Demon Road by Derek Landy

Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series is my all-time favourite series.  I love the wit, the humour, the characters and the supernatural spookiness.  It was sad to say goodbye to the characters that I loved and the world that Derek had created but I was excited to see what Derek would write next.  Derek announced his new Demon Road series a while ago and I’ve been champing at the bit to get my hands on a copy.  The wonderful people at HarperCollins NZ sent me an early copy and I gobbled it up.  Demon Road doesn’t disappoint and it’s every bit as wonderful as Derek’s Skulduggery series.

Amber Lamont is a normal sixteen-year-old. Smart but insecure, she spends most of her time online, where she can avoid her beautiful, aloof parents and their weird friends.

But when a shocking encounter reveals a horrifying secret, Amber is forced to go on the run. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers and red-skinned, horned demons – Amber hurtles from one threat to the next, revealing the terror woven into the very fabric of her life. As her parents close in behind her, Amber’s only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be.

Demon Road is a deliciously dark, gory, witty, totally gripping book that will make you cringe one minute and laugh out loud the next.  I absolutely loved this book and I couldn’t have imagined a more worthy successor to Skulduggery Pleasant!  It is a completely new story but you can imagine it existing in Skulduggery’s world.  Derek’s wit and brilliant dialogue are still here.  Some of the conversations between his characters are hilarious!

Derek takes readers down an even darker path (or road) than his previous books. I love the darkness of the story and I wanted to keep reading to see what sort of monsters the characters would meet next. There are some seriously shady characters in this book and people get killed in increasingly gruesome ways.  Derek’s gory descriptions are superb and really make you cringe.  He has a real gift for gore and death scenes.  I personally think Demon Road is aimed at an older audience than the Skulduggery series, so consider this if you are buying it for a school library.

One of my favourite things about Derek’s books has always been his characters.  While the names of the characters don’t stand out as much in Demon Road, Derek has created some very memorable and interesting characters.  There is Milo (Amber’s chauffeur and bodyguard with a mysterious past), Glen (the weirdo from Ireland whose days are numbered),with some witches, vampires and undead serial killers thrown in for good measure.  My absolute favourite character is Glen, who always seems to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and just has the worst luck.  It’s Glen who provides some of the funniest moments in Demon Road.  The main character, Amber, isn’t too far removed from Stephanie in the Skulduggery series.  She’s tough and can kick butt when she needs to, and she really grew on me as I followed her journey.

Readers who are already fans of Derek Landy will love Demon Road, but this book is certain to introduce a new legion of fans to his writing.  I want to put Demon Road in to the hands of as many adult horror fans as I can as well, because I’m sure they’ll find something to love in this book too.

Thank you Derek Landy for giving your loyal fans a new series to get obsessed with!  I certainly can’t wait to read the next book when it’s released early next year.

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