dinsdag 21 september 2010

Kresley Cole - Demon from the Dark

The eight book (10th story) in the Immortals after Dark series. A really good and funny paranormal series.

Demon from the Dark

Demon Malkom Slaine, poisoned with vampire blood, is now an outcast from his community. Tormented by his terrible past and racked by unnatural vampiric hunger, his despair is all-consuming, When he is given the task of guarding young witch Carrow Graie, Malkom’s self-control is pushed to the limit as he clings to his last shred of humanity.

On the surface Carrow seems to be a shallow party girl. But beneath the bright façade lies a grief-filled past. Life seems empty – until she meets Malkom. Although she knows how dangerous he is, Carrow cannot resist the impulse to be near him.

When the two are trapped together, Malkom must unleash both the demon and vampire inside him in order to survive and save Carrow. But when Malkom becomes the nightmare he has always feared, will he be able to protect his soulmate – even from himself?

In the previous book, Pleasure of a Dark Prince, members of al the Lore races were disappearing. No-one could find them, not even the most powerful witches and sorceresses. In this book we find out they are taken captive by the Order, a secret human society, who wants to study the weaknesses of the different immortal races, in order to kill them all.

They have taken Carrow Graie, a powerful witch, killer her cousin Sabine and use her little niece Ruby as leverage, to blackmail her in cooperating with them. The order wants her to go to a specific hell dimension, and bring back with her Malkom Slaine, a demon-vampire, or vemon. They have tried with soldiers before, but he killed them all. So perhaps a woman has more of a chance to seduce him into following her back to her world ..

But as soon as Malkom finds Carrow, being chased by ghouls and lesser demons, he knows she is his. Her scent is like haven. His vampire heart starts beating after more than 400 years, and he is breathing again.

Malkom has had a difficult past. As a child, his whore demon mother sold him as a blood slave to a vampire, who used and abused him at will. At age 14 he was too old, and was kicked into the streets. But Malkom grew strong, and he took his revenge. He killed his old master, and took such pleasure into killing a vampire, he made a job out of it. The demon were fighting the vampires at that time, trying to rid their world of those leeches. The prince got to know Malkom, and took a liking to him, which was not to the taste of the aristocracy. But Malkom grew in the ranks, becoming the most important and best general of the princes armies. Until they were both betrayed. The vampire Viceroy caught them and used the darkest of magic to turn them into demon-vampires, also known as Scârbă. So know they have both the demon hunger for flesh, and the vampire hunger for blood. The prince and Malkom are locked up together, and the one who will drink first, will get free …

After three weeks of bloodthirst and hunger, the prince breaks, and he attacks Malkom. Malkom retaliates and kills the prince. Then the Viceroy tries to break him, force him to drink from demon children, but he refuses, and one day, his anger gets so strong, he breaks free and kills the Viceroy and his followers in a special gruesome manner, making the vampires flee his world for good. But instead of being a hero, he is hunted for the murder of his prince.

Being a vemon makes him much stronger than normal demons, so he is no match for them, and he flees to the mountains, where he settles in some caves, near the watermines of his world, making them his. As water is very scarce on his planet, this makes hum powerful.

He hunts the monsters that live in the mountains, there is plenty of food to be had, and he kills everyone who dares to come near his cave. But the rage at the betrayals he has suffered his entire life never abates. He cannot go back to the demon city to hunt the last one who betrayed him and his prince, and is now the leader of their people himself, because of the vast desert that lays between the mountains and the city. As a vampire he cannot go out in sunlight, and as fast as he is, even he cannot make the whole distance in one night.

Carrow too has not had it easy, yes she pretends to be a partygirl, carefree and footloose. But she suffered neglect from her parents her whole life, until she became part of the coven she was alone. Her powers are fed by happiness, so that is why she goes clubbing and drinking a lot, to be able to suck up the energy happy people give of.

But now she is captured, and the little Ruby reminds her of herself. No one to take care of her, so she decides, as her nearest relative, to adopt her, to build a life for them together. But first she has this little job to do … attract the legendary vemon.

So when they first meet, she is glad to be safed from the monsters, but she is repulsed by this filthy warrior. But as he continues to protect her, provides for her, and is as gentle as he can with her, she is starting to like him. And when he lets her clean him up, even cut his hair, and is so obvious in lust with her, things are changing. He is slowly learning back her language, the same language his vampire masters spoke, and he wants to communicate with her. But mostly, he wants to have sex with her. After all, she is his Mate and his Bride, and he has never had sex with a woman before. He wants to know what it feels like to touch her, everywhere, and have her touch him back. But Carrow is afraid, he is so big and knows his own strength so little, he has already hurt her a few times. How can she survive it?

So after some adventures, they are finally back on her planet, but the Order has lied, nor she nor Ruby will be freed. And Malkom is so very angry with her betrayal of him. He will kill her for it. Until now, he has killed everyone who has ever betrayed him, and he will not stop now. He will torment her first though.

The prison is now filled to overflowing with captured immortals of all races, when an unwanted being arrives: La Dorada, the Queen of Golds, and old crone and a very powerfull sorceress. Her followers are the Wendigo’s and their touch is contagious: one scratch from their claws, and you will be one too. The collar that prevents the immortals from using their power falls of their necks, but only from the evil ones, leaving Carrow and Ruby and their friends still powerless against the evil enemies. Who of course take advantage of it.

Carrow, Lanthe and Ruby escape their prison cell, and just when they find the human who has the necessary fingerprint to unlock their collars, his severed hand is snatched by some sorceresses, who still have a bone to pick with Carrow. So they are left alone, still powerless, against a floodwave of evil and contagious enemies. But Malkom’s collar has dropped to the floor, and when he finds Carrow, who is trying to save Ruby from a collapsed tunnel, he understands why she betrayed him: to save her young!

So in the end, the three of them flee the prison and their enemies, and end up in a little hut at the end of the island. Malkom is happy, he can provide for his wife and her young, there is plenty of water, it is falling from the sky! He even learns how to swim to save Carrow, and he sets traps for their enemies. He doesn’t want to escape the island, to go to New Orleans where Carrow has her life, and she won’t be needing him as she does now!

I really liked this story, read it in two sittings. The role of Nïx is dubious in this book. Is she a betrayer of her own people? But how else could the Order capture so many Immortals, and bring so many pairs together? And what will happen to Regin and Lanthe, and their mates/enemies who captured them? So bring on the next books, and tell me!

I liked Malkom, Carrow and Ruby a lot. They are so great together. Kresley Cole’s writing style is full of humor, emotions, and of course love scenes. But the story itself is very compelling. You just have to know what happens on the next pages. How will they work their issues out. Can Malkom learn to trust Carrow again? And what when he starts to care for Ruby? Who is so alike her aunt?

Yes, a good book, and a good series. I heartily recommend this one.

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