When it comes to John Shirley, you have to take your chances. In my humble opinion, I find him a writer of widely varying quality (though one who steadily improves, there is little backsliding in his work). If one goes as far back as CELLARS, there is really not much to recommend; however, Mr. Shirley has produced such excellent work as: IN DARKNESS WAITING; WETBONES; and, most recently, DEMONS. This is a terrific short novel--well-paced, gripping, and solid. Mr. Shirley's mastery of this short form is impressive. A sense of dread is pervasive thoughout, though his prose is lean and to the point.
In this most imaginative premise (though I sense some inspiration from John Ostrander's DEMON WARS arc in the GRIMJACK comics), unstoppable, murderous demons have suddenly appeared on Earth. They can make their presence known anywhere and anytime. With no defenses, humans must make their way through this hell on earth as best they can (this is Shirley's most interesting facet in the book--how John and Mary Sixpack continue about their daily business in this new dystopia).
It was a pleasure to read DEMONS, and I look forward to Mr. Shirley's next work.