Demon Moon
by Meljean Brook, fantasy (2007)
Berkley, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-425-21576-0


Folks, do yourself a favor if you happen to have purchased Demon Moon but haven't read the book that comes before it, Demon Angel. Read Demon Angel first.

I'm not saying this because I want people to buy the author's books and make her a very happy person. The storyline in Demon Moon essentially takes off from and is a continuation of the story arc that started in the second half of Demon Angel. The principal characters, human Savitri Murray and vampire-nosferatu hybrid Colin Ames-Beaumont, have a thing that began in Demon Angel. Demon Moon is steeped in the author's canon and mythology first introduced in Demon Angel that it is nearly impossible not to be distracted by your lack of familiarity with these details. Take it from me: you have to read Demon Angel first if you want to appreciate this one without pulling your hair out in frustration.

In fact, I'm quite at loss as to how to give a synopsis of this story that doesn't spoil Demon Angel. Let's just say that the threat of an apocalyptic good-versus-evil battle that started in Demon Angel continues to manifest as evil spooky creatures from the realms of darkness are gathering power for the final showdown and the forces of good, the Watchers, are trying to organize a cabal to face down the threat. Savi is one of the few human beings who are aware of the Watchers and their allies as well as their mission. She is also attracted to an unlikely ally of the Watchers, the cynical Colin who insists that he isn't a nice guy even if we have all heard that song and dance before.

Let's start with the good things about this book, shall we? I find the principal characters interesting. I like how Ms Brook allow Savi's Indian-American side to shine in a very real manner without turning Savi into a "Look at me! I'm Indian!" statement. Savi is generally a decent heroine. Colin is a vampire who typically does that "Ooh! I'm a vampire! I'm sexy! Getting bitten by me gives a woman multiple orgasms! Woo-hoo!" thing but he isn't that emo and he doesn't drop the whole "destiny, soul mate, my precious virginal life mate, woo-hoo!" nonsense on me. I like that he doesn't dwell on some evil parents and evil ex-girlfriends like some other heroes of this type out there would, although he often plays the "I'm a bad guy, don't trust me, woo-hoo!" card as if he's trying too hard to get people to reassure him that he's actually not that bad and he can finally stop writing those Goth poems on his Livejournal blog.

Also, the canon-building continues to unfold to a most interesting degree. I find myself caught up in the developing storyline, eager to find out what happens next when the bad guys break free of the portal to take on the good guys.

The down side, therefore, is that eventually the story line becomes more interesting than the romance between Savi and Colin where I am concerned and I often find myself wishing that those two would lock themselves in a room and go neck or something while Lilith, Hugh, and the others carry on with the story. While Savi and Colin by themselves could be interesting, when they are together I find that their relationship is a little too much of the same "I'm a bad vampire, no good for you, let me shag you but don't fall in love with me, okay?" blues. The familiarity of the romance soon becomes overshadowed by the much more interesting events taking place around Savi and Colin. As a result, I get disappointed when the story starts to focus more and more on Savi and Colin. I just don't find their romance interesting. I wish the story is more on the Watchers as a whole than on Savi and Colin.

The story starts with a deliciously heartstopping scene of Savi and the passengers of an airplane being trapped in the air with a nosferatu. I am at the edge of my seat, all but biting on my nails in nervousness, as I turn the pages. Unfortunately, after that dramatic moment, the story is all about the same old moo-moo vampire blues that I wish the author has allowed the story to be more dramatic on the whole like that airplane scene.

What I'm trying to say is that Demon Moon is a most readable and most interesting story. I will be reading the next book, that I know for sure. However, because I don't find the main characters interesting and the story is understandably focused heavily on them, this one sort of fizzles out on me as I turn the pages. The main story arc is interesting. This story, on the other hand, isn't as interesting as I'd like it to be. I wish the author has written a more straightforward urban fantasy tale here instead of a romantic one. Am I making sense here?

Rating: 85


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