Devil's Kiss Paperback – 7 May 2009
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Mythic, funny, violent and fast-moving, this thrilling adventure draws on the facts and mythology of the Knights Templar and their crusading missions. Slipping easily from today's London to gothic fantasy, Chadda weaves in heroine Billi SanGreal's Muslim background, too, as she takes up the challenges of her destiny. --The Guardian, Sat 18th July 2009
Forget the jacket blurb's come-on to paranormal-romance fans, this is an old-fashioned high-octane horror tale, dripping with ghastly portents, eldritch violence and an embittered heroine facing down the looming Apocalypse. Billi SanGreal has been training since childhood to fight alongside the remnants of the Knights Templar, the mysterious medieval order founded to oppose the dark powers. Now dwindled to a handful of battle-scarred men, none is more grim and cold than their master, her father. Billi takes comfort in her friendship with the young psychic Kay, but when he carelessly invokes a long-dormant evil, she must confront a force more powerful, more monstrous, more tempting than anything she could imagine. The glorious splendor of the Templar mythos is deftly contrasted with the squalid dreariness of their present, illuminating the refuge they find in the cleaner, simpler problems of ghouls and werewolves and the fleeting beauty of innocence they so brutally defend. But Billi, in her anger-from simmering to white-hot-and her pain-physical, emotional and spiritual-dominates the story with gritty, fierce humanity. Love, loss, betrayal and sacrifice, leavened only with the bittersweet grace of doing what must be done. Deus vult! (Horror. 12 & up) -- Kirkus Reviews
Chadda's fast-paced debut introduces 15-year-old Billi SanGreal, who is drafted into the modern remnants of the once-great Knights Templar by her fanatical, emotionally distant father, leader of the order ("How was school?" he asks while she's still "covered in slimy gore" after an exorcism). Though skilled in weaponry and educated in obscure religious history, Billi is a poor fit for the Templars: the lone girl in an otherwise all-male organization, of Muslim extraction but surrounded by Christians and lacking the unblinking ruthlessness required by the eternal war between the Knights and the forces of darkness. Nonetheless, she finds herself standing between the Angel of Death, Michael, who has become blinded by imagined glories of enforced salvation, and the multitude of innocents Michael would happily slaughter in the name of God. Scenes of spiritual warfare are gripping (and often gruesome), as is the undercurrent of supernatural romance. Chadda offers an original take on familiar creatures like vampires, the undead and fallen angels, but it's Billi's personality and tumult of emotions that will keep readers hooked. A promising beginning to both this series and Chadda's career. Ages 13-up. --Publishers Weekly, starred review
Excellent debut thriller, pitched at the Stephenie Meyer "goth-lit" audience. There's plenty to appeal to Twilight fans, and enough bloody action scenes to satisfy male readers too.
-- The Bookseller, 20th Feb 2009
“Billi’s personality … will keep readers hooked. A promising beginning.” (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The main theme of the book is Billi's relationship with her father and his excessive harshness towards her. He insists that she follows his pre-destined path despite her protestations. She is torn between duty, loyalty and her own unfulfilled desires. Billi is a believable and engrossing heroine but she finds herself in a world dominated by men. It's a disappointment and unrealistic that she doesn't have any female friends of her own age.
Billi is quite a well developed character and so is her father. Although everyone else seems to be too much of a stereotype! Kay and Michael (initially) both come across as Edward-Cullen wannabees!!. I thought the romance in the book seemed quite unnatural and contrived.
My biggest disappointment was with how the bad guy was defeated. I felt cheated and deflated by it!!. When you have an extremely powerful villain about to conclude his devious, apocalyptic plan, there needs to be a endeavour of the most heroic kind to turn things round!. In this case the heroism seems small scale and in part assisted by an equally powerful nemesis. It was a real shame as the up till the arrival of this nemesis, it was heading to a good climax.
I don't think this would make a good movie.Read more ›
I absolutely loved Billi - she is such a great character. At first she feels very distant and very guarded - which is understandable given her (lack) of relationship with her father. He is emotionally distant- sometimes brutally so! There is one scene in particular that makes for some rather uneasy reading but despite this there is definitely something about the character of Arthur SanGreal! In fact, all the characters are fleshed out really well. I particularly liked Kay and Elaine. It was interesting watching Billi interact with all the different characters - especially Kay. I thought the romance element to the story was really sweet and has a large part in determining Billi's character towards the end.
Before I read this I heard of comparisons to Buffy. I would argue it has much more in common with the TV show Supernatural. It is dark, sometimes bleak, but also feels fresh and edgy and I really enjoyed the fact it was set in London. There is definitely a strong sense of foreboding that permeates the whole novel - no character feels safe and sacrifices are made - making the story all the better for it.
The ending is stellar and I did not see it coming. Or maybe I just hoped I would be wrong! You get answers, but this is not a story wrapped up with a nice bow and I applaud Chadda for his decision to take the story in the direction he does. It definitely sets up the next instalment as a must read!
Billi is a strong, capable girl that can take care of herself. Her mother was killed when she was still very young and her father is very hard on her. But not only that, she was brought up in a hole other world. A world of the Knights Templar. And Billi is one of those knights. Billi, now 16, has been training and fighting evil for the last year while her best friend Kay has been off doing some training of his own. But when he returns sparks fly and they become more than friends. Even if neither one wants to admit that. But something that could destroy the world as they know it is coming and Billi must make the ultimate sacrafice...
It was such a gripping read it took me 2 days to finish it! I can't wait to read the following books!!! It is definitely one of my all time favourites!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is really nice, well write, and very easy to read...i read it in two days (and i had to stop for sleep :) )
can't wait the second book!!!
Billi has a crazy life - she's been inducted into the Knight's Templar and her job is to keep evil down. Read morePublished on 30 Jan. 2010 by TeensReadToo
Left me heart-pounding and breathless. A great story that will keep you up at night, bring on The Dark Goddess!Published on 15 Jan. 2010 by Thoughts On Books
I really enjoyed this, to the point where I stayed up late reading it and gave myself nightmares. Some people might think Billi is a difficult character to like but I didn't feel... Read morePublished on 24 Oct. 2009 by Amazon Customer
I loved this book and couln't put it down, the very end made me cry and i can't wait till the sequal comes out in 2010. Read morePublished on 16 Aug. 2009 by Mrs. J. Parry
This book is action packed, but it isn't just a non-stop thriller (although it is), or a character driven adventure (although it is), it is also intelligent and thought provoking... Read morePublished on 6 July 2009 by BP
15 year old Bilqis 'Billi' Sangreal keeps secrets about living life as a Templar Knight, with her father as the head Knight a secret from her friends. Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 2009 by Nayu
A superb start to what i would hope will continue to be an engaging and really interesting series.
Very well written, with a great well paced plot and some really... Read more