Author: Derek Landy
Genre: Thriller, Fantasy
Source: Netgalley Ebook
I received Demon Road, the first book in this series from the publisher to review last year (review here) and now I have received and read the second one, Desolation and boy am I enjoying this series. As ever, this is a sequel so there will be spoilers for the previous book.
Desolation continues just after Demon Road finishes off. Amber and Milo are on the run from the Shining Demon, and her parents. Facing a life spent permanently on the road, they travel to Desolation Hill, the only place the Shining Demon cannot reach, in the hopes of finding away to be free of him at last.
While Demon Road was a ‘road trip’ novel, with the characters travelling around America on the eponymous Demon Road, Desolation is a much more centred affair. It mostly takes place in the one town and is all the better for it. There is more focus on the other characters, the threat seems more present and the mystery is even more thrilling.
There are many different plot threads running through this novel. The over-arching plot with Amber’s parents and the Shining Demon is the driving force, but this is not quite as strong as the mystery of Desolation Hill with its Narrow Man and Hell Night. These two storylines come together in a fantastic collision at the climax of the novel which really has you on the edge of your seats. It was difficult to keep track of everyone in these scenes, but I thoroughly enjoyed how everything that the book had been building up to came to a head.
I also quite enjoyed Amber’s personal story-line where she struggles with insecurity over her appearance and her dual identities as human and demon. There were moments of this which I did have difficulty reading, most notably the parts where she is incredibly self-critical of her human self. But on the whole, it brings a bit more depth to the character. Amber is also given a love interest, which definitely had me squealing for joy on the train while I was reading it.
As well as Amber and Milo, who we get to see a lot more of in this book (Milo is a fantastic character so learning more about him is always excellent), a number of other characters are introduced. As this book does take place in one place, these other characters get some development which gives the story a bit more depth. As well as the townspeople, a version of the ‘Scooby Gang’ from Scooby Doo appears (a group of people and a dog investigating and defeating demons, with a van as their base). I really enjoyed their addition. While I can appreciate why some may not, I found them the perfect opposite to Amber and Milo – most obviously they chase demons while the latter runs from them. These, as well as the antics of the two old, past actors, made the book even more of a delight to read.
Desolation Hill is a town that’s protected by a mysterious barrier which makes it notoriously hard to find and impossible for demon lackeys of the Shining Demon to enter. The town’s people are strangely polite to one another and all are waiting in anticipation for Hell’s Night – a festival that happens once a year for members of the town only. I loved learning about the town, little bit by little bit. It grew on me as the book went on and I found myself completely engrossed in the little world it had created for itself.
As I said, I really enjoy this series and I loved this book. It was well-paced, I felt so many different things for the characters and the story had me hooked from the get-go. Not to mention, the ending had me staring at the page in shock. I have no idea how Landy is going to round up this trilogy, but I am sure it will be in another brilliant novel.
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Desolation/9780008156985/?a_aid=rosienreads