6.17.2011

Randomosity & Review: The Demon's Covenant

This is the last day in Sarah Rees Brennan Week! I hope by the end of this post, I'll have convinced you to pick up one of her books. :)

Before that though, a quick Friday 5 because this has been an oddly good week, despite... Well, here's the first of my 5 then.

1. Good things have happened this week, despite the fact that I am too close to the end of a book to return it to the library without finishing. This means I've racked up some overdue fees...

2. But on to the good things! I won copies of Hourglass, Blood Magic, and Imaginary Girls, all of which I've been eagerly anticipating. Now if only the mail would deliver faster...

3. The sister and I saw Florence and the Machine on Tuesday. That woman's voice is amazing. Then I let the sister drive us home. It was only her 2nd time driving on the freeway; we didn't hit anything. Yay!

4. Also, I bought a car this weekend.

5. Sophia and I filmed our next vlog yesterday! So, be on the look-out for that. Yes, there was boba. We still need a catchy name for these installments. Hmm...

REVIEW TIME! The Demon's Covenant

I tried to find the LEAST spoilery book blurb, and I have to say, I found a good one. It tells you who is in the book and the general idea without giving away ANY plot points - other than the general "supernatural things are menacing us" point.

Book Blurb (from Booklist review): Seventeen-year-old Mae’s younger brother Jamie is claimed by magicians known as the Obsidian Circle, and Mae once again appeals to friends Alan and Nick for help. Although the four come together to face the power-hungry magicians, internal doubts and treachery threaten the outcome. This delicious mix of magic, conflicted romance, and trust issues follows The Demon’s Lexicon (2009), but here Brennan’s writing is stronger and more confident.

Review: As I said at the end of my The Demon's Lexicon review, I liked this book more than the first. To begin with, I agree with the Booklist review where it says "Brennan's writing is stronger and more confident." Remember how I said I thought some of the transitions were choppy in Book 1? NO SUCH PROBLEM here! On top of that, the banter and humor were spot on. Lady can write some seriously funny dialogue. I had to keep from smiling at the book too much while I was reading.

SRB also really hits her stride with the character development and the sibling relationships. Last time around, we saw Nick and Alan's relationship from the inside via Nick's POV. This time, we get to see what it looks like from the outside - how their dynamic works and how it has changed from Book 1 to Book 2. It's really poignant to see the little ways and gestures with which the brothers show their care for each other. We also get a closer look at Mae and Jamie's relationship because Book 2 is told from Mae's POV. In the absence of involved parents, it's always been Mae and Jamie together against the world, and we saw that in Book 1, but now SRB tests that relationship by introducing third parties, who offer different things. She even commendably brings their absent mother into the story and deals with her relationship with her kids. As you know, I don't really like the ridiculously absent parents that often show up in YA (because parents are inconvenient for the story), so I was very pleased that SRB didn't just shove the mother aside.

Then there's individual character growth. Mae comes into her own in this one. She finds her own strength and starts to discover where she fits into this crazy world. And Nick! I did NOT forget about Nick because the change in him is arguably my favorite part of this book. We see him dealing with the consequences of last book, but we also see him trying to be better. It's hard to get into it without spoilers, but it's done so well. It is difficult and subtle and sweet, and SRB does it all without sacrificing character consistency. Nick is still that kinda scary, hot guy we met in Book 1, but he's also so much more and becoming more. That's really all I can say.

SRB also gives us glimpses of Alan and Nick's childhood, and these moments were so good. They were some of the most touching scenes in the book.

Oh, and there's kissing. I know some of you like a little romance with your hot boys and demons. ;) Last book, there wasn't so much with the romance, but this book's got it and it does not override the plot or the other relationships. (But it still smolders and sizzles.)

Some notes: I have few complaints. There's a point or two in the last 3rd of the book where I felt a few of the events were a little abrupt. So it was a little jarring and I had to stop and make sense of it, but other than that, there's nothing that sticks out in my mind.

Book 2 is told from Mae's POV, so some of you may miss Nick's POV. Some of you may be relieved it's not Nick. Depends on the reader. I was fine with both, but I will say Book 2 is easier to relate to because Mae is more like a regular person (i.e. she hasn't spent the bulk of her young life running away from and fighting magicians).

Book 3, The Demon's Surrender is told from yet another character's POV. It's a brave move by Sarah Rees Brennan as not everyone likes such big shifts, but I think she does it well, and the differing perspectives add extra layers to the characters and the story. It's also a very clever way of keeping things unpredictable as each character's POV limits their knowledge of varying aspects of the plot.

The Demon's Covenant in a nutshell: the stakes are higher, the emotions deeper, the world-building fuller, and the funny funnier. It left me desperate for Book 3 when I finished because as my sister would put it, s**t's getting real.

Wanna try before you buy? You can read Chapter 1 of The Demon's Covenant at SRB's website.

Hope you enjoyed my reviews for Sarah Rees Brennan week! Be sure to stop by YA Bibliophile for links to other blogs showing their love for SRB and her books!

Have I convinced you to try these books out?

What good things have happened to you this week?


P.S. The next FUN THING I'm doing on the blog is Jolene's Lovin' the Language blogfest on June 27th! Please, do join us!

9 comments:

Angela Felsted said...

It is really tempting. And the cover is gorgeous. Yes, I know. We're not supposed to judge by its cover. But man, it is really hard not to do sometimes.

Lori M. Lee said...

LOL, sh*t's getting real would be a good way to put it. The end of this book left me flailing and going WTH WHERE'S THE NEXT ONE?

Lydia K said...

You won some good stuff! I want to read those too.
I'm also jealous you got to see FATM. She seems like she doesn't belong in this decade or something (and I mean that in a good way).

Loren Chase said...

I NEED these books lol. I don't know why I keep avoiding them but your posts have piqued my interest. Now I feel like I've read all of them and can't wait for the next one when I haven't even started book one!

I'm so jealous you got to see Florence and the Machine, girl is AMAZING. I watched some of her live videos on youtube and I'm sure seeing her live doesn't even compare. And congratulations on the car! I'm still trying to get up the courage to actually get my license and I'm twenty-one. (Major facepalm.) ;)

~Loren

The Golden Eagle said...

Glad to hear you had a good week. :)

I've never heard of Florence and the Machine--but from the comments I gather she's good!

I found there were jars in The Demon's Covenant, too. The last third, as you mentioned, kept confusing me at times.

ali said...

I'm doing that blogfest too. Yay!

And another vlog with SOPHIA??!! Awesome!!

Hmm, a title . . . the Boba Babes?

Bobalicious?

:D

Jolene Perry said...

Oh yeah. Jolene's awesome, everyone should totally do her blogfest :D lol.

Also - I LOVE it when someone posts their first chapter.

Krispy said...

LORI- I know! I need to buy the new one and read it!

LOREN- Yes, you do need these books, lol. But yeah, give them a try if you're interested. I obviously rec them. :)

As for Florence, she's one of those rare singers who sounds just as good if not better than herself recorded when she sings live. And she's so cute!

Thanks for the congrats! I feel ya on the license thing tho. I actually really dislike driving, but tis a necessity in SoCal. :P

Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.