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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 8 in the Otherworld Series
Hope Adams, a rare Expisco half-demon, has inherited a hunger for chaos from her demon father. When Benicio Cortez asks her to go undercover in a new supernatural gang, it's an opportunity to feed her addiction to chaos and to pay back the favour she owes the Cortez Cabal. But before long things are spiralling out of control and Hope is out of her depth. If she's to get...
Published on 16 April 2008 by Lesley70

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weakest Link
Not the strongest book in this series of the novels about supernaturals, which is disappointing because KA has been consistently a 'can't put it down' writer, for me. However, her wickely dark humour keeps my interest alive and I hope this is just a monor glitch in her talent.
Published on 21 Jan. 2009 by Mrs. M. Drayton-Harrold


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 8 in the Otherworld Series, 16 April 2008
Hope Adams, a rare Expisco half-demon, has inherited a hunger for chaos from her demon father. When Benicio Cortez asks her to go undercover in a new supernatural gang, it's an opportunity to feed her addiction to chaos and to pay back the favour she owes the Cortez Cabal. But before long things are spiralling out of control and Hope is out of her depth. If she's to get out of this alive, she'll need more than her attraction for chaos. It will be up to Karl Marsten (werewolf) and Lucas Cortez (sorcerer) to help her survive.

I have to admit Hope is not my favourite Kelley Armstrong character and the author plays a tight line in this book. Too far one way and Hope loses all sympathy with the reader as it's incredibly easy for her to place her chaos addiction above the safety of her friends. Indeed one thing Hope proves over and over throughout the story is that she's not the best judge of anyone's character. She makes assumptions about Karl's feelings but is quick to accept other people (the gang members) at face value. So I find what I like most about Hope is how her relationship with Karl is explored.

I've liked Karl since his first appearance in Bitten, so love the expanded role he now has in the series. And he and Hope make a great pair, they are two flawed people who ultimately find a home in each other.

"I've never lived with anyone, Karl."
"Neither have I."
"I drool in my sleep."
"I know. It's cute."

Karl is much older than Hope, and it's his experience of having to deal with his werewolf side that allows him to help Hope with her chaos addiction, an addiction she can't get away from because it's genetic. In the same way that Karl can never get away from his werewolf.

Lucas Cortez is the second narrator of Personal Demon. This dual protagonist approach allows us to experience two different sides to the story. I'm always glad when we find out more about the Cabals, since reading Industrial Magic (Book 4) it's a part of this world that fascinates me. So one of the major things that lifted this story for me is the further insight into the workings of the Cabal. You can almost feel the tentacles of the Cabal structure pulling Lucas in. And it's also pretty obvious (to me anyway) that he would be a worthy successor to his father.

Although I think you could read this book and enjoy it if you've not read any of the other books in the series as Hope is a relatively new character and Karl has only played a small role in the other books. There is an awful lot here that picks up on events and characters from the previous seven books. There are references back to events in Books 2,3,4 and 7. There's also a very nice (but brief) update on Clay and Elena.

And once again I find myself counting down the days 'til the next Kelley Armstrong release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, But A Low For The Series, 9 Jun. 2008
The title sums it up nicely - high quality storytelling ( if a little slow for the first half ), just not on par with the rest of the series.

The big negative is the central character Hope being significantly weaker than any of the previous Women Of The Otherworld - both in terms of being less interesting ( I found her angst fairly tedious and frankly absurd when her 'big fear' is revealed ), and also in the sense that her power is plain feeble ( she does nothing any of the necromancer, vampire or even detective characters already established could not have ).
Happily she is marginalized in her own story towards the end, which I can only hope indicates that she will not be considered to star in any subsequent novels.

The other negative is the further 'Laurell K. Hamiltoning' of this series ; No Humans involved was the first book in this series in which I would describe the sex scenes as needlessly explicit and intrusive to the plot - Personal Demon has twice as many such scenes, placed even more intrusively.
This series has been a spiritual successor to the early Anita Blake novels for me, and I would hate to see them follow the same downward spiral.

Personal bugbear ; please no more revivals of the emotionally-stunted-older-man love interests ( especially werewolves ) !
We broke free for a while there, but now they are back again and again !

