Tag Archives: demons

Guild Codex Demonized series by Annette Marie

Book Review – Guild Codex: Demonized series, by Annette Marie

I borrowed the audio edition of Guild Codex: Demonized series (by Annette Marie) through Hoopla. I’ve seen the covers around and thought they looked cool. I put off reading the series though, because New Adult fantasy can be too Young Adult-ish for me sometimes. (There’s only a thin line between an upper teen and a lower twenties-something, after all.)

I had a whole trip with this series. I didn’t realize that it’s a spin off (or at least set in the same world as) The Guild Codex: Spellbound when I first picked it up. It’s obvious when the names are put next to one another like this, but I hadn’t been paying attention. The funny thing is that I didn’t make the connection until I’d finished Taming Demons for Beginners and went looking for book two. Then, I had to recognize that I’d actually even read book one of The Guild Codex: Spellbound  (Three Mages and a Margarita), which was probably why some of the side character of Taming Demons For Beginners felt familiar. But I really was oblivious to the overlap until that moment. I had a good laugh at myself.


taming demons for beginners

Rule one: Don’t look at the demon.

When I arrived at my uncle’s house, I expected my relatives to be like me—outcast sorcerers who don’t practice magic. I was right about the sorcery, but wrong about everything else.

Rule two: Don’t listen to the demon.

My uncle chose a far deadlier power. He calls creatures of darkness into our world, binds them into service contracts, and sells them to the highest bidder. And I’m supposed to act like I don’t know how illegal and dangerous it is.

Rule three: Don’t talk to the demon.

All I had to do was keep my nose out of it. Pretend I didn’t find the summoning circle in the basement. Pretend I didn’t notice the shadowy being trapped inside it. Pretend I didn’t break the rules.

But I did, and now it’s too late.

This wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I found that I enjoyed what it turned out to be. I liked Robin. She was mousey when faced with confrontation, but a dragon when left to her own devices to do the right thing. Her demon (I’m not even gonna try and spell his name since I taming demons for beginnerslistened to the audio) was marvelously sarcastic. But what I really liked was that he wasn’t The Biggest and The Baddest. He’s plenty tough, but not brutish and more interested in being sneaky and smart than physically strongest.

As I said, I’ve come to understand this is part of a bigger world, containing several series. I didn’t know this when I picked the book up. But I also didn’t feel I was missing anything for having not read them. I understood the world, magic systems, etc. Though I will admit that a couple side characters have that cameo feel and I wonder if they are from other series.

All in all, I think dive right into book two.


slaying monsters for the feeble

I’m bound to a demon.

For my entire life, I avoided magic at all costs. Now, I’m responsible for a demon who wields magic more powerful than the toughest mage or sorcerer.

Demons are evil.

That’s what my textbooks say. That’s what I see. He’s ruthless, he’s temperamental, he’s cold. But he protects me without fail. I wonder if he’s hiding a heart behind his hostility.

My demon is a monster.

Whether he’s heartless or not, my contract with him is illegal and beyond dangerous. Together, we must find a way to return him to his own world before anyone discovers our secret. If that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve come to realize something else:

My demon isn’t the only monster I should be worried about.

 my review

This was was a fun continuation of the series. It felt a little like the middle book it is, but I still enjoyed it. I very much enjoyed watching Robin and her demon get to know one another. (Again, I’m not trying to spell his name.) We met more guild members here and that was fun too. The villain was starting to feel a little too all-powerful, but they are definite a Big Baddie. I dove immediately into book three.


hunting fiends for the Ill-Equipped

I thought I understood power.

My parents taught me that magic attracts equal danger, and everything I’ve seen since becoming a demon contractor confirms it. I’ve witnessed how power twists and corrupts–and I’ve tasted power no human should wield.

I thought I knew greed.

Ambition and avarice drove my family into hiding. My parents died for someone else’s greed. I’ve never hunted anything in my life, but now I’m hunting their killer–with my demon’s help.

I thought I’d seen evil.

But with each step closer to my parents’ murderer, I’m uncovering a different sort of evil, piece by hidden piece. I’ve stumbled into an insidious web that silently, secretly ensnares everything it touches. My demon and I came as the hunters…

my review

I sped through this series, listening to them literally back to back. Needless to say, that means I was enjoying it. Like with the previous books, I liked seeing Robing and her demon recognize and settle cultural difference. I liked Robin’s constant attempt to do the right thing in face of problems and enemies far larger than herself. I did think the uncle’s sudden change of heart felt like a drastic and unbelievable shift in character though.


delivering evil for experts

I promised to avenge my parents.

