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review: “the devil’s kiss” October 14, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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The Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda.
Hyperion // Hardcover // 336 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Billi SanGreal’s life has always been a little off — her father is the leader of the Knights Templar and she is the only female member of the Order. Billi spends her days struggling to stay awake in school and spends her nights fighting against demons and the like. After finally completing her first fight alone, Billi’s life spins around when her old friend Kay shows up again after months of no contact and when a new threat of danger begins to slowly appear around the Order.

I very rarely say this, but I really didn’t like this one. Part of it had to do with the plot and part of it had to do with the character. I am reviewing it here because I know that I can sell it to teens and I know that it will have a YA audience.

As an adult reader who knows a good deal about Knights Templar mythology (being an English major who really liked Medieval and early, early literature), I saw through the character names. I knew who was who right away. I knew the history behind most of the names. This is obviously a problem that teens will most likely not face.

That being said, I still think it’s very obviously who the threat in the novel is from the first page that the villain shows up. Additionally, the villain didn’t scare me. I wasn’t worried for Billi’s life. (I should have been, as someone does actually die in this one! — I was shocked at that.)

I liked Billi’s background story and her family history. I did not like how whiny she was and how she didn’t want to accept her lifestyle, even though she had already accepted her lifestyle. That sounds twisty even to my ears, but that’s how the book went.

Also, as a giant fan of “Buffy,” you really have to have a new take on girl destined to fight the forces of evil to get my attention. But my teens didn’t grow up on “Buffy.”

I think it’s still sellable, but it didn’t work for me. I’ll bring my copy to our next Teen Advisory Board and let them decide from there.

SWAN catalog
Sarwat Chadda




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