Just to stress it though : an excellent read once the pace quickens, lots of familiar faces appearing, must buy if a fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weakest Link, 21 Jan. 2009
By 
Mrs. M. Drayton-Harrold "Crazy Bat Woman" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Personal Demon: Number 8 in series (Otherworld) (Paperback)
Not the strongest book in this series of the novels about supernaturals, which is disappointing because KA has been consistently a 'can't put it down' writer, for me. However, her wickely dark humour keeps my interest alive and I hope this is just a monor glitch in her talent.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chaos rules, 2 Sept. 2012
By 
C. Manning (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Personal Demon: Number 8 in series (Otherworld) (Paperback)
Hope Adams owes Benicio Cortez a favour, and when he calls it in her hunger for chaos leads her to accept and travel to Miami. Benicio needs her to infiltrate a gang of supernaturals who are causing problems for the Cabal, but Hope becomes intoxicated by the danger and soon finds herself in over her head. When Karl Marsten discovers the shared debt is being fulfilled by Hope alone, he tries to rescue her only for them to discover that the conflict between the gang and the Cabal is deeper and more dangerous than anyone could have predicted.

This is the eighth book in the Otherworld series (which started with Bitten) and sees half-demon Hope Adams take the narration role along with Lucas Cortez. I wasn't sure what to think of the joint narration at first as this is the first time a main book in the series has been written like this, but it soon becomes clear that the complexity of the case needs two viewpoints to explore. There are certain things Lucas can't show as he isn't part of the gang and others that Hope can't show as she is external to the Cabal.

Hope was first introduced in the novella 'Chaotic' featured in Dates from Hell and then appeared in the previous book (No Humans Involved) so her backstory has been partly covered before, although this installment gives more depth and shows things from her perspective. Hope's power is an attraction to chaos, which has the side benefit of allowing her to act as a chaos detector. I really liked how Hope identifies supernaturals by using visions (a storm means a Tempestras demon while running through woodland identifies a werewolf) but I had a hard time identifying with her at times.

I loved that Karl Marsten took a big role in this book as I've wanted to learn more about him since his introduction in Bitten. His backstory is explored a lot more, as are his motivations and choices which gives the romance a different quality. Karl however is not alone in his affection for Hope and she finds herself in a love triangle with gang member Jaz. I'm not a big fan of love triangles and this one did detract from the storyline a bit.

The story itself is cleverly plotted and deceptive in its depth. Changes take place that will echo throughout the future books of the series and the Cabal world-building gets a boost as the intricacies of the Cortez family are explored. Karl's backstory also adds a view of life as a mutt (non-Pack werewolf) which contrasts with the Pack's opinions. There are lots of twists and turns and the ending caught me by surprise, although at times the pacing felt like it was dragging.

All in all, this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Living With the Dead.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Cover: 7/10

Overall: 42/50
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not quite there, 15 Nov. 2008
By 
Donald Goldthorp "glasgow1975" (Glasgow, Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Personal Demon: Number 8 in series (Otherworld) (Paperback)
After getting fed up with LKH books I looked for other similar books. I found The Women Of The Otherworld series and got stuck in. I couldn't put them down! The previous book I read in one sitting, so I moved onto this one hoping for more of the same. I never got it. Whilst I enjoyed the book I just never totally got into it. The plot seemed slow and contrived until it all heated up 3/4 of the way through. I don't know whether it was the double narrative or the fact I'm just not that into Hope as a lead character but this installment just left me unfulfilled. I'm quite unsure about the next book as it also features Hope again, but the reviews lead me to believe it is better than this one. Too many writers lose the very thing that made them great when writing a series. It seems once they've had success they think they can churn out any old rubbish as long as it ticks the right boxes. Kelley Armstrong isn't quite there yet but I'm scared she's on that road!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A must read for fans, but definitely patchy, 30 Nov. 2008
By 
C. Frost "Charlie Frost" (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Personal Demon: Number 8 in series (Otherworld) (Paperback)
Although I'd call this a 'must read' if you've read the other books (you're not exactly going to skip it, are you?) prepare yourself for the fact that it might not be your favourite in the series.

I'm not sure if the lacklustre story was because of Hope's impractical powers, the split between Hope/Lucas' narratives, or just the slightly tedious consiracy-related plot, but something just didn't grab me. I found the pacing very stop start, the beginning and ending were exciting, but I found parts in the middle very long and slow.

