Friday, November 30, 2012

Challenge Review: Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Personal Demon
Series: Women of the Otherworld #8 
Kelley Armstrong 
Urban Fantasy Fiction, Supernatural Fiction 
Demons, Sorcerers, Witches, Werewolves 
Bantam Books, Random House Inc. 
mass Market Paperback, 523 Pages 
Release Date:
October 2008 
Borrowed from Wentworth Library 


Tabloid reporter Hope Adams appears to live the life of an ordinary working girl. But in addition to possessing the beauty of a Bollywood princess, Hope has other unique traits. For she is a half-demon--a human fathered by a demon. And she's inherited a hunger for chaos. Naturally, when she's chosen by a very dangerous group for a very dangerous mission that will take her through Miami's hot spots, she jumps at the chance. But Hope is a little too good at this job. And soon she's in a little too deep. To save herself, she'll have to unleash her most primal instincts--and open herself, mind and body, to everything she most fears...and desires.

Being an Expisco half-demon, Hope Adams feels a pull toward chaos. She usually works for the Council to get her fix, but when Benicio Cortez presents her with an undercover job, she can't turn it down. The Cortez Cabal has been having trouble with a local gang of supernaturals and it's Hope's job to infiltrate and gather information on their plans.

When Karl Marsten learns that Hope is in Miami, he pays Lucas Cortez a visit, inquiring about what she's doing there. He had a deal with Benicio that he would call Karl first if he was calling in their debt, and Benicio never contacted him, using the fact that Hope and Karl are fighting to get Hope to do the job alone. So Karl travels to Miami to get Hope out before things get out of control.

But when two gang members are kidnapped, events quickly go down hill, and the Cabal is the number one suspect. But there is more to the kidnapping than anyone ever thought possible.

I loved reading Hope's story. We get deeper insight into her need (?), addiction (?) to chaos. We see her complicated relationship with werewolf jewel thief, Karl Marsten. And her struggle to be more than what her demon makes her.

To be honest, when we met Hope in No Humans Involved, I didn't really like her. She seemed too eager and tag-along-puppy-like, although by the end, a puppy with a potentially vicious side. But when I read Personal Demon, that behavior made more sense to me and I really grew to like Hope very much.

The same went for Karl. We met Karl in the very first book in this series, Bitten, as a member of the rogue group trying to take down the Pack. I didn't like how Karl just stood by and watched as Clay was being beaten. He was too self-absorbed and selfish then, but we see a very different side of him in Personal Demon.

Karl feels no attachment to anyone but Hope, not even the Pack, which he is now a member of. I never thought I'd see Karl Marsten unsure of himself, but when it comes to Hope he feels things he once laughed at others for feeling. The fact the he's feeling the mating instinct doesn't help matters.

Aside from his feelings for Hope, we also see how Karl felt about the Pack as he was growing up. Karl had actually wanted to be a part of the Pack, but his father forbade it. It also turns out that his father was killed by Jeremy's father, Malcolm. So he has mixed feelings about now being a part of the Pack.

Personal Demon actually has two POVs--one is Hope and the other is Lucas Cortez. Because Hope works for the Council and is doing a job for Benicio, Paige and Lucas were brought in as well. This gives insight into the Cortez family and the inner workings of the Cabal.

A family tragedy causes Lucas to be put in charge of the Cabal and the investigation--and, boy, is he good at it. Paige can sense that a change is going to come and I really loved how she reassured Lucas that she wasn't going to leave: "Whatever happens, whatever you decide, now, later...I'm not going anywhere. You're stuck with me, Cortez."

And finally there is the gang Hope investigates. They are totally anti-Cabal and basically do anything and everything to undermine its authority. I can't say much about the gang without giving something away, but I will say that I really liked the members of the gang. As Hope became attached to them, so did I. I was shocked by the cause of the gang's downfall. It was totally unexpected.

The next book, Living with the Dead, is from the POV of Robyn Peltier, a human, and Hope's BFF. So we'll get to see more of Hope and Karl, and meet a new character in the Women of the Otherworld series.

Book Trailer: 

About this Author:

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.


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