I’m a fan of Cheyenne McCray’s Magic series, so I was excited to see what her first Urban Fantasy novel would be like. Demons Not Included is the first novel in McCray’s Night Tracker series and I see a lot of potential.
Meet Nyx. This half-human, half-Drow private eye investigates paranormal crimes by day and is an elite Tracker of demons by night. She prefers working solo—and playing rough. So when a terrifying force starts murdering innocent humans and paranorms, and leaving strange demonic symbols burned into their buildings, it’s a case Nyx takes very personally…
Meanwhile, Nyx’s fellow Trackers are being killed one by one—and a sexy new Tracker named Torin is shadowing her every move. Torin has powers Nyx can’t read, and sometimes she wonders whose side he’s on. Nyx’s instincts tell her something’s brewing in the city’s meanest supernatural streets, and that it’s ready to unleash hell on Earth. Who can she trust? Now it’s five minutes to permanent midnight…and Nyx’s last chance means risking everything—even her own life.
The one thing I will say, there might be one aspect that some won’t like. If you have strong feelings on name dropping, then you might get a little annoyed. There’s really only two names that get used a lot and one really doesn’t bother me. However, I will say that if I have to see that Nyx is carrying her Dolce & Gabbana bag one more time…what the hell is a Dolce & Gabbana bag? I know it’s a purse that’s probably way overpriced, but other than that, do I really need to know that Nyx is carrying one? Okay, so I had to look one up just to see what all the fuss was about. Yeah, I’m not impressed. When I said I thought they were overpriced, I didn’t realize that was an understatement. Who carries around a $1200 bag?!
The only other name that really gets dropped is the Xphone. The brand dropping didn’t bother me too much with this simple because I looked at it as being the device, not the brand. When you think of Blackberry, do you think of the company first or the phone and what it can do? It’s that kind of idea. So while Nyx and everyone uses their Xphones a lot, it actually worked since I didn’t have to guess what the device looked like or what it’s use was.
As for the characters themselves, I have to say that there is some good development going on. I could’ve used a little more for some of the characters, like Torin for instance, but overall it wasn’t bad. McCray gave us enough to get to know her characters, yet left out enough to intrigue us into wanting to see more of them. I have to say, there are a couple of different dynamics going on that I’m curious to see how they pan out. Torin is one that really intrigues me since there is so little given about him and then we’re given a huge shock about him at the end. I’m not sure if he’ll be around again or not, but I’m kind of hoping there will be.
As for the plot itself, the overall idea isn’t all that unique (the apocalypse is coming!), but I have to say that McCray gives her own twist to it and it works well. I will say that the plot didn’t seem as dominating as a lot of urban fantasy, but I kind of like that. While the topic tends to be a little dark and intense, and the atmosphere of the novel does give that impression, the resulting storyline wasn’t as intense as it could have been. This did make the plot a little slow to develop, but really, that wasn’t a big deal. There’s enough going on with the characters that I really didn’t think of that until now.
Overall, Demons Not Included was a good edition to the urban fantasy genre and any fan of McCray’s should enjoy this novel. Although, if you do dislike brand naming, you might want to go borrow it from the library first.
Demons Not Included
No Werewolves Allowed (2010)