It's Lion Turtles all the way down (lettered) wrote in marmalade_fish,
It's Lion Turtles all the way down

ARC review: The Demon's Covenant

So, I got an ARC of The Demon’s Covenant. It was hard to read.

You know when you’re reading a book that’s really exciting and your eyes keep skipping to the next part? The Demon’s Covenant wasn’t really like that. And you know when you’re reading a book where the writing is really rich, or the metaphors are always surprising, and you just want to savor every word so you read it really slow with long pauses for contemplation? The Demon’s Covenant wasn’t really like that either.

It was like both those things and that was what made it hard to read. I have to say, for me it wasn’t the plot that made my eyes keep jumping to the next part; it was the characters. I would say dialogue, but there were many exchanges between characters that weren’t just dialogue, but were incredibly riveting.

I remember one moment where Character A did something sort of sweet for Character B—nothing monumental, something similar to running out in the rain because Character B forgot his umbrella (that didn’t happen; it was something else, but I’m trying not to spoil even a little bit). But I remember not being able to wait to read the two sentences between to find out what Character A would say about why he brought out the umbrella (i.e. would it be, “I care about you! I want you to be alright!” or would it be, “You’re stupid. Don’t get wet.”?) The feelings between characters are that intense for me, and I care about them that much.

The other thing was the writing. Because the writing is fast-paced, I wouldn’t say it is savory the way 100 Years Of Solitude, or something, is savory. But each word has a special way of illuminating the last. I don’t really see things visually when I read, and I’m not sure The Demon’s Covenant is the most visual book. What is important is that you are given to understand everything you would see—particularly people, and how they react to each other. When I went back and read the lines I skipped regarding the umbrella, Character B’s reaction to being brought the umbrella just spoke so many volumes in those two lines. I felt like I’d skipped over so many more lines than I actually had; those few words really illuminated everything that was going on.

My favorite thing is you understand people’s reaction even when other characters or the viewpoint character does not. Sometimes we get books where the narrator illuminates things the main character does not, but that’s not quite it here. I don’t feel that a different viewpoint is being imposed on me by the narrator than the one imposed on my by the main character. And yet things are shown which are so easy for me to interpret a different way—not necessarily the way the author intends, either. Which I think is kind of . . . intentional. The author doesn’t feel as though she’s trying to impose another point of view, either. Things just are, in this book, and I think many of them you can make of what you will. I love that more than anything.

Okay, as to specifics—no spoilers! I just love Nick, Alan, and Jamie. They really tore at my heart in this. I love all the inter-relationships between the characters; again, that’s the strongest part. That story is an interesting continuation to The Demon’s Lexicon, and makes me really eager for the next book. It doesn’t really end on a cliff-hanger, but it is sort of Empire Strikes Back-ish, in that the story and the world have built, and now I need to find out what happens!

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Demon's Lexicon, and even some who didn't (do they exist?) I look forward to discussing it with you all in more detail!
Tags: demon's covenant
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