Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan

Rating: 4 out 5 pies

This is just a rambling, speculative mess that is reflections and surmises and not at all a proper review. Just so you know. Not that they ever are… Oh, yes, and chock full of spoilers, so beware if you have not yet read said book!

Demon’s Covenant, the second book in the Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy, did not disappoint. I knew going in that the point of view of the narrator was changing from Nick to Mae, which did not exactly excite me given that Mae was my least favorite thing about the first book. Quite the opposite. Yet it worked. Having Mae as the narrator gave me the opportunity to actually get acquainted with Mae and she is not so very awful. Now, we’ll never be friends exactly (and I honestly don’t want her to end up with either Ryves brother), but I can appreciate her character now. Mae also affords the reader a new perspective on Nick and Alan, as well as Jaimie. Still, I missed Nick’s POV and wondered what is he thinking about this situation or that character? And then I heard that Sin was to be the narrator for book three. Sin? “How can this work?” I asked. “Just trust in Sarah’s brilliancy – see what happened this time?” And next year I will be looking back and wondering why I ever imagined this could be an issue since it was clearly the best way to tell this portion of the story. But what I had really wanted was Alan’s POV. Which I realize was never very likely given that he is the master of surprises and plot twists, charming prevaricator that he is. Still, I would have loved it. I don’t suppose there is any possibility of a short story or behind-the-scene snippets from Alan’s perspective? Pretty, please? No? Maybe?

I love the depth of emotion conveyed. Sarah’s style of writing does not indulge in a surfeit of details. Sparse even at times. It is a very subtle thing, a lot of reading into what is not explicitly stated.

Nick is so much more than he believes he is. He does feel. He missed Alan. He cares about Mae, Jaimie, even Annabel. His father. He never has the words to express it, may not even really know how to define it, but it is there in his characterization. Whenever things get very emotional for him, Nick just lashes out or closes down to avoid the issue. Deep guilt over Alan’s injury and Daniel’s death. Also, Nick likes to use the word “stupid”, particularly about Alan, whenever he is feeling emotional or vulnerable.

I loved Daniel’s diary entries. I wish that we had just a few more, just a bit more insight into young Alan, Nick’s growth to humanity and Daniel himself. I would take a full length book, gladly!

Gerald is such a terrible, nasty person. Why is Jaimie even remotely interested in this manipulative, self-righteous git? Really, why? Jaimie seems to have caught on at long last, but I am very worried for him. Not only is he contending with Gerald, where Jaimie is still clearly compromised emotionally, but there is Celeste, Helena, etc. Oh, dear…

The definition of love was woefully inadequate and so flawed. I would like to see a real definition somewhere. I desperately would like to see Nick finally see and comprehend love. To see him demonstrate that. To see Alan’s joy in seeing Nick realize that.

Some favorite scenes:

When Nick tells Alan to betray him, just not to leave him? That was gold. I would gladly pay to have heard the conversation in the kitchen after Mae left.

“Nick.” Nick glanced over his shoulder. “In two worlds,” said Alan quietly, “there is nothing I love half as much as you.”

“Takes orders well, doesn’t he? Gerald observed. “They were made for it: They don’t know how to do anything else. Do you think that will keep you safe? All they know is obeying and betraying humans, crawling and then turning like worms. Pain and power is all they can give you. It’s all they are. He’ll turn against you in the end. Don’t you know that? Or is the power worth so much to you that you’ve let this treacherous, bloodthirsty thing loose on the world and you don’t even care what it will do?”

There was a blue of motion. Then the punch connected and Gerald went crashing onto the floor. He sprawled and hit his head against the washing machine. For a moment Mae was sure it had been Nick: The movement had looked like one of Nick’s, like something savage breaking its leash.

It wasn’t Nick. Nick was still at the far end of the kitchen, leaning against the wall.

Alan stood over Gerald’s crumpled body. He had gone white.

“Shut your mouth,” he said. “That’s my little brother you’re talking about.”

“Yes,” Alan told him, and Nick was suddenly, terribly silent. “Being your brother is dangerous,” He continued. “It was a risk I took, it was something I chose. I changed myself and the world to keep you. And you were worth it.”

“And if Gerald kills you,” Nick ground out. “If he does worse.”

“Then you were still worth it.”

“You are so stupid. I hate you sometimes. I hate you. And I don’t know how to save you!”

So, Nick is human now, in the sense that he is confined to a human body, must die its death and cannot/ will not return to the demon’s world? Also, Nick’s powers have been limited, though he clearly still has power over the weather, can do spells and enchant items and sundry other things. So, in what ways exactly was Nick limited or was it mostly the human life aspect? And why could he heal Alan, but not himself? And did he not heal Alan again because he could not or because Gerald would simply injure Alan again?

“Except there was no way to make Alan safe. Gerald could do whatever he wanted to him, anytime he liked, and Nick would have to watch.”

To what extent can Gerald control/ affect Alan? Physically, yes. Jump over a cliff, break a bone. Got it. How about emotionally? Can he make him say stuff? Feel a certain way?

What I want to know is who is helping/using Gerald? I find it too convenient that he suddenly invented those marks. Is it Anzu? “You care about humanity, traitor?” crooned Anzu at him (Nick), saying the word “traitor” as if it were an endearment. “I’ll have them all. And that precious brother of yours, I’ll have him first. I’ll eat his heart. I’ll make you watch. I swear.” Does this not have that foreshadowing feel to it? When you look back you know you should have felt it? It stuck with me…

Other Reviews:

YA Reads ~ The Demon’s Lexicons (Book One)

YA Reads ~ The Demon’s Covenant (Two)

Kat’s review of Book One

 

 

Linkage:

Sarah’s Guest Post @ The Book Smuggler’s Dec. 2009

Sarah’s Best Book Couples Ever @ her LJ January 2010

The Book Smuggler’s Review May 2010

Gal Novelty Review May 2010

LJ tkp Reaction Post May 2010

The Last Word Interview and Book Review June 2010

Inked Books Interview with Sarah July 2010

Smart Chicks Tour Post July 2010

Coldwater High eZine Q & A with SRB July 2010

Coldwater High eZine Part 2: Sarah answers readers’ questions July 2010

Guest Post @ The Book Smugglers on Why YA August 2010

Interview @ YA Reads September 25, 2010