Has there ever been an author that you’ve constantly heard about, have read their blog, but have yet to read any of their work? Meljean Brook was like that for me, but now I can say that I’ve read Demon Angel, the first full length novel in her Guardian series and I have to say, all the talk I had heard was very much warranted.
For two thousand years, Lilith wrought vengeance upon the evil and the damned, gathering souls for her father’s armies Below and proving her fealty to her Underworld liege. Bound by a bargain with the devil and forbidden to feel pleasure, she draws upon her dark powers and serpentine grace to lead men into temptation. That is, until she faces her greatest temptation—Heaven’s own Sir Hugh Castleford…
Once a knight and now a Guardian, Hugh spent centuries battling demons—and the cursed, blood-drinking nosferatu. His purpose has always been to thwart the demon Lilith, even as he battles his treacherous hunger for her. But when a deadly alliance unleashes a threat to both humans and Guardians in modern-day San Francisco, angel and demon must fight together against unholy evil—and against a desire that has been too long denied…
Who will be the first to succumb?
Alright, I’m going to have to start out with this because I can’t think of a way to segue into it without it sounding weird. I thoroughly enjoyed Demon Angel, but I have to say that I was a little overwhelmed with the story. We’re introduced to the two main characters, Hugh and Lilith, early in Hugh’s existence and Brook shows us how their relationship has grown over the course of over 800 years. We’re given so much back story on Hugh and Lilith’s relationship, that there really isn’t room for any kind of plot. Granted, this is the first full length novel for her Guardian series, so Brook is definitely using this as a way of setting up her series or at least the central characters for it; but I wouldn’t have been upset if some of it had been taken out. With all the history that we’re given on Hugh and Lilith’s relationship, it actually made it difficult to really get into the story.
However, this is not totally a bad thing. While we were given a lot of info on these two, all of it was fascinating. These two characters are so wonderfully flawed that it was hard not to immediately like them and get concerned when things went wrong. The chemistry between Hugh and Lilith was amazing and I really liked the idea of a demon falling for an angel. Of course, neither of them will admit that they really like the other and it literally takes Lucifer to interfere to make them express themselves to each other, but once they finally do, it doesn’t make anything easier. We’re given some great characters with Demon Angel and while it seemed like I had a hard time getting into the story, I was still drawn to it just to see what was happening with Hugh and Lilith.
I will say, that while the first half was filled with history and information needed for this series, the last half definitely set up the story arc and drew me in a lot easier than what the first half did. We’re given political intrigue (which seems to be a staple for Hell), the potential for some great character pairs (I can’t wait to read Demon Moon because of this) and more angels and demons.
Overall, while it took me awhile getting into Demon Angel initially, I absolutely loved it. The characters are fascinating, the plot interesting and I can just imagine all of the great things that will come with all the follow-up novels. I was already planning a trip to my library, now I have another reason to get there tonight! If you’re looking for something new with some great historical angles, definitely go check out Demon Angel.
Falling for Anthony in the Hot Spell anthology
Paradise in the Wild Thing anthology
Thicker than Blood in the First Blood anthology
Demon Forged (10/6/09)
Blind Spot in the Must Love Hellhounds anthology (9/1/09)