Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow (5/5 stars)

This is the first book in the Danny Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow. Amazon kept recommending this book to me as a great book to read. Guess what? I really did like it!

Danny is a Necromance; that is she communes with the dead. In order to make some extra cash on the side she often takes up bounty hunts. The rumor of her hobby has reached Lucifer, yes the Devil himself, and he has sent one of his demons to bring Danny to hell to offer her a job. A demon is on the loose, a demon that's been granted immunity from hell, and Lucifer needs Danny to take the job. To help keep Danny alive Lucifer sends along his right hand assasin, Japhrimel.

This is a face paced, fun book, with a dark sense of humor. Much of the humor is somewhat cutting and sarcastic. The whole book is very dark and reminds me a little bit of Sin City or Gotham City. The cast of characters is very entertaining and each has their own bits of dark past that gives them great depth. There is a little kung-fu taste to the book, as Danny fights with a katana and has her own specific version of honor. Think Kill-Bill, with more magic and not quite as much revenge.

There is non-stop action, more than a little violence and gore. The thing I liked best though was the creativity of the book. The book takes place in a future earth type setting. As such, there is some bandying about of tech-talk that leaves the reader wondering at times. Yet, the incorporation of magic and demons into this tech world is done seamlessly. I was very impressed.

My only complaint would be that the writing is not as high level as I usually like; but for this book the writing style fits the context. Some of the book reminds me a little of Kim Harrison's "Dead Witch Walking" series. This series has a lot more edge and darkness to it though; I guess if I had to compare it with something I've read before (although it's a very unique book so that is tough) I would compare this series to the Sonya Blue Series by Nancy Collins. Although, Danny is not as screwed up as Sonya was and this is a more comfortable series for me to read than Sonya Blue was.

The main story was tied up nicely at the end of the book. Still, I yearned to know more about Danny after I finished the first book. For instance what horrible things happened at the school she went to? What really happens to the demon? How will Danny deal with her new...physique?

Loved the book. I ran right out and bought the second one as soon as I had finished the first.

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