by Stacia Kane, fantasy (2010)
Pocket, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4391-6761-8
Demon Possessed is the third book in Stacia Kane's series featuring our angst-ridden heroine Megan Chase, and this book doesn't stand alone well. The main plot in this book can stand alone, but you won't be able to follow and appreciate Megan Chase's story line if you read this one as a standalone novel. Therefore, you're advised to read the books in order. The review of this book contains some plot points that serve as spoilers for those previous books, so you know what to do if you want to remain unspoiled.
Okay, where we left off, Megan had been through such a tumultuous emotional rollercoaster ride that I'm actually relieved that this book focuses a little less on her angst. That's not to say that Megan is now in a happy place, though. Why is it that shrinks in romance novels tend to be the most emotionally disturbed people around? In this book, Megan discovers that a client of hers has decided to embark on a new "treatment" - he and his wife are putting him under the care of a preacher who claims that he is possessed by a demon and this preacher will exorcise that demon. Not only that, Megan is scheduled to attend a meeting comprising all the demon leaders in the territory, and these people have her conversion into demon on their list of topics to discuss. And Megan really doesn't want to undergo that ritual that will turn her into a whole demon. She thinks that she's happy as the half-demon that she is now. If that is not enough, someone is out to kill her. Again, I know, but hey, it's not easy being a half-human demon leader, you know.
The best thing I can say about Demon Possessed is that it is an entertaining book. The author's sense of humor is quite cynical, which fits the mood of the story perfectly. The plot is handled pretty well, with adequate suspenseful build-up and a climatic confrontation.
But because this is a very heroine-centric story, the make-or-break point is still the reader's reception of Megan. In my case, I find that Megan is too passive for the most part and she also has a tendency to whine when she doesn't get her way, which is never an appealing behavior on anyone over the age of five. Megan is still very dependent on her beau Greyson Dante here, to the point that he has to even clue her in on details about demons and such. I'd think a woman who leads a pack of demons will have the initiative to learn something about her charges and their ways on her own, sigh.
A big part of my problem with Megan is her reluctance to become a demon. I'd be more receptive to her reasons if she shows some passion about being human. You see, she whines - loudly and painfully - that she doesn't think it is fair that she has to give up her job and other aspects of her old life to keep being a Gretneg and to have Grey's love. But early in this book, I'm told that she doesn't really like her radio job, so as a result, I'm not sure why I should care that she's clinging on to her job like that.
Also, Megan's whining comes off as being selfish. She has issues about being a demon, but she doesn't seem to realize that she's sleeping with one, and he has treated her like a princess for three books now. Also, the fates of her demons are at stake. If she is seen as a weak Gretneg, they will become fair game as well. Likewise, Grey is sacrificing a big deal as well, as he being with her, someone seen by many other Gretnegs as a weak half-human, will reflect poorly on his position and even political power. Therefore, Megan's decision whether to become demon isn't solely about her. And yet, she makes it all about her. As a result, she comes off like a child wanting the cake as well as the whole bakery. Not very sympathetic, that Megan. I find myself thinking that, instead of whining so often, Megan should either do her thing or get off that chamber pot: she should decide whether she should be a Gretneg or get lost.
[spoiler starts] Later, she will lash out at Grey, calling him selfish when her reluctance to convert into a demon forces him to admit that he may have to find a more appropriate mate as a result. The fact that this man wants to marry her if she will compromise, that he has treated her so well this far, that he is a far better catch than she deserves are all lost on Miss Me-Me-Me here. Once again, Megan comes off as a whiny little thing. [spoiler ends]
Still, in the end, the heroine comes to a decent epiphany, although it's one that is delivered in a manner that is far too flippant for my liking after all the nonsense Megan has put me through.
Despite my reservations about Megan, however, I still have a pretty good time with Demon Possessed. Something tells me, though, that once Megan has completely pulled her act together after the emotional mess she has been in this book as well as in the previous book, things can only get better.
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