The Demon’s Lexicon: A Review

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees BrennanNick Ryves has a lot of things to worry about. Usually a leaky pipe wouldn’t register as even a minor priority. Except that he also keeps his favorite sword under the sink. Dodgy houses and leaky pipes are nothing new for Nick and his brother Alan. After all, who has time for home improvement when you’re on the run from evil magicians and the demons who give them power?

After years of running across England, the magicians are finally closing in on Nick and Alan in The Demon’s Lexicon (2009) by Sarah Rees Brennan. The solution should be simple. The Ryves know exactly what the magicians want. But the stolen charm is also the only thing keeping their mother alive.

Nick is furious when Alan decides to help a hapless brother and sister who stumble into their lives. Don’t they have enough problems? But Alan is family, and even if Nick doesn’t know much about feelings or bonding, he knows family matters.

The only problem is that the more Nick learns about his past and the closer they come to the magicians, the more obvious it is that Alan has been lying to him. Nick is determined to stop the magicians and uncover the truth . . . even if it means nothing will ever be the same.

Brennan herself has said (on twitter) that she doesn’t much like the television series Supernatural. Still, comparisons between it and her debut novel are inevitable because, well, they’re really similar. That said, the entire vibe of The Demon’s Lexicon is sufficiently different from Supernatural that it won’t seem too familiar to fans of the TV show nor will it lack appeal for those who don’t appreciate the series.

Unsurprisingly, the story is filled to the brim with action and battles and, of course, magic. Happily, and less expected, was the humor that Brennan has added to the story. Nick is ruthless and he doesn’t understand other people at all. But he is very funny–as is Alan. The nice thing about the added humor is that it gives both of the Ryves brothers that little extra dimension that makes them feel like real people instead of scary thugs.

The writing itself is filled with similar contrasts for added complexity. Aside from being a really fun and exciting book, The Demon’s Lexicon is a great book about family and what love really means because, really, it can mean a lot of different things for different people. It’s also a book that will have wide appeal because it is widely awesome (and the first part in a trilogy that will continue in The Demon’s Talisman).

Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga, Shadowshaper by  Daniel José Older, The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

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