This week's topic was books featuring the fantasy creature of your choice!
This topic will revolve around one type of paranormal creature of your choice. So books featuring vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, demons, fae, zombies, etc.
I decided to go with demons because I find their place in pop culture and folklore to be fascinating, and it's always fun to see how they're presented in different canons. I ranked this list by taking into account both how much I enjoyed each individual book, and how good the demons are in them. So, while some books may be better than ones on this list, if their portrayal of demons wasn't, they don't make the cut.
5. Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill
Bug is eighteen and alone in the world. She's about to lose her crappy apartment and her job delivering pizza, and on top of everything else, she now has a demon knocking on her door. It turns out that her deceased grandfather quite literally sold his soul for his (admittedly awesome) Cadillac, but somehow managed to dodge payment after he died. And he put up Bug's soul as the collateral.
I ranked this book on the low end of the list because, as much as I enjoyed it, the demons were actually pretty disappointing. But as a book, I highly recommend it -- it's funny, touching, and blends a familiar urban setting with a unique plot and memorable characters.
4. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the demon king, and since birth, she has been training to kill him. No one expects Nyx to survive when she's shipped off to the king's castle on her seventeenth birthday, and all she can hope for is that she can bring him down with her. However, as she gets to know the king, Nyx finds herself sympathizing with him, and gradually, falling in love.
This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and, as I mentioned in my review of it, it's gloriously trashy. It's a very quick beach read, perfect for when you want something that's not too serious.
3. The Merciless series by Danielle Vega
This teen horror series of three books and counting begins when Sofia moves to a new school in a small, rural town in Mississippi. There, she befriends a trio of popular, ultra-religious girls, who induct her into the group by baptizing her in the school bathroom. When the clique's leader finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her with the school troublemaker Brooklyn, she tells Sofia she thinks they can "save" Brooklyn. Sofia isn't sure what she means, but agrees to help... but when she comes to the basement and sees Brooklyn tied up and screaming, and the rest of the girls preparing for an exorcism, she realizes she's bitten off more than she can chew.
This series has had its ups and downs, but I really love it, especially with the spooky, Southern Gothic setting. The fourth book is slated to come out sometime next year, and I hope it holds up to the rest of the books -- or even surpasses it.
2. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
As I've mentioned elsewhere on this blog, this novel about a demon and an angel teaming up to avert the apocalypse is my favorite book of all time. It's hilarious, from start-to-finish, and hosts an incredibly strong ensemble cast. Namedropping everything from obscure religious figures to rock stars of the 1990s, this book is a journey that I enjoy every time I take it.
And, hey, it's getting an Amazon miniseries next year!
1. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones
This book isn't even two months old yet, but it's already become one of my favorites. In a world where humans can make deals with demons -- one body part in exchange for one wish -- our main character Dee makes a deal with the Agathodaemon; a two-year lease on her heart in exchange for tuition money. As long as the Daemon possesses her heart, she has to work for him. In two years, Dee will get her heart back, and be free to go.
This novel is simply wonderful. The world and characters are intriguing and memorable, and the story ranges from tragic to uplifting in mere pages. The reason I ranked it higher than Good Omens is because I really love the way demons and their deals work in this world -- I thought it was really clever and creative, and opened the door for more stories to take place in this universe. I really hope more people read and get into this book soon, because it deserves all the recognition it can get.
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