I find the cabal slorylines, which have been featured in earlier books, largely uninteresting, and prefer the werewolf lead stories. I think most people prefer one or the other, although after reading the last story "No Humans Involved" (which wasn't really either of those) I couldn't wait for more. I can't say the same of the next book, as again it features Hope and the Cabals. But then again, I know I'll read it anyway!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Otherworld book..., 14 Aug. 2014
Personal Demon is my least favourite book of this series so far! It has a good plot and interesting characters but after a while I started getting bored and ended up plodding along until the end. It's worth a read as it helps the next book make sense (obviously as it is practically in the middle of the series!). The plot was clever and kept you in suspense but I found some parts a bit repetitive.
This book is not only told from Hope's point of view, but also includes Lucas' point of view, which I didn't like as it made Personal Demon feel more like another Lucas-and-Paige story rather than Hope and Karl's (not that I don't like Lucas and Paige but I felt as if they were intruding on Hope's story!)
Overall, I would encourage people to read this book as it needs to be read to help with the rest of the series make sense, but it isn't the best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Bad Reviews!, 24 Jun. 2013
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I had read all the Otherworld series books up to this one, then took a bit of a break after reading some negative reviews of this book. I am one of those who read the first two books and loved Elena's story, and found it a bit difficult to adjust to a new narrator at first. I did actually really enjoy this book though, the story was well paced and full of action, and while it became fairly obvious whodunnit towards the end, the how was a good twist that linked this with the earlier books nicely. I did find Hope a bit of an annoying character at times, but the story itself was so good that the minor annoyances fell by the wayside! A great addition ot the series, and has reawakened my enthusiasm for the rest of the books!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel in the 'Women of the Otherworld' series, 10 Mar. 2008
By 
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Hope Adams may seem like an ordinary tabloid reporter but she's something rather more than that, being a half-demon whose demon nature feeds on and revels in chaos. When she has to pay off a debt by carrying out a difficult and dangerous undercover mission amongst a gang of young supernaturals she jumps at the chance to prove herself, especially to Karl, her erstwhile lover. However Hope turns out to be rather good at her undercover job and infiltrates the gang deeply, soon realising that all is not well in the supernatural world. When becoming involved in murders and having to try to overcome her own attraction to the chaos of some of the gang's events she finds she has to rely on Karl as well as Lucas and his wife, people who might just see her as a young and silly girl. When the four of them start to investigate a string of murders Hope learns that things aren't always as they seem, despite her talent for seeing visions of events.

The book is told mostly from the perspective of Hope but there are some chapters from the viewpoint of Lucas Cortez. I wasn't entirely sure of the reason for this as I did feel it slightly interrupted the flow of the narrative and that this alternative point of view didn't add a great deal to the story; however it was interesting to read of Lucas's difficulties reconciling his situation as heir to his Father's Cabal (a supernatural business/cult) and his personal opposition to the Cabal system that operates almost like slavery for some.

Hope has appeared in previous books in this series which did mean that sometimes the reader felt like they had missed rather a lot of the plot of this book before it had started. This is particularly with regard to her relationship with Karl although their awkward discussions and embarrassment with each other following their former failed relationship were well written. The strong points of Kelley Armstrong's books are her characters, the supernatural world which they hide amongst the humans and her excellent pacing and timing. This book was always enjoyable to read, the various characters all felt very distinct and interesting and the world of the Cabals was a great setting to a story about a young woman growing up and growing into herself as well as finding someone who can understand and support her. Well worth a read, even for those who haven't read others in this series.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must read' within the series, 7 April 2008
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I adore Kelley Armstrong's supernatural Otherworld series. Here we discover another type of demon - one who thrives on chaos and is at war with her natural instincts. The story switches viewpoints between the young demon, Hope (who hooks up again with Karl the werewolf), and Lucas Cortez who in this volume is sucked deeper into the Cabal by circumstances and his father (looking forward to what happens next with Lucas). Because of the switching viewpoints I felt I missed out a little on Hope and Karl and would have liked more of Lucas and his father too - it made this novel feel a little short. Glad to see Hope (and I assume Karl too?) will appear in the next in the series.

What I particularly enjoy about this series is the way everything isn't black and white - there is a lot of grey (Karl and Hope understand the 'grey' they share), plus the romantic subplots always grip me. One warning: don't do what I did and take a peek at the ending because it'll greatly spoil it for you (much of the novel is based around a twist).

If you haven't read this series yet then it's best to start with 'Bitten' and work your way through - characters keep reappearing and therefore you'll enjoy the series all the more if you know the background. And if you have read the series there are only good reasons to read 'Personal Demon' - it does a lot of setting up for future stories but is itself a complete and satisfying darkly 'grey' story that'll have you understanding the motives behind dark behaviour so there's little that's black and white and a lot that is grey.
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Personal Demon: Number 8 in series (Otherworld)
Personal Demon: Number 8 in series (Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong (Paperback - 2 Oct. 2008)
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