Plot: Mae’s brother Jamie recently revealed that he had magical powers. Now a circle of magicians, who amplify their power by feeding humans to demons, wants to recruit him. And he is tempted. She turns to the brothers Nick and Alan for help once more but the circle threatens them as well. Mae will have to come up with a brilliant plan and make some painful sacrifices if she wants to save everyone she cares about.
When I read the first volume in this series, The Demon’s Lexicon, I enjoyed it but I wasn’t particularly impressed. The world building was interesting and the action exciting but I didn’t really care about the characters. I was in no hurry to read the sequel. Now I regret that attitude because The Demon’s Covenant completely blew me away. It was one of the best urban fantasies I’ve read and I’ve read some amazing ones. I devoured it and was left desperate for more.
Part of the difference, I think, is in the narrator. The first book was from Nick’s point of view and while he is interesting, he hardly has great insight into the thoughts and emotions of the other characters (with good reason). Mae, the POV character for this book, is another matter all together. I love Mae: she is lively, bossy and determined; she will do absolutely anything for those she loves.
More than that though, Mae has a way of truly making the other characters shine. Her brother Jamie is funny and brave in his own way with an endless capacity for forgiveness. Their relationship (like most sibling relationships in this series) is truly touching. Nick, who was barely likable from his own point of view, shines with his sarcasm and his efforts to be more human, not for himself but for his brother. I was constantly giggling over his conversations with Jamie. And as Alan – sweet, nerdy, selfless Alan of the gorgeous voice – tries to win her heart, I completely fell for him. Forget tall dark and handsome, give me a cute nerdy boy any day. ^_^
And they interact in fascinating and complex ways. Mae has a deep friendship and rivalry with another girl that is all about skill and has nothing to do with a boy. There is something deeply touching about her tutoring Nick in the ways of humanity. And as I said, I loved the bizarre friendship between Nick and Jamie. I could go on and on.
The action is fast paced, the dialogue is hilarious and the characters are forced to make some truly tragic choices. I was always laughing or crying while I read. Highly recommended.
For those of you, like me, who finished the novel and were desperate for more, Sarah Rees Brennan has extra scenes on her website. My favorite was Nick and Jamie Go to the Movies. I laughed so hard. It really made me wish one of the books in the series was written from Jamie’s point of view. He’s a great character with an entirely different kind of courage than Nick, Alan and Mae: the courage to be himself no matter the consequences.
Challenges: GLBT Challenge (7)