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Devil's Kiss Paperback – 7 May 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (7 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141325879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141325873
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 642,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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

Review

“Billi’s personality … will keep readers hooked. A promising beginning.” (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I thought I would find this book enjoyable as it seemed to be aimed at the "Twilight" reader but after reading it didn't quite fulfil my expectations. Overall I thought it was a well written book with interesting and realistic characters and in parts was quite gripping. It was well researched with its references to monotheistic religious ethos and the history of Knights, Crusaders and Templars. However these did detract from the main story and became too obstructive. I even found myself losing interest several times especially towards the end.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I had no idea horror could be so entertaining and surprising. Chadda has given the Goth Lit genre a run for its money with this unique tale. The main character, Billi Sangreal, is relentlessly confronted by both internal and external demons in her journey as a warring but reluctant member of the Knights Templars in modern day cavernous London amid some of the goriest characters to inhabit teenage fiction for some time. Yet, she's a sweet, unaffected girl too despite her skills in weaponry and esoteric magic. 'The chill of other things' is ever present and the story rolls along at a manic pace with plenty of humour and twists and turns. There's romance too. What more could any teenager ask for?
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Format: Paperback
I was completely and utterly gripped with this book from page one. I really liked how it's based around the ancient Templar legend. I enjoyed all the mythology and religious references - and completely fell in love with the author's take on the supernatural. In this book the `unholy' are feared - which makes it scary and action packed. I also liked the way the story is based around actual myths and legends and feels very plausible as a result.

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!
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my 16 year old daughter for Christmas. She was hooked from the first page, when the terrible task assigned to the main character emerges. She has spent most of the holiday reading it. I don't know how this book has escaped general attention; maybe the title implies a more adult story. If your child is missing Alex Rider, Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, try this.
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Format: Paperback
I saw this book and I knew that I would love it! It has everything a book needs to be brilliant!
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!!
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