Thursday, September 04, 2008

Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong

Hope Adams, tabloid journalist and half-demon, inherited her Bollywood-princess looks from her mother. From her demon father, she inherited a hunger for chaos, and a talent for finding it. Like full demons, she gets an almost sexual rush from danger - in fact, she thrives on it. But she is determined to use her gifts for good.

When the head of the powerful Cortez Cabal asks her to infiltrate a gang of bored, rich, troublemaking supernaturals in Miami, Hope can't resist the excitement. But trouble for Hope is intoxicating, and soon she's in way too deep.

With a killer stalking the supernatural hot spots of Miami, Hope finds herself dangerously entangled, and has no choice but to turn to her crooked werewolf ex-boyfriend for help. What started as a simple investigation has spiralled into chaos. And Hope finds chaos irresistible....

For a woman who didn't know what she was getting into, there's only one way out: it's time for Hope to unleash her most potent primal instincts and open herself, mind and body, to everything she most fears - and desires.

After starting out reading this series two years ago, I now have a problem. I am all caught up and that means that now I have to wait for each successive full length book to come out! Fortunately at this time it is only a couple of months, but it is going to get worse as the wait between each book gets longer. I did however discover that I have missed a couple of short stories so that should tide me over for a little while.

We first met Hope Adams in a short story in the Dates from Hell anthology. She is a half demon whose special talent is the sensing of chaos. If she walks into a room where something bad has happened, or is going to happen she feeds off of the chaos vibes. Given that she was raised away from other supernaturals she is still trying to understand her nature.

As a result of the events that occurred during the previously mentioned anthology, Hope and werewolf Karl Marsten owe cabal leader Benicio Cortez. When he decides that it is time to call in that debt, Hope finds herself adopting a new identity, and trying to infiltrate a young gang of non-cabal supernaturals who are giving the established cabals (think mafia families with supernatural powers) some trouble. When Hope's friends Lucas Cortez and his wife Paige Winterbourne find out what is going on, they too become involved. Lucas is Benicio's semi-estranged son, despite the fact that he has long been named the heir of the Cortez cabal, much to his older brothers' distaste.

Disguised as society girl Faith Edmonds, Hope finds herself involved in some petty criminal acts with her fellow gang members, and also finds herself drawn to Jaz, a charismatic man whose initial supernatural skills seem relatively tame. It is only when Jaz and his friend Sonny appear to have been kidnapped by the cabal that things start to really heat up.

By this time, werewolf Karl Marsten has turned up, determined to protect Hope from herself and from any other events that might cause her to be placed in danger. Karl is somewhat conflicted when it comes to Hope. Whilst he is extremely protective of her as well as possessive, he doesn't really appear to have known what he wants in relation to her in the past as he had disappeared from Hope's life leaving their relationship somewhat unresolved. When he sees Hope canoodling with Jaz he is determined to get her out of the situation she is in for a number of reasons, but Hope is equally determined to see things through to the end, albeit with additional levels of protection.

The chaos gene/skill/talent is quite interesting. It can help Hope to identify if something has happened, or is going to happen, but it also can drive Hope over the edge to the point where she can't necessarily control her thoughts and, perhaps, her actions as she is feeding on the chaos around her.

As Hope must learn to understand her nature, Hope and Karl and Lucas and Paige must do everything they can to stop the killings, and to learn exactly who it is that is targetting the cabals in Florida, and why.

I must confess that I have a soft spot for Karl, despite the fact that he was in effect one of the bad guys in one of the earlier books. In my mind I kind of imagine him as a Sean Connery as Bond kind of figure - suave and debonnair - and yet he is a thief. I loved the explanation that he gave for why he hunts his prey as he tries to help Hope to understand how to use her skills without having them overwhelm her.

There was a pretty major change in this book compared to the other Otherworld books in that there were two narrators throughout the novel. Now that might not necessarily be that different from other books, but the fact that Lucas (i.e. a man) is one of those narrators is unique to this book in the series so far. Hope is the other narrator, and for the most part this dual narrative works, especially as it enables us to be in two places at the one time throughout the story. The fact that Lucas did narrate this book, opens the doorway for the Men of the Otherworld book which will be out next year.

I did like the ending of this novel, especially as it appears to add in some new elements for future books in terms of who the bad guys can be. The conflicts between Lucas and the cabals will no doubt still be a part of the future books but the options are expanded to include at least one more possibility.

Whilst this wasn't my favourite Otherworld book, it was once again a very entertaining entry in one of my favourite series.

This book is my first completed book in the RIP III Reading Challenge.

Other Blogger's Thoughts:

Romance Rookie


  1. I still have the two previous books to read first, then I will get myself a copy of this one.

    I have them listed in my pool for RIP. :)

  2. Yay! Thanks for the review. I need to read more Kelley Armstrong. My fave all time UF is Bitten, and Stolen I liked, too, but then I got distracted. Oh, and I remember people were annoyed by some character in the next book - Paige? And I hate annoying characters.

    Do you have to read these in order?

  3. I love this series but I still haven't gotten around to reading this one yet. I'm so behind on almost all my series books :(

  4. Mari, I hope you get to them. I enjoyed both of them.

    Carolyn Jean, I didn't find Paige THAT annoying that I wouldn't continue to read the sereis.

    Ladytink, I am behind on most of my series as well.

  5. I haven't read any of Kelley Armstrong's books. I think I really need to, though. This sounds many are there in this series??

  6. I think you would really like them Stephanie. For me, the series got stronger after the first two books, but they are necessary for the set up. There are reviews for all of them on my blog.

    There is a list of the books in order on Kelley's website here

  7. I've wondered about these books - I always see her books featured on the shelves at the bookstore! Thanks for the link to her web site. I'd like to try them out but I'm definitely a read-in-order kinda girl :)

  8. I am really looking forward to this coming out in paperback. I have Date from Hell to read next month which should tide me over for a little longer. This is one of my favourite urban fantasy series out at the moment. I hope you enjoy the next one even more!

  9. Glad you enjoyed this one, Marg! :) I love Karl as well!! I can't wait till the next book (which comes out in October!! youppi). I'm curious to see how Hope and Karl's relationship is developping! Also, great news, Kelley Armstrong was contracted for books 11 to 13! :)

  10. That is great news Nath. One of the strengths of this series is that even though it is getting to be a long series, it does still feel very fresh.

  11. Amazing review! I am still on Book 5 (Haunted)but now I cannot wait to continue on in the series.

  12. I haven't started this series yet but it is on my TBR list as it sounds really good.

  13. I'm glad to hear that you're continuing to enjoy this series, and that it still feels fresh. I've only read #1 so far, but it's fun to know I have a ways to go (unlike with so many of my favorite series, sigh.).