Speak of the Devil by J. Black

The fourth book in the Morgan Kingsley series by Jenna Black, Speak of the Devil, is a fabulous addition to this series.

For a kick-ass exorcist, it’s all about staying alive . . .

Morgan Kingsley, America’s most successful exorcist, is paying the price for an exorcism gone wrong. The victim’s family is suing the daylights out of her, the Exorcism Board has suspended her, and now she’s living on a diet of ramen noodles and bad coffee. But Morgan has a few good men at her side. One is her current boyfriend, nice-guy legal-eagle Brian, who’s starting to reveal his inner bad boy. The other is Philly cop Adam White, who’s trying to help Morgan find out who sent her a little present—a severed human hand—and why someone seems determined to destroy her.

As her stalker turns more violent, leaving dead bodies in his wake, Morgan turns to the dark side of her life: a group of demons seeped in secrets, sinful eroticism, and otherworldly family feuds, including one sexy beast who shares Morgan’s body—and some X-rated fantasies. Soon Morgan must choose between her friends, her enemies, and her libido: to escape a mad demon determined to destroy her completely.

First Impression – Nothing really catastrophic happens. Not a lot of action, but enough to keep the story interesting. There’s times it seems like it could be a little slow, but not really. There seems to be a lot of character interaction. Still a great story and kept me glued to the pages, just not as intense as previous novels.

Second Impression – Man did I miss a bunch. So I first read Speak of the Devil back in August and I’ve been having problems putting into words how I felt about it. Since it’s been so long, I picked it up again and starting reading a few passages since I wanted to have it fresh in my head when I wrote this review. Initially, I didn’t think there was all that much going on, but man was I wrong. Yes, there’s not a lot of action since the plot takes a break from the Dougal storyline and focuses on a demon with a vendetta, but we get a lot of character interactions that tells us more about each character.

  1. Morgan finally begins to see how her self-destruct mode really affects her relationship with Brian and that she really needs to decide whether she wants him in her life or not. She keeps telling herself that she’s trying to protect him, but he brings up a very good point…does she trust him? I love the fact that we’re getting to watch Morgan grow emotionally and get a handle on what she’s doing.
  2. Raphael becomes even more of an enigma and surprises us at random times. There are times where you think you know what he will do, but then he does something totally unexpected that just makes you want to rethink all of his previous actions. Raphael has always come off as a very selfish demon, but he’s hidden a really practical mind. There are things revealed, that if Raphael hadn’t been involved, would have turned out a lot differently.
  3. Where to begin with the triangle that is Adam, Dom and Saul. I’ll be happy to report that Speak of the Devil ends this little conflict and in a way I wasn’t expecting. I mean, I know the three of them have a history together, but the solution wasn’t one I saw coming, but I like how it came about and the possibilities it has for the future.

Initially, there may not seem as if there is much of a plot, but honestly, after stewing on this for awhile (and it has been awhile since I read this back in August), I don’t think that’s quite true. We’re given a slight break from the hectic coup d’etat that is going on in the demon realm and instead focus on a demon who is creating all kinds of hell for Morgan. He is going after her for totally different reasons and he has no problem creating as much discord as he can, which forces a lot of Morgan’s emotional baggage to the surface. In a lot of instances, Morgan doesn’t add any additional help to the problem, but instead, adds more fuel to the fire. She begins to realize that she needs to make some hard decisions and everything isn’t as rosy as she thought it was.  She has quite a few decisions to make and they may not be as easy as she wants them to be.

Overall, Speak of the Devil does some major development on a lot of the characters as Black gives us more glimpses into Morgan and her inner circle than ever before. Quite honestly, this isn’t going to be one of those novels that keeps your attention because of the insane action, but instead because you get to learn more about a favorite character and actually watch her grow emotionally. I know this cover tends to get a lot of flak for being “trampy”, but Speak of the Devil has such an incredible story behind it and anyone who enjoys urban fantasy will enjoy it as well.

Read Order:
The Devil Inside
The Devil You Know
The Devil’s Due
Speak of the Devil
The Devi’s Playground (2/23/2010)

Also reviewed by:
Amberkatze’s Book Blog
Darque Reviews
Fang-tastic Books
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Reviews

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

2 Comments

  1. Great review! I didn’t realize this one was out – I’m following so many authors and series now I’m totally losing track. Also, possibly, my mind, but that’s another story.

    This might be just the ticket for this weekend.

  2. I had been reading this series, but I sort of stalled…. I don’t even know how far I am anymore! I should look that up. Thanks for reminding me. :)

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