It’s been a couple of weeks since they were nearly killed by magicians and Mae and her brother Jamie are trying to get back into the routine of their ordinary Exeter life. Spunky, resourceful Mae is busy with school and going out with her friends, who include normal, boyfriend material Seb. Comic but gentle Jamie is back to doing what he knows best: being tormented by the local bullies. What concerns Mae more than the bullying though is his secret contact with the magician Gerald, whom she thought was their shared enemy. Forced to surrender even the appearance of normalcy, Mae again turns to brothers Nick and Alan to sway Jamie away from the lure of magic. But something happened to drive a wedge between them, and Nick is as cold and indecipherable as ever while Alan, though kind, remains a master at lying. It’s up to Mae to discover what has driven them apart and in turn knock some sense into her brother before they are at the mercy of both the magicians and the demons they call.
Normally this would be the space where I’d confess my concerns for the second installment in The Demon’s Lexicon series but admittedly, there were none. Without taking the plethora of glowing reader and professional reviews into consideration the mind-blowing experience of reading The Demon’s Lexicon left me completely confident in Sarah Rees Brennan’s abilities in future installments. And frankly I think her second book may be even better than her first. There are few YA series (a number which can probably be counted on one hand) that meet such high standards for each installment.
First, can I say something about these characters (while I surrender to completely subjective book gushing)? Just when you think you have one pigeon-holed or written off as one note – BAM! – you’re completely overtaken by their depth. I mean, the flawed and beloved pair of Nick and Alan would be enough, but then Brennan has to go and be an overachiever and make both Mae and Jamie just as complex and surprising. Really, way to make reader and aspiring writer alike feel inferior. I love Mae and especially Jamie in this one, who is extremely witty in both the clever and laugh-out-loud ways (insert one of several one-liners here). I liked Mae and Nick’s interactions and always looked forward with bated breath towards the reading of the journal passages. The flashbacks therein are extremely heartbreaking yet hopeful. Surprisingly enough, one of my favorite characters was Mae and Jamie’s prim and proper mother Annabel. Again, as a reader you think you may have it all (well, considering your track record with the series probably just one or two plot lines or character motivations) figured out when you’re slapped in the face with the unexpected, never-would-have-imagined-in-a-thousand-years truth. As you can imagine this makes for one exhilarating reading experience. Before I become less vague and more gushing in my review of The Demon’s Covenant please give this series a shot if you haven’t already! I love the direction it’s taking and will put everything on hold this coming June when my copy of The Demon’s Surrender arrives.
A note: Isn’t the UK cover awesome? *NEED* I had a hard time envisioning any cool, plausible version of Mae’s pink hair, so the artist’s rendition is perfect. Plus I adore the London landmarks in the background – the Millennium Bridge (which is actually where a kick*ss scene takes place in the book), St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the pickle-shaped skyscraper aptly nicknamed ‘the gherkin’ by locals.