Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Review: Demonized by Naomi Clark

Title: Demonized (An Ethan Banning story)
Author: Naomi Clark
Publisher: Damnation Books
Release Date: 03/01/2011

I have to give a brief disclaimer at the start of this review & say that while this novella can stand on its own for the most part, to fully understand everything that is going on here you'd have to have read Afterlife. That's where Banning gets his demon (singular, not plural) from & parts of the novella have him speaking to the main character of Yasmine.

PI Ethan Banning is smoking too much, sleeping too little, and hearing voices. One voice, to be exact: the voice of the demon that possessed him on his last case. A voice that urges him to hurt, rape, kill, and Ethan doesn't think he has the strength to ignore it much longer.

When his latest missing person case turns into a murder investigation, Ethan finds himself fighting not just demonic urges, but black magic, an incubus with a hidden agenda, and a client who just won't pay up. Luckily, Ethan's got a few friends on his side, like Detective Anna Radcliffe, and his trusty dog, Mutt. If Ethan can ignore the demon long enough, he might just solve this case before it kills him.

Overall this was a pretty good tale. There's a decent mystery here & Clark does a great job of making you guess as to 'whodunit' for most of the book. I also liked how we're shown Banning suffering under the weight of the demonic presence in his body. He has to literally "feed the beast" by doing some pretty awful stuff or run the risk of the demonic voice gaining more power over him. Oh, and I absolutely love some of the new characters introduced here. The priest kicks butt.

Unfortunately it took me a little while to get into the book. I did eventually get into the book & get carried away, but it just took a little longer than Clark's previous works did. I'm not sure if that's because I'm used to having female lead characters narrate in my UF books or not. It's a very different experience, having a male voice narrate rather than a female voice. In any case, I still loved the book & look forward to more Banning tales, but it was just a slow beginning for me. I have no doubt that for people used to male narrators will have no problems with the beginning, however. (I didn't realize that 99.9% of my UF was all female narratives until this review.)

Final Diagnosis: This is a fine novella & well worth reading, but to get the full story you have to have read the previous book. This may discourage new readers, but the quick pacing in later chapters will keep them wanting to read more!

(Reader copy provided by author)

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