Demon Road #1: Demon Road by Derek Landy (Harper Collins Children’s Books)

The mind-blowing new supernatural thriller from bestselling author DEREK LANDY, creator of international sensation Skulduggery Pleasant.                      

Full of Landy’s trademark wit, action and razor-sharp dialogue, DEMON ROAD kicks off with a shocking opener and never lets up the pace in an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers: they’re all here. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in… Sixteen years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves. 

Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be…

[Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads]

Derek Landy is one of my go-to authors for reliable fun young adult series with an air of the supernatural. His Skulduggery Pleasant series featured a colourful skeleton Detective lead character and now he returns to the supernatural again with another solid start to a new series, entitled Demon Road, that follows the life of a sixteen year old girl named Amber who is, at first, just a normal American teenager until she finds herself pulled into the world of demons, vampires, and undead serial killers and finds herself heading on a road trip across America to escape her own family.

One thing that Landy is great at is getting the interactions between the characters right and the dialogue was as fun and clever as ever. The characters themselves are strong, Amber is a well developed lead character, and the rest of the cast are also impressive. There’s several fast paced action sequences and the overall story has echoes of Supernatural, down to the cool car that the main characters use, but echoes are all that’s there, making it a perfect fit for fans of the series looking for some young adult novels to read.

The characters are fresh and exciting and actually original. Amber, the lead protagonist, is not your typical chosen one that falls into a love triangle early on and seems to get everything right all of the time. She falls into the morally grey category which few young adult main characters actually fit into, and she has an interesting powers that would typically paint her as the bad guy in any other series – case in point, Supernatural would have Amber as the villain. Here though, she’s a demon, and can shift into red skin. Another character that are also included in the book are Milo, and is the protective character with secrets of his own, who lacks a distinctive sense of humour. And rounding out the main trio is Glen, who is the one who wants to fit in and always just seems to be there, ever present in the background, working his way into the group, as the kind-hearted, well intentioned, if at sometimes, idiotic character in the book.

Refreshingly well written and full of plenty of snark, Demon Road is a fast paced, engaging start to the series from a veteran author who isn’t afraid to kill off major characters at will. The difference between Amber and Valkyrie from the Skulduggery Pleasant series will be clear to all those familiar with the latter, and Landy manages to create a whole new character which is refreshing, to say the least. The ending of course wraps things up on a nice basis and will leave readers on a strong note and will almost certainly have readers coming back for the sequel, which should come out next year. I certainly will be looking forward to Desolation, which sounds just as interesting and entertaining as this one does.

VERDICT: 8/10

 

 

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