Demon Road by Derek Landy

I admit I haven't read Derek Landy before this. Demon Road was my first taste - and if this one's any indication, then I'm going to be a lifelong fan - hook, line and sinker, that's how this book reeled me in right from the first sentence, "Twelve hours before Amber Lamont's parents tried to kill her...."

The book is a rollicking riotous ride through the highways of hell ( here called the demon road that passes through the heartlands of America filled with supernatural beings) featuring a sixteen year old protagonist, Amber - a girl who alternates between her shy, under-confident, plain-looking internet-geek avatar and her demonic uber-sexy, ultra-confident, red avatar with curvy black horns & long legs. This girl is the life and blood of the book - and Derek truly paints out a memorable character of Amber who pumps life into this road trip through your worst nightmares come alive.

Packed with Derek's trademark razor sharp wit ( Mental note to myself: Get your hands on the Skulduggery Pleasant series that launched Derek! Going to Irish land in Nov, so hey. Who knows!) and blistering action that leaps off the pages and slams you by the throat, the book roars through a 'demonic' landscape in small-town America - from Florida to Las Vegas to New York - and the places are full of nightmarish supernatural creatures ranging from blood-sucking vampires to tree monster witches and winged avengers that will keep you flipping the pages faster. Just to see if Amber escapes from her demonic "killer" parents.

Derek packs the book with enough characters to keep things busy - while Amber definitely is the best thing about the book ( Love the red, smoking hot demon with horns! but the soul searching confused geek girl who finds solace in internet forum-groups is the one I liked better, a sympathetic character you can relate to!) there is Milo, the mysterious charmer who drives the 'Beast' and is handy with a gun and has a closet full of secrets and there is Glen, the irish klutz who cannot stop talking and is the comic relief [ there are some really LOL moments because of him - and then there are truly irksome annoying moments as well!]

While the villains are many - and that's one thing I loved about the book, the myriad supernatural beasts who live in the hinterlands of America in idyllic small towns - working normally by day but turning into beastly creatures by night! - Amber's parents and their set of 'demon' friends are the most persistent ones that feature in the book. Sadly without too much page-time devoted their cause, they end up as cardboard cut-outs who only existed to tick through some plot points. chiefly rolling the series plot onward.

The pacing doesn't slacken - and sometimes when we feel things are getting a bit too much of a breather, a new twist kicks in and we pick up speed on the road to the next destination - and a new villain. It's pure fun - even though there are times when I felt things were a bit too much to believe like getting Amber out of a few tight spots - I enjoyed this ride a lot. And am waiting for the Hounds of Hell to break loose hot on Amber's trail now!

So why should you read this? An unstoppable fun ride through supernatural America brought alive by blazing action and snappy wit in Derek Landy's trademark assured writing that takes no prisoners. A great read. 


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