Demon's Lexicon
by Brennan, Sarah Rees

Aware that deadly magicians are plotting to take back a charm that was stolen by his mother, Nick turns to his brother, Alan, for help in keeping the demons away, but when he uncovers dark secrets about his family, Nick's trust in Alan is shaken to the core in the midst of their most dangerous mission.

Sarah Rees Brennan was born and raised in Ireland. After living briefly in New York and then doing a creative writing MA and library work in Surrey, England, she returned to Dublin, Ireland, to write. This is Sarah’s first novel. Visit her website at

What if the bad-boy hunk in your class was actually a sword-wielding demon slayer? That's the enticing scenario offered up in Brennan's debut, and although the results are periodically workmanlike, they will satisfy the legions currently clamoring for this brand of dark fantasy. Nick (the aforementioned hunk) lives with his empty-shell mother and older brother Alan, but they're constantly on the move as they hunt-and are hunted by-evil magicians and their conjured demons. Their brutal routine is interrupted by the arrival of two teen siblings in need of help, one of whom has been "marked" by a demon for certain death and the other of whom fosters a growing desire for one of the brothers. Though unique, the mythology has some holes and feels needlessly convoluted. That said, Brennan excels when she dwells upon her characters' more human emotions (desire, loneliness, loyalty), and hits her stride in the final stretch, creating several scenes of unexpected horror and piling on some truly surprising twists. Stick with it, and you'll be glad you did. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

A fresh voice dancing between wicked humor and crepuscular sumptuousness invigorates this urban fantasy. Askew of everyday England there lies a darker world, where power-hungry magicians sacrifice innocents to demons and their victims peddle protection with like ruthlessness. Nick Ryves has spent all of his 16 years therein, perpetually on the run, his father murdered, his mother driven mad, his crippled older brother the only person he can trust. When two desperate teens seek out their aid, he will find the last few certainties of his life stripped away. Nick is an astonishing protagonist: vicious, deadly, callous, nearly feral, all but consumed with rage, yet rendered irresistibly attractive by his mordant wit, his clear-eyed recognition of his flaws and his terrified bafflement at his own fleeting moments of tenderness. Every character hides secrets, every conversation hints at double and triple meanings. From the pitch-perfect opening paragraph to the heartbreaking final pages, the narrative peels back layers of revelation, deftly ratcheting up the tension and horror to a series of shattering climaxes. The conclusion, while utterly satisfying, also leaves room for the story to continue. Delicious. (Fantasy. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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