Friday, September 23, 2011

Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow

Working for the Devil
Lilith Saintcrow
Dante Valentine, Book 1

As one of the most powerful necromances in the world, Danny Valentine gets hired for a lot of odd jobs.  But when the demon Japhrimel brings her to a meeting with Lucifer, she's way out of her league.  Lucifer sends her to kill a demon who escaped from Hell with a certain valuable artifact, the same demon Danny once had a fateful encounter with.  Danny and Japhrimel need to hunt down the demon before he can destroy the world.

Working for the Devil is action-packed.  Danny has a sword and knows how to use it, not to mention the various weapons that came up throughout the book.  There was no point where I felt bored by this book.  I did find it a little difficult to reconcile badass, risk-taking Danny with the woman who rides hoverboards and carries a sword on public transportation.  I got the feeling Saintcrow wanted Danny to be both kickass and vulnerable but went a little too far in both directions, though it wasn't so far as to be completely absurd.

On a different note, normally I enjoy books that let you figure out the way their worlds work without three pages of awkward exposition.  Sunshine and Magic Bites are examples of books that do this really well.  I think that sort of "show, don't tell" philosophy can make stories seem more real and immediate (because no one takes the time to explain how the world works in real life).  However, in this case Saintcrow may have taken that maxim a little too much to heart.  Maybe I was supposed to read something else first, but I couldn't tell what all the different varieties of psions were supposed to do, nor figure out how their society worked beyond the obvious.  Hopefully it will become clearer in future books, because this does seem like a fascinating world.

Plot: 3 cupcakes
Characters: 3 cupcakes
Style: 2 cupcakes
Overall: 3 cupcakes

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