|Title: Demon Underground
Series: Allay #2
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Paperback: 352 pages
Review Copy Source: Publisher Reviewed by: Julia
Half-human and half-demon, Allay has finally warmed up to her new life feeding off the customers at her downtown bar whens he finds herself brokering a truce between New York City’s most powerful demons. But when she senses assassins around every corner, Allay hides out of sight and underground-until combatants in the growing war tempt her back above the surface…
DEMON UNDERGROUND was a solid second installment in the Allay series, deepening the development of Allay herself as well as bringing major changes to her world. Wright takes the entire series in a direction I hadn’t expected at all, making me very excited to follow up with the next book in the series (and very nervous that I couldn’t find hints of the next book on-line).
The Allay series world mythology centers around demons preferring to feed on a particular emotion, and therefore acting in a way, consciously or unconsciously, to elicit this emotion in others. Wright is phenomenally consistent in how she applies this framework, and it is fascinating to watch the interplay of demons, using their names as an extra clue to decode their motives. The demons themselves do this, a sort of cultural reality show where everyone compares notes and makes predictions about other demons’ actions and motivations. I felt like I was right on the couch next to Allay and Bliss, passing the popcorn and shouting out guesses. In this way, DEMON UNDERGROUND comes into its own, a more thorough and satisfying dip into the demon world than CONFESSIONS OF A DEMON was able to offer.
Then again, Wright had a lot of ground to cover in her first book. Very little time passes between the end of CONFESSIONS OF A DEMON and the start of DEMON UNDERGROUND, and I enjoyed picking up where I left off. It would not be impossible to read DEMON UNDERGROUND as a stand alone, but I do think you’d miss out on the character nuances and back story from book one (and who would want to do that?).
Allay’s relationship with Ram develops significantly in this installment, with the extra complications of Bliss and Mystify thrown in to the mix. It was interesting to see Ram’s old school attitudes clash with Allay’s newly developing sense of “demon right and wrong.” Wright strikes a good balance of conflict and compromise, keeping things interesting without being unnecessarily dramatic.
In DEMON UNDERGROUND, Allay truly begins to come into her own as a mover and shaker in the demon world. While it is not clear if her decisions are good ones, they are at least novel (for a demon). My favorite part of the book was when Allay realized that, despite her human origins, she is as much defined by her demon nature and name as any of her peers. I look forward to seeing how this epiphany will affect her decisions in the future.
Sexual Content:Explicit sex scenes, mentions of sex acts and rape
Confessions of a Demon
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