*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*
This book didn’t really click with me in the beginning, but I ended up getting more into it as it went on. I still have some mixed feelings about it though.
First of all, there was a lot of sex just for the sake of including sex. I mean, it had an explanation in the story (they were using sex magic to rebalance the realms), but, if we’re being honest, it was in the book just for the sake of being in the book. And it started so soon, before I even cared about the characters and before they had any feelings for each other. Actually none of the sex was particularly meaningful or full of feeling (other than lust), so I just kind of didn’t care about the sex scenes because I prefer them with emotion.
Then there was the kind of but not really blood play. It made me uncomfortable because of the dubious consent. Angus definitely consented to and enjoyed the sex, but he only consented to the cutting because he knew it was needed to balance the realms, not because he wanted to or enjoyed it. And he knew that if he hadn’t consented, Saka would’ve taken his blood anyway. In the author’s defense, it wasn’t referred to as blood play, but knowing Angus was only letting someone cut him out of obligation still made the scenes uncomfortable for me. The orgy scene, however, was surprisingly well-written. When you think orgy, you probably think extreme, but this really wasn’t. Angus’s thoughts and how the magic affected him made it believable, and the sexual stuff wasn’t even particularly graphic.
There were also some romantic feelings more near the end of the book. There was a potential maybe love triangle/maybe unique relationship situation, so I’m not sure where that’s going to go. The feelings between Angus and both possible love interests seemed too strong too quickly though (no one professed any love, thankfully, but still), unless maybe I didn’t quite understand the amount of time that passed, which is a definite possibility. But even if more time did pass, I didn’t get to see the characters spending time together, so I didn’t feel the connections between them.
That being said, the romance wasn’t the focus of the story. The focus was the magic, how Humanside and Demonside were being affected, and the way the humans at the top were abusing magic and killing demons and ultimately destroying both realms. And the Demonside culture, way of life, hierarchy, environment, etc. was unique and interesting.
As for the characters, Saka (the demon) was a pretty serious character since he had an important job that he took seriously and always put his tribe and realm before his own personal desires. And Angus was kind of entitled and petulant in the beginning but grew over the course of the book and was smarter and more mature by the end. The problem was that, even though they were well-written, I just didn’t connect to either one.
So overall, even though this book had a lot of sex and I had a hard time connecting to the characters, I still thought the characters were well-written, thought the parts about the balance of magic between the realms and how they’re planning to fix things were good, and thought the book had a very unique take on magic and demons!
Angus Donohue doesn’t want to be a warlock. He believes draining demons for magic is evil, but it’s a dangerous opinion to have—his father is a powerful and well-connected warlock, and Angus is expected to follow the family tradition.
His only way out is to fail the demon summoning class. Failure means expulsion from the Warlock College. Despite Angus’s best efforts to fumble the summoning, it works. Although not the way anyone expects.
Angus’s demon, Saka, is a powerful mage with his own need for a warlock.
Saka wants to use Angus in a ritual to rebalance the magic that is being stripped from Demonside by warlocks. If Angus survives his demon’s desires and the perils of Demonside, he’ll have to face the Warlock College and their demands.
Angus must choose: obey the College and forget about Demonside or trust Saka and try to fix the damage before it’s too late. Whatever he does, he is in the middle of a war he isn’t qualified to fight.
Book Author: TJ Nichols
Publisher: DSP Publications
Series: Studies in Demonology
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, New Adult, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Book Rating: 3.5
Series/Standalone: Part of a Series
Setting Location: Other Realms, USA