Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped – and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie’s whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.
This second novel by rising star Brenna Yovanoff is a story of identity, discovery, and a troubled love between two people struggling to find their place both in our world and theirs.
This is a bizarrely beautiful book. Though much of the subject matter is dark, the descriptions are lush and vivid. I was drawn in right away. I actually passed on this one a few times before taking it home because of the cover and jacket summary. I’ll admit that the cover is pretty, but I’m a little bit tired of all the lounging girls that are so commonly decorating the fronts of YA books these days. That plus the fact that I’d just finished a few books featuring angels and demons meant that it took me a bit longer to get around to this one. Fortunately I finally realized that this book was written by the same person as The Replacement (which I loved) and I made a point to check it out again. Good decision!
As the above description explains, Daphne is half-demon and half-angel, the daughter of Lilith and Lucifer. She has lived her whole life in Pandemonium, collecting trinkets from Earth and observing people’s actions through tv shows. While her brother Obie ventures out into the world to help others of angel/demon descent Daphne stays put, afraid that she’ll become like her sisters who feed themselves on the sorrows of humans. But when Obie goes missing on Earth she goes there hoping that she’ll be able to find him before the angel of death does. Her only link to her brother is a boy named Truman who she’s only ever seen once before.
This is kind of a hard one for me to review because it completely sucked me in until I wasn’t thinking critically at all. It’s SO atmospheric. Everything from the description of Daphne’s rug in Pandemonium to Truman’s fuzzy recollections of his hospital stay painted this world so clearly for me. The plot isn’t incredibly detailed, but the surroundings are.
I really appreciated this different look at the angels/demons idea that seems so popular right now. Here fallen angels wear suits and carry 9 mm guns. Azreal is always on the hunt for demons who linger on Earth for too long, sending his monster Dark Dreadful to finish them off. Aside from a brief retelling of Adam and Eve in the beginning, it doesn’t delve into much history, but you do get a clear sense of the roles that everyone plays.
It’s creepy, exciting, beautiful, sometimes bloody, dark and romantic. I know this is a jumbled up sort of review but it’s the best I can do.
My one complaint is that the ending was wrapped up a bit too neatly for a story that was so messy and complex in other ways, but I can overlook that because I very much enjoyed it as a whole.