end of the book I found Lizzie’s affection for Dmitri believable, for most of the book I was baffled by it.  He just doesn’t do it for me as a romantic hero, and I’m not sure exactly why.  Similarly, the sex scenes were again cringe-inducing, not sexy.  I mean, he rips her leather skirt up the middle, and she finds this endearing?  The fact that the man seems to lack the knowledge that you can push a skirt up makes me seriously doubt his abilities in the sack.  It’s odd, because Fox’s other scenes are generally well-done.  The two sex scenes are so decidedly cringe-worthy that I sort of forgot this is supposed to be a paranormal romance.  It read as a paranormal fiction featuring an odd choice for a boyfriend and thank goodness he’s not talked about too much.

In general though most of the book isn’t about Dmitri or his relationship with Lizzie.  It’s about Lizzie’s experience figuring out what exactly it means to be a demon slayer.  Thank goodness for that, because that combined with Lizzie’s crazy family and witty dog make for a good story.  I recommend it to those with a taste for the paranormal and romance lovers who aren’t fans of sex scenes in romance to start with.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: PaperBackSwap

Previous Books in Series:
The Accidental Demon Slayer, review

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Book Review: The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox

Female legs crossed near a sword and a terrier.Summary:
Lizzie’s life is all about control.  Her library books are never late, her preschool class is extremely well-behaved, and she always grocery shops with lists.  In fact, to date the only out-there thing she’s ever done is to adopt her terrier, Pirate.  On her 30th birthday, though, her long-lost grandmother shows up, and she just happens to be a biker babe.  Oh, and she’s here to warn Lizzie that the minute she turns 30 her slayer powers will go into full effect and a fifth level demon wants them.  Before she knows it, she’s caught up in a whirlwind of roadkill witches, griffins, demons, and switch stars.

Review:
This is a refreshing twist in the paranormal romance genre.  No vampires to be seen so far and demons are just demons not fallen angels seeking redemption.  Lizzie reads kind of like a reluctant ninja, which is a nice change from the boring girl suddenly made exciting by the appearance of vampires.  Her life is suddenly made exciting due to a change that took place inside herself, not outside.

I also really enjoyed that her slayer powers come about when she turns 30, not at adolescence or at 18 or at 21.  Thirty makes sense because she actually gets a chance to grow up before dealing with all of this stuff.  Plus it gives older readers who long ago gave up on getting a letter from Hogwarts a chance to still imagine a fantastical life for themselves.

On the other hand, Fox does not entirely escape from paranormal romance (or heck, just romance) tropes.  There’s this really cute guy and she instantly feels a magical connection but oh my goodness something is holding them apart until they stop letting it but then she gets instantly angry at him.  For a writer who put in some very creative elements, such as the witches being elderly grandmas who still kick butt, I was expecting far more from the romance portion.  Also, the sex scene really fell flat.  I’m not sure if this was due to the way she wrote about the sex or the fact that I just didn’t believe any of the emotions between the two, but it was a disappointment either way.

Similarly, Lizzie hems and haws over being a demon slayer rather late in the game at a point at which it is obvious she really enjoys it but for some reason isn’t realizing it?  It just doesn’t make sense and rings false.

However, I still plan on reading the sequel, because the romance was such a minor portion of the storyline, and Lizzie is at least a strong female character who remains feminine.  I’m not big into the hardened heart tattoo covered female leads who seem to be the only paranormal alternative to moony-eyed emo chicks.  Lizzie lands smack between the two, which lends to the unique qualities in the book.

If you enjoy paranormal romance with a twist, you’ll enjoy this series.  Similarly, if you want a humorous, gentler introduction to the genre, try this book out.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: SwapTree

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Friday Fun! (Featuring My Niece and Swaptree)

January 15, 2010 14 comments

My lovely loyal readers and friends, so sorry there’s been no book reviews this week!  The book I’m currently reading is really long, and I’m not enjoying it that much so the pace of my reading is a bit below average.  I definitely should ring in next week with a review though, as it’s almost done!

