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review: “the demon’s lexicon” August 14, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan.
Margaret K. McElderry // Hardcover // 336 pages.
Reviewed from library copy.

Nick and Alan Ryves have been on the run their entire lives from he magicians and demons that threaten their family. Nick’s survived by isolating himself from everyone except his brother. But when two teenagers show up announced on their doorstep needing help to remove a demon’s mark, Nick’s small family is put into jeopardy when Alan receives his very own demon mark. Against Nick’s wishes, Alan invites Jamie and Mae to join them on their journey to the closest Goblin Market to try and remove the marks.

I start off this review with one disclaimer: I am primarily a reader that connects with characters. Not every reader is like me and I respect that.

However, it is because I connect with characters that made this book a difficult read for me. I struggled for a lot of the book, trying my hardest to find someone to connect to. There is a reason for this disconnect, though I won’t spoil it for you, and it does make sense within the world. The lack of relatable characters does not destroy the story.

World-building is heavily in use here and I really liked the mythology of the world. The Goblin Market and subsequent dance, in my opinion are the best scenes in this book, and entirely a creation of the mythology. Additionally, there is a spectacular conclusion to this book that left me running to the computer to ensure that there was a sequel planned.

A lot of people have compared this book to “Supernatural,” the television show. It is similar in that it’s a book about two brothers fighting supernatural creatures, but other than that it is a largely independent work. This is a grittier book, fantasy bordering on the edge of horror.

I suspect that the books will grow (this is a planned trilogy) and I do look forward to the sequels. But I’ll be waiting on the hold list at my library instead of running to the bookstore.

SWAN catalog
Sarah Rees Brennan