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This review is from: A Fiend in Need (Dark Lord) (Paperback)I hugely enjoyed the first book in this series (The Teenage Years (Dark Lord)), but this one is better. In the first novel, which is enormous fun, much of the humour is derived from the development of the story idea - that the demonic Dark Lord of a fantasy land has been banished to Earth in the form of a teenage boy. In this new book, Jamie Thomson gives the characters a freer rein to take the story over, with startling results. The first book was largely driven by the needs of the plot, and sometimes felt a little constrained by it, although this was largely redeemed by the strength of the characters; but in the second you are more completely involved with them. In the earlier book, you see how the characters react to the bizarre sequence of events they find themselves in; in this one, it's the way they deal with events that drives and shapes how those events develop. In other words, if the first book was more plot-driven, this new one is much more character-driven. It's a measure of Jamie Thomson's skill that Dirk and his friends Sooz and Chris (especially Sooz!) engage your emotional sympathies so strongly, and that no matter how bizarre the situation they remain utterly credible and compelling. And it's no mean feat that even the most fantastical situations are somehow completely convincing. An unputdownable page-turner - at least as much fun as the first novel, and with a more involving story that leaves you clinging to the lip of an obsidian cliff. Highly recommended, whatever your age!