The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Upon opening The Demon's Lexicon, I was greeted with this intriguing first line:
The pipe under the sink was leaking again. It wouldn't have been so bad, except that Nick kept his favorite sword under the sink.
Attention getter huh?

And things just took off from there. Nick and Alan have been on their own and on the run for their entire lives. Numerous groups of power-hungry magicians would love to get their hands on a powerful talisman their insane mother Olivia stole; only problem is that the talisman is the only thing keeping her alive. So over the years, they've learned to run fast and defend themselves when necessary: Nick with his physical strength and deadly sword (knew we were getting back to that, didn't you?) and Alan with his brains and a deadly shot. This picking and up and moving constantly has seemed to work until a brother and sister come to Nick and Alan requesting their aid in removing a demon's mark placed on Jamie. Alan has always been a pushover for people in trouble and will stop at nothing to help Jamie and his sister Mae. Frustrated and confused with his brother, Nick has always trusted him with their lives, but as Nick begins to discover secrets his brother has kept for many years, the bond between the brothers begins to unravel, threatening to tear them apart.

Boiled down, this really is a story about two brothers and the bond between them. Good, bad and often ugly. Since Alan practically raised Nick, they know precisely which buttons to push to inflict the most hurt and pain even though they are intensely different people. Ouch. I've got a close sister, I know the truth in that.

At different times I intensely disliked or mistrusted each and everyone one of the characters in this book - I also loved every character too, just at different moments. It made me a bit uncomfortable at times since I wasn't sure how I felt about them, but there is such a unexpected 'reveal' that once explained, I nodded my said and just said "ooohhhh" [insert light bulb turning on over my head]. All the seemingly weird scenes made sense and were totally understandable because, dang it, it finally clicked. Pretty impressive, since there was only slight foreshadowing and I had no idea what was in store for Alan and Nick. I'm a big fan of when that happens. I really enjoy urban fantasy in general, but this strangely dark and often creepy book contained so much character development and interesting secondary characters that I couldn't tear myself away. Although, I couldn't help reading this one without thinking of Kmont's post over at Lurv a la Mode about the crappy parents in YA novels - undeniably, Olivia is one crazy mom lurking in the shadows here. She has her reasons, but still - woman is psycho.

series reading order:
~ The Demon's Lexicon
~ The Demon's Covenant (May 2010)

Because Everyone likes a Second Opinion:
The Book Smugglers review
Lurv a la Mode review
My Favorite Author review
Realms of Speculative Fiction review
yaReads review

book source: my local library


kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I loved that one too! I agree that the ending makes the book. It gives a whole other sense to the characters and their actions!

Michelle said...

Kay - wasn't the ending perfect? I'm more than a little interested to see where the next one will go!