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This review is from: The Devil's Due (Mass Market Paperback)
Jenna Black's series following the exploits of exorcist, Morgan Kingsley, reaches its third instalment and, after a slight dip in form with the previous book (The Devil You Know), the author is back on the money here: `The Devil's Due' is the best book of the three so far published. Opening with very little preamble, the story kicks in rapidly as our heroine, the feisty Morgan Kingsley, meets a woman who is worried that her son is unwillingly hosting a demon.
For those unfamiliar with this series, these books are set in the present day. There are occasional references to current popular culture helping to cement the idea that the world inhabited by the characters is not too different to real life. The fantasy element has the intriguing notion that demons, incorporeal outside the Demon Realm, can possess human hosts. However those who inhabit unwilling hosts, or who break the law, may be subject to exorcism. But this procedure often proves fatal to the human host. Those possessed willingly are able to be healed quickly when ill or stricken with physical injury. The downside for these people is loss of privacy, freedom and physical control over their bodies - demons are far stronger than humans.
Morgan is an exorcist with a dangerous secret: she is unwillingly hosting the King of the Demon Realm, Lugh. Unlike most human hosts, Morgan is blessed with the ability to keep her demon suppressed while she is conscious. All the while she is aware that her cargo is a potentially fatal one; there are demons who would seek to destroy Lugh. His presence must therefore remain a closely guarded secret.
After Morgan's somewhat claustrophobic self-absorption that, in my opinion, hindered the previous novel in this series, things open out very nicely in this third instalment. Lugh is now getting more of a look-in, becoming a more interesting character. However, Morgan's embarrassment at the homo-erotic innuendos spouted by the slimy Adam (Director of Special Forces, the police department charged with handling demon-related crime - he bends the rules but gets results) take her sassiness quotient down a little. The copious amounts of irrelevant sexual content that beset the previous novels is largely absent here. Unfortunately, there seems to be no escape from Morgan's tedious on-off relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Brian.
This is a fast-paced fantasy thriller. The prose style is snappy and colourful and makes for an exciting read. I'm usually in favour of reading a series in the correct sequence, but, if you really wanted to read this novel prior to the first two, you could do so without spoiling things too much for yourself; the author keeps new readers up to speed with previous happenings without detracting from the present story.