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Book 8 in the Otherworld Series
on 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.