Rated 3.50/5 based on 2 reviews
When your inner roommate is a homicidal demon, you try to keep a low profile. Laec Matthews had become pretty good at staying in the shadows and minding his own business until a couple of strangers showed up at his door asking for help locating a missing girl. He knows better than to get involved, especially when people start trying to kill him. More

Available formats: epub

Words: 95,710
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301653669
About A.J. Church

As a Floridian since the age of 12, I enjoy perpetuating the myth that we're all crazy down here. I love snarky, smart-mouthed heroes, twisted humor, and watching the underdog beat the snot out of his tormentors. I'm told I do my best writing when I'm on a rant, and since I seem to be perpetually in that state, there's no way I'm not the next (female) Stephen King. Unfortunately, the universe doesn't seem to be aware of that yet. But then, what does the universe know?

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Review by: M.M. Gavillet on Jan. 26, 2014 :
The characters Church has created are full of depth and really pull you through the story. Though I do say my favorite four-letter-words from time to time, I found the main character, Laec, quite fluent with them. I'm not used to reading stories with such strong language and at times, it was a little too much, but he was also part demon and I found myself intrigued by him. I thought the author created a strong, solid main character, but at times I found myself skimming through the book with the too much detail in the story and too much of what he was thinking about every little thing was almost overwhelming. Overall, I enjoyed this novel very much-kept me reading past my bedtime and I would read future novels by this author.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: chucklesthescot on Nov. 05, 2013 :
Laec was an orphan raised by a minister. Laec discovered that he was part demon and has to fight to keep that side of himself secret and under control. But now the forces of good and evil both want to use him to find a young witch about to come into her powers and the demon within might be all that keeps him alive.

I liked the concept of the story with the guy who wants to be normal having to keep his true nature secret even from his adoptive brother, and who must keep his inner beast caged for the safety of everyone. I liked the personality of his beast 'Iggy'. He was the most interesting of the characters for me and the constant battle for control between him and Laec allowed decent character development. The variety of monsters and creatures that both sides of Laec have to deal with are also fun and the action scenes are well thought out and put together. There is a decent flow to the events in the story as well. I didn't always fully connect with Laec though as he and the other characters were pretty dark. Iggy was much more fun and it was good when he was in charge of events. The book certainly improved as more action took place and the last third was by far the best.

I do have some negatives which keep this book as a 3 star. I found it over descriptive with big info dumps about things that don't really add to the story. For example, not only is there a description of every building Laec passes in every part of town, we are also told what these buildings used to be, which streets are safe and dangerous, which are seedy or not...then on the next page Laec gets to his destination and these places are never mentioned again. I felt that too much time was wasted on things that were irrelevant to the story. I get that the author was world-building but it was just too much information that I didn't need. There was also a lot of history about angels and demons battles, Laec's childhood and city history that could also have been shaved down to just the essential stuff which was Laec and his allies battling evil.

I was not a fan of the very frequent bad language in the book either. I'm far from prudish about book content as I read lots of gory horror books with lots of violence, but Laec just seemed to swear for the sake of it and I just found it a bit annoying after a while. I feel that this may have been an attempt by the author to add to his tough guy image but I didn't think that it was needed, personally. I prefer when swearing is used for effect and not as the norm.

This is a dark urban fantasy book with violence, magic and demons and it should appeal to most readers of the urban fantasy/dark fantasy genre. If you like a book with lots of gritty but grim characters and descriptive world-building then you should enjoy it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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