Book Review: Warlock in Training (Studies in Demonology Book 1) by TJ Nichols

 
 
Angus doesn't even want to be a warlock but was pushed into it by his father. His attempt to fail his demon summoning class goes horribly awry when not only does he summon a demon, he summons one who is a powerful mage and gets pulled through the void to Demonside. But when Angus's demon tells him the humans are taking too much magic and destroying both their worlds, Angus wants to help, even if it means going against his father and the college.
 

 
Book Review: Warlock in Training (Studies in Demonology Book 1) by TJ Nichols | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, lgbt, demons, mages
Title: Warlock in Training
Author:
Publisher:
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 244
My Book Rating:
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher
 

Review:

*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!

 
 
Book Blurb

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.

Basic Info

Book Author:
Publisher:
Series:
Genre: , , ,
My Book Rating:
Series/Standalone:
Setting Location: ,

More Info (Possible Spoilers)

Sexual Orientation: ,
Non-Human Type: ,
Romance Type:
Romance Aspects:
Other:

Warnings

Sex:
Violence:
Strong Language:

 
 

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28 thoughts on “Book Review: Warlock in Training (Studies in Demonology Book 1) by TJ Nichols

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  1. Maureen Beatrice

    Hmm.. Those sex scenes sound bad. I really don’t like too many sex scenes in a book. They really bug me.
    Glad to read you thought the characters were well-written though. That usually makes the book so much better.
    It definitely sounds like unique read. But this doesn’t really sound like a book for me. Great review!

    Maureen Beatrice recently posted: Review 'Twilight' by Stephenie Meyer

    1. Kristen Burns

      There was just kind of too many of them since they didn’t have much meaning, you know? But yeah, well-written characters and some uniqueness at least make a book better! Though I can understand if it’s still not for you. Thanks!

  2. Dina

    Oh man. It sounds like this book has interesting magic system. I do worry about consent, though, with sex magic, because sometimes the line between “necessity” and “consent” are blurred. But, you were talking about blood magic having a blurred line, too, so that makes me uncomfortable.
    Wait. So, this is a demon/magician story? That is interesting. Have you ever seen Merlin? From BBC? No sexy times, BUT, I ship the two main male characters. And one of them is a magician (His name…MERLIN!) the other is Arthur (Yep, that one).

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    1. Kristen Burns

      It was an interesting magic system! The sex itself definitely seemed consensual; they even had sex once just for fun, no magic involved. But the blood part was what had a blurred line, and yeah, that made me uncomfortable.

      I haven’t seen Merlin, I don’t have Netflix or any streaming service even, so I don’t see many shows. But lol now you have me curious about the two MCs and why you ship them and if I also would!

  3. Michelle @ FaerieFits

    This sounds interesting enough, and it actually caught my eye when I was skimming quickly through review posts, so that’s something! But I’m not a huge fan of books that include a bunch of sex scenes just to have them. That’s not something that used to bother me terribly much until I read WAAAAAYYYY too many books that did that. Still … the idea sounds intriguing enough. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, the sex was a bit overpowering in the story, probably largely because I really only care about sex scenes when the characters have real feelings for each other, but the book still had an interesting premise and story!

  4. Evelina

    Sex magic, oh my god xD I don’t think I’ve heard that one yet. This book doesn’t sound too good, if only because of the sex magic :D

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol believe it or not, it’s not the first time I’ve read about sex magic. So it’s not even that I have an issue with that, I think I just didn’t like how the scenes were lacking feelings between characters.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Right? It’s a confusing feeling to recognize that the characters are perfectly well-written, but I just don’t connect for some reason. I feel like I *should* like them any time that happens, so why don’t I?!

  5. Prabhleen

    Great review Kristen! Sex Magic? Don’t make me laugh now XD I hate it when romance or sex is included just for the sake of it, we’d be better off with it pls, And love triangles? Oh God. Don’t get me started on how much I despise them.

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    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Lol yes, lots of sex magic. I’d prefer to read sex scenes with emotional connection, not just sex scenes done for the sake of magic. I do like love triangles though! So that wasn’t a complaint from me, haha. I’m not even sure if it will end up being a love triangle or not.

  6. kris @ lemon-notes

    I don’t think I’ve read anything similar to this as far as explanations of magic go. I have to say, it is definitely an interesting premise. I love that the world needs balance, yin and yang stuff, but I’m a little put off by the amount of sex! I don’t mind it in novels, like it’s going to happen, humans are humans (and demons lol), but it gets to me when it’s just there for the sake of putting sex into the story. I need immense emotional connection included in it to enjoy the sex scenes lol.
    OH GOD NOT LOVE TRIANGLES. Love triangles are so frustrating for me. I just cannot ever understand how someone can lead two poor lovely people on for what seems like forever to me and probably forever to them. It’s infuriating. Like stop being a wishy-washy manipulative and selfish person and just pick one, or not. Don’t pick one. ANYONE EVER THINK OF THAT?
    Sorry, love triangles really get me riled up :P

    1. Kristen Burns

      I definitely had never read anything with an explanation for magic like this, and Demonside was super interesting with the culture and society and all that. But yeah, there was so much sex. I agree, I don’t mind sex scenes, but I prefer to read sex scenes when the characters actually have feelings for other.

      Lol I actually like love triangles! And I have to respectfully disagree that the person in the middle is selfish. They’re no more at fault than the other people involved since either of the other people could say no thanks and bow out of the triangle. I actually wrote a whole post about it here! But I know lots of people hate love triangles regardless. I’m not sure if this will be a triangle in the book though, but it might go that way.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I like love triangles, so that’s not a problem for me, but I’m not sure if this even will be one or not. The world was really interesting though, especially the demon realm!

  7. Lola

    I wouldn’t have expected form the cover that this book would have so much sex. I prefer to get to know the characters first before we get a sex scene as else it’s hard to care. Although I’ve read a few books that started with a sex scene and got better after that. I also prefer the sex scenes to have some emotion or be there for a reason. I can see why that blood play scene with dubious consent didn’t quite work for you. That’s nice the orgy scene was surprisingly well written though.

    It does sound good there was a bit of romance, even if things progressed a bit quickly. It can be difficult to really feel the connection when things move so quickly. The plot of this one does sound pretty original with the two worlds and how they are ind anger. And the characters do sound well written, but it’s a shame you never really connected to them. Great review!

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    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I prefer that too. I also prefer for the sex scenes to have emotion behind them, and these just kind of didn’t. (I suspect they might in the next book though.) And yeah, I don’t mind blood play in books, I was just uncomfortable with how the character didn’t really want to give blood and only did out of obligation.

      The plot and magic and demon thing was definitely interesting, so I really enjoyed that aspect. Thanks!

  8. Olivia Roach

    I am glad the focus of the story was mostly on the magic and not really on the romance… but it does sound like there is still a lot of unnecessary sex in this one which could have better been lessened in amount. I do love warlocks as well, but have only really read City of Bones where warlocks are included…

    Olivia Roach recently posted: Little Black Cats [Nails Extravaganza]

    1. Kristen Burns

      I did think the magic and worlds were cool, but yeah, it probably could’ve had less sex. I haven’t read City of Bones, but I read lots of urban fantasy, so I read quite a bit about witches and warlocks and mages and whatever else there is!