In The Darkness: How We Sell Our Souls – Emilie Lucadamo
When George Soto turns twenty-six, his life is less than perfect. Stuck in a dead-end job, watching his friends pass him by, it’s quickly starting to feel like he’s going nowhere. When he finds a strange ritual meant to contract a demon, he doesn’t imagine it could possibly work.
Until there’s a demon standing in his living room.
George doesn’t know what a contract with a demon entails, but it seems like a great opportunity to get revenge on his awful boss. Gradually, he and the demon—an abrasive entity who calls himself Jack—form an alliance.
But as things heat up between them, George almost doesn’t notice the increasing darkness in his life. The nights are longer, the shadows grow heavier, and the world around him seems to be distorting.
How We Sell Our Souls took me for a fun, fluffy ride only to drop me into chaos and mayhem that left me wondering, is anybody going to survive this?
I should have seen it coming. Despite the humorous, not-taking-things-seriously tone, there was a constant creeping darkness present throughout the story. But I thought it wouldn’t go that far. It usually never does. Major points to Emilie Lucadamo for taking it as far as it could go.
I totally loved the adorably grumpy Jack but I wasn’t 100% into George at first. His determined pursuit of Jack was cute but his willful ignorance of the consequences was bugging me. Also, for someone who works in a law firm, he wasn’t very keen about knowing the clauses in the demon contract. Then he realized his error, redeemed himself in the highest possible way and suddenly, I had a lump in my throat.
I was especially attached to Matt, Josh and Alex, George’s loyal friends who stayed with him till the end of the line come hell or high water. Hell literally came for them all and nobody could ask for better friends. However, I thought Lucy, the exorcist, was unnecessary and didn’t do much to the story except to add female presence. Adam, the mysterious bookshop keeper, also possibly sorcerous, was the most intriguing character there and I was glad that he will appear on the sequel.
How We Sell Our Souls sets the tone for In the Darkness, a paranormal series featuring magic and demonic entities. It’s a great first book that combines humor and romance with supernatural elements and horror. I enjoyed the emotional roller coaster but goddammit, the ending was one huge bittersweet pill! (T＿T)
I received a copy of How We Sell Our Souls from Nine Star Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
SPECTR: Hunter of Demons – Jordan L. Hawk
Unregistered paranormal Caleb Jansen only wants a normal life. But when a demon murders his brother, Caleb knows he has to avenge Ben’s death, no matter what the cost. Unfortunately, his only allies belong to an extremist group who would kill Caleb if they found out about his talent.
Gray is a wandering spirit, summoned to hunt and destroy demons by drinking their blood. This hunt goes horribly wrong, and for the first time in his existence Gray is trapped in a living, human body. Caleb’s body…and Caleb is still in it.
Hotshot federal agent John Starkweather thinks he’s seen it all. But when he’s called to exorcise Caleb, he finds a creature which isn’t supposed to exist outside of stories. For Gray is a drakul: a vampire.
Having spent his life avoiding the government as an unregistered ‘mal, Caleb can’t let himself trust a federal exorcist, no matter how sexy. And he certainly isn’t going to give into the heat growing between them and sleep with Starkweather.
Can Starkweather win Caleb’s trust and convince him he isn’t the enemy? Can Caleb keep Gray under control, as the drakul experiences the temptation of a living body for the first time?
Because if he fails and Gray gives in to bloodlust, Starkweather will have no choice but to kill them both.
I have been curious about the SPECTR series for a long time, being a Jordan L. Hawk creation but I admit to putting it off because I don’t like the cover. Well, I’m sorry for not reading it sooner. This is one very engaging novella.
SPECTR features one of the more unusual menage a trois I have come across with. Love geometries are my pet peeves but the Caleb, Gray and John combo is something I can get behind with because it works very well and to everybody’s mutual benefit. Gray is a drakul who possessed Caleb. He/she/it has always seen the world as grey, no color or smell except for the demon prey. Inside Caleb, Gray discovers a whole new spectrum of colors and sensations. The snarky twink Caleb, on the other hand, gets accelerated healing, better eyesight and faster reflexes. And John, shameless flirt and best exorcist in town, gets two beautiful creatures for the price of one. Very win-win-win.
Hunter of Demons’ plot sounded kind of out there but it was delivered convincingly. The world-building was nicely done. It’s a very interesting world full of demons, creatures hunting demons and humans with paranormal abilities. The dialogue was a snappy banter but part of the thrill is lost because the narrator’s voices for Caleb and John sounded the same so it was confusing. The pacing was just right, it speed up on the right places and the story felt complete even though it ended with a cliffhanger.
Hunter of Demons is the the kind of fast, enjoyable novella that makes you binge-read the entire series.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits