The last thing that Grubbs Grady would ever want to do is to face the lycanthropic family curse. He knows what his heritage entails, and being a werewolf is one of them. Dangerous and overpowering, this is a side to his personality he tries hard to suppress. Little does he know that in this phase of fighting the relentless Lord Loss and the mysterious Shadow (can they be one and the same?), he will actually confront himself as never before. In this eighth book of the popular Demonata series, Grubbs's worst nightmare is realized.
As Grubbs, Beranabus and Kernel are fighting demons in one world, Dervish, Bec and his league are engaged in their own battles. Though Dervish is his uncle, for Grubbs, he is much more like a father. Dervish has been weakened by years of attacks, and the last encounter resulted in too much strain on his heart. When Meera and Shark come through a "window" and inform them that Dervish and Bec have been attacked by werewolves, there is no hesitation for Grubbs as he and the other Disciples are off to the rescue. Going through another magic window leads them into a hospital spattered in bloody gore where Grubbs finds Dervish:
There's a demon on top of him, shaped like a giant insect with a golden shell. It's snapping at Dervish's face, mandibles grinding open and shut....
Though he is able to rescue Dervish, he sees the weakened state he is in and knows that time is not on their side. Grubbs also discovers that while Lord Loss is behind these attacks, there seems to be a definite connection with the Shadow. Other questions need to be answered because the werewolves are being bred for specialized destruction. Prae Athim and the Lambs are involved, but how far have they gone? There is no question that the Disciples must gather in force and rid the world of these particular terrors. Shark helps put together what they laughingly refer to as "The Dirty Dozen," which includes one of the geekiest of persons named Timus Brauss. It is Timus who ends up being the surprise safety package for them. Between Grubbs, Shark, Meera, Kernel, several carefully selected Disciples and the skills of Timus, they are indeed a force to deal with and so their hunt begins.
Though they find the building Prae Athim has used, they discover that she is not there and that operations have been taken over by a slick, smooth-talking man known as Antoine Horwitzer. Horwitzer claims that Prae Athim is missing, and he has been put in charge. To their horror they discover that an army of werewolves are being mutated, animals are being cruelly experimented on by the hundreds, and worse, the Disciples have been led into a trap.
There are unbelievable battles ahead, terrible losses and gobs of blood and guts along the way. Naturally, or unnaturally, the zombie --- like Juni Swan --- appears (now always under the command of Lord Loss) and attacks Grubbs (who is more werewolf than ever) in one of their most horrific battles ever.
I slam her to the floor and drive a claw into the putrid, oozing flesh of her stomach. She moans, eyes shooting wide, baring her teeth, trembling with agony. I make a fist, grab some of her inner organs and jerk hard. My hand shlups out, trailing guts. Blood splatters the floor. I gurgle with delight.
It is all-out war and anything goes. Grubbs knows that by letting himself give in to his werewolf nature, he has left whatever childhood he had behind. He says: We're fighting a war. The survival of the human race is at stake. Winning is all that matters. If we have to become kill crazed beasts to defeat the demons, so be it...
There are more unexpected twists and turns as Darren Shan keeps his readers absolutely on the edge in this latest Demonata book. Brimming with action and plenty of surprises, fans will love every gore-filled minute.
--- Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts