March 2024
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Review: The Demon’s Lexicon, Sarah Rees Brennan

Nick and Alan’s life has been unsettled for as long as Nick can remember.  The magicians are after their mother, so they’re constantly moving.  Their mother is mad and can’t stand the sight of Nick, though she can sometimes carry on ordinary conversations with others.  To make things worse this time, two kids from Nick’s school show up, one of them with a demon’s mark on him.  Jamie has no idea what to do, and his sister Mae is determined to protect him.  Though Nick is quite happy to throw the other kids to the wind, Alan does his best to help, imperiling his own family in the process.

I wasn’t sure about this book at the start.  It opens slowly.  We know the family is in danger, but the why of it is a bit shaky, and it’s difficult to relate to Nick.  He’s very cold and unemotional, especially at the beginning.  He very obviously loves his brother, but he seems to have no feelings for anyone else.  Mae and Jamie’s arrival is met with bitter distrust and even anger; he’s quite happy to leave Jamie to die and doesn’t really care how Mae feels about that.

As the book progresses, however, secrets are revealed that really do make everything start to come clear.  In large part these revelations made the book for me, as I found myself speeding through to find out the truth.  Alan has been hiding secrets from Nick.  I knew there had to be some answer behind the myriad dropped hints, but I didn’t manage to guess all of it, and I quite enjoyed the way it was revealed.

Though I definitely enjoyed the book, and understood why it was so, I found that Nick’s coldness put me off really loving it.  He’s meant to be exactly as he is, but I think I’m one of those readers that needs to at least relate to the protagonist of a book to love it.  I can like it just fine, but I couldn’t bond with Nick.  He’s not the main character in the next book of the series, however, so I think I may get on with that one better and might fall in love with it as I thought I should have fallen in love with this one.

If you’ve been enjoying a lot of paranormal YA, you can’t go wrong with The Demon’s Lexicon.  The main character is a bit cold, but the story is entrancing.  I loved that this focused on a relationship between two brothers, rather than a romantic one like so much YA in this genre does; it’s nice to have a change sometimes.  I’m looking forward to the next volume in the series!

I am an Amazon Associate. I purchased this book.


7 comments to Review: The Demon’s Lexicon, Sarah Rees Brennan

  • I know what you mean about needing to connect to the main character at least in some way to really love the book. On the other hand this seems to have enough other positives attract me.
    Beth F´s last post …Todays Read- Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace

  • Pam

    Hmmm. That’s hard. When I was younger, I went for books that didn’t have such drawing characters. Now, I feel like I DO need that connection, in some way. I don’t really need the connection to be deep but i do need something to hold on to. Maybe she’ll write the next protagonist in a more inspiring way.

  • I am just coming off a YA read where the protagonist is much as you describe Nick. It was such a tough read for me! I just didn’t care at all about the main character, and his coldness and anger really ruined the story for me. I can totally understand your reaction to this book, and I hope that the next in the series is a better read for you!

  • I actually really liked Nick BECAUSE he was so different! And I did sort of connect with him, mostly because I felt bad for him re:his brother, the events of the book, etc. I think it helped that he didn’t REALIZE a lot of the time that he was being weird/cold/etc; he wasn’t consciously horrible, like some other anti-heroes are. (At least, that’s how I remember the book. I could be wrong; it’s been a while since I read it.)

    Different strokes for different folks, I guess. :D
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  • I have been reading a lot of Paranormal YA and I think i will definitely try this. But I too like to connect to the main protagonist to love a book in some way.
    Veens´s last post …Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie

  • Hmm. I don’t mind cold characters so much as long as their actions make sense and/or are interesting. But I think I do need some romance. :)

  • kay

    Great review! I agree that Nick is a cold character, but the revelations really are what makes the story worth the read. For me, the conclusion made the whole thing really worth it! I’m a bit anxious about reading the next book, but reviews have been really positive.
    kay´s last post …Review – Rumors- Envy- Splendor