I reread the first book in the Demonata series, LORD LOSS, by Darren Shan, and basically re-lived my book-loving teenagehood. This review does not contain spoilers.
I first read the Demonata series when I was in my mid-teens and re-reading it now, it was every bit as action-packed and exciting as I remembered. Shan delves into the mind of Grubbs, a rambunctious, adventurous, initially-carefree, but actually quite sharp-witted teenage boy whose family is slaughtered by a demon, thus exposing him for the first time into the world of magic and demons. The language is mostly simplistic, the sections of the storytelling short, in keeping with a teenage mind written for a teenage audience, but the story kept me flicking page after page because every time Grubbs finds something new, something goes wrong. The pacing is excellent. No slow parts, no unanswered questions, only more and more dread. In terms of character development, Shan has Grubbs’s naive, optimistic, and inquisitive nature down to a ‘T’. Grubbs is at times irritating, at times inspiring (his ability to find a new solution when faced with dead end after dead end is admirable), and at times sympathetic, particularly when faced with his family’s murders and the revelation about Bill-E. Re-reading this has certainly revived a small part of my dead reading motivation and I can’t wait to revisit the rest in the series (I think Bec will still be my favourite even in this revisit).
Verdict: 4 stars, great if you’re a gore-loving teen and still entertaining if you’re an adult reading this.