Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Review: The Demon's Lexicon (re-read)

Moving right along with the reviews here is a re-read of The Demon's Lexicon (originally I had hoped to review the second book soon afterwards but it's been a few months and I still haven't been able to get a copy, oops). Since the sequel The Demon's Covenant is comging out soon (erm, came out apparently and now that I think about it I have seen it in bookstores, like I've said before, my libraries are a bit slow) I decided to do a re-read since I apparently missed two important things the first time around, namely that Nick was some sort of super hottie and that Mae was kickass. But, before that, covers!
 Honestly I really don't like this own, it just looks like a bad mass-up of clip art, although I'm not that fond of orange color schemes to start with. But hang on, I know I've seen the paperback cover somewhere...
 Ah, more to my taste, still not the best cover ever but I like it. But what, hang on just a minute, since this looks rather similar to the sequel cover...
 GAAAHHHHH. Aside from the fact that this person is the narrator of book three, not two (soooo, whose going to be on that cover?), personal pet peeve here: I LOATHE it when they change about book cover styles in a series so the second and third books look like the first paperback book but not the first hardcover book. Drives me absolutely bonkers and leads to some, creative compromises so that my bookshelf looks uniform.
And as a final note, I like the UK covers better than all of them (probably because I like the illustrated covers better but most American's don't, odd) and the Japanese cover is quite awesome:
As a brief summary, Nick and Alan are brothers, on the run, and keep a crazy mother in the attic (or as far from Nick as their various houses afford). The story gets kicked off when Mae and her brother Jamie show up asking for help in removing a mark set by a demon on Jamie, a mark that would allow demonic possession with some side effects before that. Alan's happy to help, Nick not so much,

The Good: I probably missed it in my first read since this novel is told from Nick's POV, but Mae is a rather good Arthur Dent character and that's a fairly unusual character to find. Really glad to see that the next book is from her POV since I liked her and Jamie much better than Nick and Alan. There were also a great number of clever lines (mostly by Jamie, some by Nick and Mae and the opening line is classic) throughout the book that kept me snickering but sometimes they came off as very out of character.
The Bad: Hooooo boy did I have issues with Nick, lots and lots of issues which all boil down to one thing, he was portrayed in a manner which made me convinced he had several personalities since his actions all seemed to contradict each other. Over and over the book says that he's emotionless, he doesn't get emotion, doesn't get the other characters, ect. Then in other places it seems he gets emotion and just has a hard time expressing it, fair enough. In yet more places he does so emotion, namely rage and revenge (which I always thought was a more complicated emotion since it's willful destruction for someone's past deeds on a third party which requires you to connect both past events and how others will react, that's tough if you don't get emotions). And then other times he was flirting by being sarcastic and I will say that sarcasm is not only tricky for everyday people to pick up but for those people who do have social issues (and some people have pointed out that Nick unintentionally resembles someone with Aspergers or Autism) it's really hard. So for Nick to have trouble understanding emotion, let own show it, and then be able to give off the correct body/facial singles and verbal cues to flirt with tons of girls? I'm more than a little puzzled, he could've at least known how to fake sympathy when he couldn't muster up the real thing.
Plus Alan, even through Nick's POV it's clear that Alan has a serious martydom complex and I'm not quite sure why. Yes he had to raise his little, not-so-normal, brother on his own and take care of a crazy mother but I don't understand how that gives you a manipulative and self-sacrificing personality to be honest. Again I found this much more noticeable in the re-read and I'm afraid I'll start groaning when these two have major roles in the next book.

So, I found the book much more interesting when it focused on the side characters rather than the lead and I'm looking forward to the next book because of the change in POV (because you know, switching POVs in each book is totally crazy ) which is a shame since it is a trick that I like to read (and now I know why it almost never comes up).