Demon Bound Mass Market Paperback – Dec 1 2009
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“The first in the Black London series, this dark tale takes supernatural shadows to the next level…Kittredge knows how to create a believable world, and her fans will enjoy the mix of magic and city grit.” ―Publishers Weekly on Street Magic
“Sensual and empowering, STREET MAGIC is an urban fantasy keeper of a tale. Magic, mayhem, the action never stops, I engulfed every single word and can't wait to go back for more.” ―Romance Junkies
“Kittredge introduces readers to the dark side of life and magic in a well-formed fictional world with characters that you can't help but like. STREET MAGIC jumps right in to non-stop supernatural action, taking urban fantasy fans on a wild and bumpy ride. I'll be looking forward to seeing where Pete and Jack lead us next.” ―Darque Reviews
From the Back Cover
Jack Winter's deadly past has come back to haunt him...and his only hope lies in the shadows of Black London, the supernatural underworld teeming with dark magic and fey glamour.
Thirteen years ago, Jack Winter lay dying in a graveyard. Jack called upon a demon and traded his soul for his life…and now the demon is back to collect its due. But Jack has finally found something to live for. Her name is Pete Caldecott―and because of her, Jack's not going to Hell without a fight.
Pete doesn't know about Jack's bargain, but she does know that something bigger and far more dangerous than Jack's demon is growing in the Black. Old gods are stirring and spirits are rising―and Jack doesn't stand a chance of stopping them without Pete's help…
Praise for the Black London series:
"This dark tale takes supernatural shadows to the next level." ―Publishers Weekly
"Crackles with conflict and perilous magic...For those who love their urban fantasy hypnotically treacherous, this book's for you!" ―Romantic Times BOOKreviewsSee all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Jack has kept Pete in the dark about his deal. She is irritated with him because she senses he is hiding something from her. When he goes to Thailand in a Hail Mary ploy to save his life, she follows him; not understanding what is going on, but knowing whatever it is will prove nasty.
The second grim tour of Caitlin Kittredge's Black London is bleak and gruesome as the shadows seem ubiquitously ready to reach out to abduct the souls, minds, and bodies of the innocent. Jack is terrific as he faces his "maker" while Pete is his reason to live; in his mind she is a much nobler cause than his previous quest for life. Fans will relish this extremely dark urban fantasy as the malevolent and sinister stalk and lurk everywhere while wondering if Jack can survive having died once before.
Apparently Pete (who is nearly 30 years old) quit her lifelong career as a police investigative detective to be with him, because suddenly they have a free-lancing business banishing ghosts that Jack couldn't give a flying *recurring-dated-British-slang-word* about. This is the beginning of story flow breakdown, because even though Pete is no longer policing, she regularly uses police resources because of 'old contacts'. I don't think it works that way, and I really didn't understand how end book one Pete transformed into book two Petunia.
Jack only cares about saving Pete from being associated with him, and he lies creatively to avoid facing reality. Lies catch up, and the author leaves an entire half-book storyline about a haunted house unresolved as Jack runs. He runs to Bangkok, where his old mentor Seth appears in a too-convenient fashion.
As for out-witting the demon, I found the ending a big dose of deus-ex handwaving, laid on especially thick slices of hell and destiny, for both Jack and Pete. The author decides arbitrarily which mythology trumps another throughout the book, is not consistent with regards to this, and by the ending, I thought Kittredge had no underlying theme. Bad world-building combined with being too gritty dramatically and not enough shown explanations (Jack tells Pete what things mean, but we know he is an unreliable narrator and liar) ruined the story flow. The only consistent theme I found was Jack screwing up Pete's life, and a steady stream of inventive sarcasm.
If rational logic is something you like in urban fantasy, if clear world-building is necessary for your stories, and if you don't like liars, you'll dislike Demon Bound. If what you want is a dose of spooky on the gritty side, a fast pace, a charming troublesome jerk who does magic tricks, and don't enjoy thinking about books, then you'll like it. Personally, I'm done with this author.
For the story itself, I don't think it was nearly as interesting as the first one. Pete's POV in the first book is what really moved it along for me. Jack is a mystery, and an emotional attachment, that Pete is learning to deal with. In this book, from Jack's POV, he's not nearly such a likable character. Yes, we get to learn more about Jack's past, and what's going on. But Jack cuts himself no slack and really isn't a nice person, and never was. He has feelings for Pete, yes, but that's about as far as his humanity goes. He had my sympathy a lot of the time, but that's not nearly the same thing.
Also, the detailed descriptions in the first book that was on the verge of being a bit for me much seemed to weigh this story down. Do we *really* need such loving descriptions -every- single time Jack lights up a cigarette? (Which he does quite a bit!) So much description at times seem to hide the fact that nothing was really happening for several pages on end. I think the author would do better to tighten it up and not dwell on so many mundane details.
It's not a bad second book, but Jack's head is just not where I'm interested in being. I hope the next book we get back into Pete's POV.
Whereas 'Street Magic' came in the main from Pete's point of view, this second book is written more from Jack's perspective, and the reader finally discovers exactly what did happen thirteen years ago to allow Jack to cheat death. However, old debts are now coming due ...
'Demon Bound' fully lives up to the standards imposed by the first book, 'Street Magic'. There is clear and credible character development, and the growing and deepening of Jack's old bond with Pete is also realistic and believable -- thankfully, as it would be a crime to waste two such strikingly original and intriguing characters.
In my review of 'Street Magic' I commented on the drawback of the characters' imperfect 'Britspeak' - the most jarring incongruities have mostly been ironed out of their speech in this second book, although the idiomatic vocabulary for Jack and Pete is not quite perfect yet (as a lifelong resident of London I have yet to hear anyone addressed as 'you big pair of knickers'). Lawrence the Rasta's accent and vocabulary, however, are flawlessly executed -- he is in general an interesting and gentle character and I hope to see more of him in future books.
I greatly looked forward to the publication of 'Demon Bound' and was not disappointed - the plot was fast-paced but had enough depth to avoid the risk of superficiality, and the author has a real talent for creating interesting, many-layered characters who catch and hold the reader's attention -- even the very minor ones like Robbie and Trixie. Roll on Black London III.