by S.L. Wright
December 1, 2009
After accidentally stealing the life force from a dying demon, Allay became the only human-demon hybrid in existence. Because demons feed off of human emotions, Allay decided the safest way to live as a demon and still retain some semblance of humanity would be to open a bar and drink from her patrons' pain and torment. And she's managed to stay under the demon radar — until now.
Attacked and nearly killed by another demon, Allay is saved by a human who comes to her rescue. Theo Ram is tall, handsome, and mortal — and Allay feels a connection to him she didn't think she'd ever know. But their relationship is cut short when the demon community in New York begins to rise up, and two opposing clans fight for power. Now Allay is caught in the middle, and she must decide where her loyalties lie...
I didn't quite know what to expect when Ms Wright asked if I'd like to review her urban fantasy, Confessions of a Demon, but I love to read and fantasy is one of my favorite genres. So I put aside a biography I'd borrowed and, literally, fell into the world created by Ms Wright.
Demons as psychic vampires? What a fantastic, original idea! This book is peopled with demons named after their emotion of choice -- Allay, of course, is the heroine, Then there's Vex, Dread, Revel, Shock, Lash and Crave...among others.
Even Allay, who struggles to retain her lost humanity, demonstrates her 'demonic' needs. She siphons off the emotions of her bar patrons as a form of sustenance but, in order to remain immortal -- and alive -- she must take the life force of another demon. Soon. The problem? Drinking in the life force of another demon feels too much like cannibalism and she can't bring herself to do it. That's her humanity asserting itself.
Her humanity asserts itself, too, when she meets Theo Ram, a handsome, mysterious human who saves her life and seems to want nothing more than to form a lasting emotional bond with Allay. The only real problem, and why she's not successful at driving him away, is that she's falling in love with him. Involving a fragile human in demon affairs is dangerous for Theo...and for her.
I found the naming a unique way to add characterization to the characters in the book.No, the demon's aren't good guys, not as we define them, but they're not truly bad guys either. They're very much like humans with their own wants, needs and ambitions. Even the premise of Confessions of a Demon is evocative, unique and refreshing since the 'demons' aren't agents of the devil or at war with God. They're simply a different life form with customs and traditions and biology all their own.
My only quibble, and it's very minor, is the book feels like a sequel or maybe the second book in a series because there's a lot of very interesting back story (how Allay is created, how she learns to survive) that's hinted at. I couldn't find evidence of a prequel, and while this book is definitely readable without one, I'd like to see more of how Allay came into being. Perhaps future books will give us more glimpses into Allay's past.
I definitely want to read more about Allay and Ram and Shock and others in this world. If you like urban fantasy, I think you'll love Confessions of a Demon. I know I did and I can't wait for another book in this universe.