2. The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers by Angie Fox
Publication: Love Spell (April 28, 2009), Paperback, 308pp / ISBN 0505527707
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Read: January 2-3, 2010
Source: Paperback Swap
Summary from Amazon:
Demon slaying powers should come with an instruction book …
Seriously. Why does a new hair dryer have a twelve-page how-to manual, but when it comes to ancient demon-fighting hocus-pocus, my biker witch granny gives me just half a dozen switch stars and a rah-rah speech? Oh, and a talking terrier, but that’s another story. It’s not like my job as a preschool teacher prepared me for this kind of thing.
So I’ve decided to write my own manual, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, because no one tells me anything. Dimitri, my “protector,” may be one stud of a shape-shifting griffin, but he always thinks he can handle everything by himself. Only he’s no match for the soul-stealing succubi taking over Las Vegas. If I can’t figure out how to save him – and Sin City – there’ll be hell to pay.
I found this on the same shelf as The Missing Ink, got suckered in with the cover and title, and added it to my wishlist. Happily enough it was posted to PBS around the same time as TMI (but by a different person!). I didn’t enjoy it as much as TMI, unfortunately, though I liked certain aspects of it.
What did I like the best? I liked how it subtly made fun of the demon-killer-in-sexy-leather thing. I thought it was extremely funny how Lizzie thought it was required she wear leather miniskirts and stuff, but because she was embarrassed she’d cover it up with a big shirt or something. I also liked the anti-demonic DMV thingy, and how Lizzie has to be registered to be an official demon-slayer, and how she rolls around the country with her grandmother’s biker-witch gang, and how Pirate (Lizzie’s dog) sounds and awful lot like Wishbone. I also thought the plot, at its surface, was interesting and exciting.
Now, for what I liked least— well, it’s a lot. I didn’t realize when I started reading this that it was actually the second book in a series (mostly because that little tidbit is mentioned absolutely nowhere on the book itself), and though there’s a few explanation bits strewn throughout, I obviously missed some stuff. Stuff like how long Lizzie has a) been a slayer and b) been dating her boyfriend. I didn’t figure out that important information until about halfway through the book, and after I did find out, it pretty much ruined the book for me.
So, okay: Lizzie’s been a demon slayer for two weeks. That’s fine. I don’t mind that part. Lizzie’s also been dating her boyfriend for the same amount of time, and they’re already OMG SO IN LOVE with each other. Is that unusual with a new couple? Not really. And while I actually prefer my romances to take more time building themselves up, I can understand the instant attraction/infatuation thing. BUT. This is a paranormal romance. Which means you get that really annoying thing where every human girl who falls in love with a supernatural creature automatically becomes mated to that creature for LIFE and FOREVER and it’s just taken for granted that this is a good thing. I tend to disagree, like, a lot. While it may be nice for a couple that’s been dating for a long time (i.e. more than TWO WEEKS), most of the time it’s just creepy and weird and makes me uncomfortable.
But then add on to that how Dimitri-the-boyfriend shows up for maybe one page in the beginning of the book and then disappears for so long I was wondering if he was even important to the story, only to show up later acting crazy and possessive and, oh yeah, draining Lizzie’s energy and turning into a demon, and I was NOT feeling this couple AT ALL. By not reading the first book I probably missed the great getting-together scenes and the falling-in-love stuff and that’s probably a big part of why I hated them as a couple, hated Dimitri, and thought their whole romance was super unrealistic.
I hope I explained that enough, and that I haven’t inadvertently insulted someone– I understand why people like the together-forever sort of romance (I like it, too, under certain conditions). It’s romantic and makes you feel safe and loved and whatever. But I just think it takes on a whole new level when it involves souls and life force energy and free will and so on. A creepy level. A level I’m not comfortable reading about.
Anyway, besides that whole debacle, there were also a few plot holes, a few weird writing/editing things that kept jarring me out of the story, and my general feelings of overall dissatisfaction with the book. I suppose The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers is pretty typical paranormal romance fare: if you don’t think too hard about it (and if you don’t mind paranormal romance tropes) and start with the first book in the series, it’s enjoyable. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it enough to keep reading the series, or to go back and read the first book.
I suppose the good thing about starting the year with two supermarket books is that I have lots to say about them?