This week I played pub trivia for the first time and discovered that I am not good at trivia.  This is funny and ironic cause I know lots of random facts, but apparently I don’t know trivia type facts.  I mean, really, who’s a tall athletic actor who guest starred in 1970s tv shows?  Jeez, I dunno.  I also didn’t enjoy that the music to keep teams from overhearing each other meant that I had to yell all night.  That’s only worth it for a concert.  Ah well.  Lesson learned.  I guess I should stick to arcade games, pool tables, and dart boards when we go out.

Some of you are aware that I welcomed my first niece into the world on December 23rd.  My brother and my sister-in-law made the choice to have her, even though she has Down Syndrome.  I know they have plenty of love in their hearts for a special baby, and they are just wonderful with her.  Unfortunately, one of the elements of Down Syndrome is that the babies almost all have heart problems.  They usually operate on the babies at 6 months (I have no idea why at that particular point, but I’m sure there’s a reason).  Anyway, due to the heart condition, my niece is not very strong.  She struggled to learn how to eat.  I guess that takes a lot of energy she didn’t have at first.  Finally she gained enough weight and was eating well enough to come home.  I was going to go meet her and visit my brother and father this weekend, but unfortunately she had to get readmitted to the hospital.  She wasn’t gaining weight, which babies are supposed to do.  This is of course difficult for my brother and sister-in-law who also have an almost 3 year old little boy to take care of and a small farm to run.  Thankfully, most of my family lives near them so they have lots of help.  I wish there was something I could do from a distance to help my brother, but there’s not much beyond being an ear to listen when he needs to talk.

In much happier news, allow me to tell you guys about Swaptree.  Swaptree allows you to list books you have but don’t want and books you want, and then it sets up 1:1 trades for you (or you can browse and request trades yourself).  This works extra well since they set up 3 way trades, which helps you find a lot more books.  The matches they make are in no particular order on your want list, so it’s a bit of a surprise what you get, particularly if your want list is as long as mine.  Since part of ringing in the new year was weeding my personal library, I excitedly decided to try this out.  It’s so awesome!  So far I’ve gotten rid of 8 books for books on my tbr list.  For those wondering, my weeded books were mainly textbooks I will never ever read again, some romance novels that came to my library for free that my boss gave me, and books from a point in my deconversion when I was wondering if maybe I should be pagan.  For the record, I’m not pagan.  I guess I’m deist.  Anywho, so the books I’ve received in exchange so far are:

  • Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford
    Do not mock me.  I have a thing for memoirs.
  • Living the Simple Life by Elaine St. James
    I’m a big fan of minimalism, and this was highly recommended on minimalist blogs.
  • The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox
    Yes, another paranormal romance.  However, it’s supposed to be a comical one which will change things up a bit.
  • Life, The Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams
    I’ve already read this, but I love love LOVE the Hitchhiker series, and didn’t (still don’t actually) own them all, so I’m fleshing out the “trilogy.”
  • Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres
    This memoir is by a woman whose fundamentalist Christian parents sent her to the same reform school in the Dominican Republic that my cousin’s parents sent her to, so I was intrigued.
  • Wild Swans by Jung Chang
    I realized I haven’t read much non-western lit lately, and I enjoyed the nonwestern lit I read in college.  This memoir is about three generations of Chinese women, and I think it looks really good!
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
    A classic scifi book that my nerdy friends have been berating me for not having read. 😉
  • Feed by M. T. Anderson
    A dystopian book about our heads being plugged into computers.  Right up my alley.

All those books and my personal library size hasn’t increased at all!  I encourage you guys to check Swaptree out.  The only costs associated are shipping, and you can print labels directly from the website for extra ease.  Each book costs around $2.46 to ship.

Have a nice long weekend, everyone!  Rock on Martin Luther King Jr!