The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Balantine Books
Officila summary (Taken from Goodreads) :
"Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart."
After I finished this book I went through my notes for the review. There was one thing I wrote down more than once: I LOVE IT. Yes, I wrote it in capital letters. I think that says everything this review needs to say. But that would be a really unsatisfying review so here is the longer version, why I loved it so much:
Before I really start the review I want to thank the publisher Balantine for answering my request on NetGalley with a yes :)
I really loved the cover. The blue is mysterious and captures the atmosphere in the book perfectly.
Callie McFay has the in my opinion perfect job: She get's to spend all her time with fairy tales and how the inspired the gothic imagination. She is a believable and trustworthy Protagonist and I really liked following her journey.
The book is great researched, e.g. The Cailleach (I always love celtic background, no matter where) and all the myths and background of fairwick, everything fits perfectly together and therefore feels so real! Especially the woods and the picture with the fairy queen where two great detailed passages. You really believe Callie wrote a book about that topic and teaches at colleges because of the great research and the fact that she knows so much about the topic.
It made me curious if Dahlia LaMotte really excisted. I almost believed it because of the great background Juliet Dark created.
The whole plot had just the right theme for me, old gothic stories, a place with a history, fairies, love... I like the whole concept of Fairwick.
The eastern student Mara was a great addition. Reminded me of old gothic novels. How she acted, her looks, she reminded me of a Vampire... She was a great addition to the atmosphere and mystery.
The Demon Lover is filled with wonderful descriptions and details. I loved Honeysuckel House or the campus. I found myself over and over again drawn into the story by all the details. After 20 pages I was already so hooked that I could not stop reading it.
But the details were never too much. Over all the writing style was really good and perfect for a light read.
I LOVE IT! (Sorry but I had to say that again)
It was a nice change from the YA or High Fantasy I am reading usually.
And here come the things I did not like that much: There are a lot of side characters that start with a D (Dean Book, Diana, Dory...). That was a little confusing at the beginning. I mixed up who is who from time to time.
I had a constant feeling that what I was reading was only the beginning of something bigger, that was great for the first part of the book but buged me a little in the middle.
Looking back on the book after reading it comes to my mind that most of the plot parts and background stories were, if you know something about themes in Gothic Literature or old folklore, nothing new. But while I was reading it everything felt new and shiny, since it is interwined so beautiful into this interesting plot. So this point could be a "contra" for you but was definitely a "pro" for me.
After the big secret was out everything was a little bit rushed in my opinion. That feeling continued for a few chapters. But only for a few than the story lured me back into the book.
I always hate it when the heroine of the story doesn't see the obvious and I find myself shouting "Don't do that!" at her while reading. I got that feeling at the begining of the last part of the plot but it quickly vanished. I stopped being so sure that everything really was that obvious.
I had some theories about the antagonist but nothing ever quite fit, so I found myself spending lots of my freetime thinking about new theories and trying to puzzle everything together. That is one reason I like this book so much: It kept me involved with it though I had stopped reading.
(view spoiler)[After Callie sent Liam away she did not think about Ralph until she found the shadow crab per chance. I did not like that part of the book very much. Ralph was her familiar and a little earlier Diana explained to her that an ill familiar can make you ill, too. So I think it was a little unrealistic that she kind of stopped caring about Ralph (hide spoiler)]
The only bigger problem I had with the plot was the fact that the solution for the curse felt a little to easy after all the trouble they had with it.
So this book is definitely a recommendation for every fantasy lover! But be careful it is definitely not YA, it is a Gothic Story after all!
And now I'm dreaming of enrolling at Fairwick College myself!
I can't wait for the next one!
Love and words to everyone (And a Happy New Year!)!
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