But their killer is still on the loose, and he’s stolen more than my parents’ lives. Now, as he draws closer to his mysterious goals, he’s poised to destroy what little I have left.

I promised to translate an ancient grimoire.

But it holds the secrets of my family—and the secret history of demon summoning. I fear its answers as much as I need them. Who was the foremother of Demonica…and who am I?

I promised to send my demon home.

But the way he watches me, the way he protects me, the way he touches me⁠—how can I cast him away forever? I swore I would do this for him, but can I? Should I?

But I promised—and I will keep my promises even if they cost me my heart, my soul, and my life.

my review

I found myself finishing this last book in the Guild Codex Demonized series in a shockingly short time. (I’m series. I think I finished the 4 books in 3 days!) I enjoyed it all the way to the end. I did think the ending was a little predictable and I thought there were a few too many hurt feelings and misunderstandings for two people who could read each other minds (even if only some of the time). But I also like seeing the two of them work their problems out and really come to trust one another. I’m going to have to actually come back around and read the Guild Codex: Spellbound series now. I enjoyed Three Mages and a Margarita when I listened to it in 2019. I think I meant to finish the series then, but got distracted.

awakening sc mitchell

Book Review: Awakening, by S.C. Mitchell

I picked up a freebie copy of S.C. Mitchell‘s Awakening (Demon Gate Chronicles, #1) from Amazon. I read it as part of my March Awakening Challenge, where I set out to read eight books titled Awakening.

awakening by sc mitchell

Demons among us…

Thousands of years ago, a portal opened between Earth and the demon dimension of Ballor. Since that time, demons have been crossing over to hide among us cloaked in illusion.

Jack Hughes is cursed. Each full moon, his body is taken over by a demonic force. He’s learned to cope by locking himself in a cell each night to keep the demon from breaking free. It’s a dark secret he’s not willing to share with anyone, until one night when the demon breaks out.

Sorceress Anna Brown is one of the leading experts on demons for the Arcanists. She knows Jack’s secret and how to help him, if he’ll let her. The local demons are after Anna. She has a power they want to control. Does she have enough magic to save Jack and keep the local Demon Lord at bay?

my review

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is super bad, though I might say it’s bad. Either way it’s far too simple and uni-dimensional to be called good. There is no depth here, not of characters, plot, mystery, world, anything. It makes for a predictable and uninteresting read.

On a personal note, I work assiduously to avoid rape in the books I read for entertainment. Despite that, it creeps in pretty regularly. It always annoys me. But it is especially annoying when authors use it as a short-hand for evil. Want a character to be an obvious villain? Make him a rapist, no further development needed apparently. But it’s even worse still when authors do this and don’t have the decency to call it rape. Mitchell has a horde of demons who keep harems to breed lesser demons and he references it repeatedly. But the sanitized language hides the horror of what he’s actually suggesting. The word rape isn’t once used in this context, despite rape being referenced multiple times. If you’re going to base a large portion of your plot on rapists raping, then have the decency to use the language.

Speaking of demons, it was painfully obvious that almost no real thought or creativity went into them. Mitchell held in his hands the chance to create something new and interesting, and I thought he might when one of the first demons was mentioned to be sexless. But as soon as we meet the rest of the demons we run right into patriarchal, no-thought plotting. The male thinks about his female mate as a good mate because she knows her place (below him), but he’s ready to trade her for someone younger and fresher. He leers and threatens rape (by any other name), etc. He’s a blunt instrument of a villain and the demons in general are cardboard cutouts.

All in all, disappoint but readable.

awakening mitchell

Review of Blood Demon (Demon Assassin Series, #1), by A.C. Wilds

I picked up a copy of A.C. WildsBlood Demon through Booksrout.

Description from Goodreads:

Meh, not horrible, but awful shallow and not overly smooth. Anima far too easily accepts the word of Torque and turns her back on everything she’s ever known. And then goes straight to assuming/understanding a threat that hasn’t truly been explained to her. The plot hardly hangs together in a followable fashion, leaping from one event to another. I felt NO tension in Anima and Torque’s ‘romance.’ And the whole thing ends on a cliffhanger.

It’s readable and I imagine those who are into demon kings and motorcycle club presidents and magical assassins and fallen angels (yes, we have all of those included here) might like it. But it was not a winner for me personally.

Review:

Meh, not horrible, but awful shallow and not overly smooth. Anima far too easily accepts the word of Torque and turns her back on everything she’s ever known. And then goes straight to assuming/understanding a threat that hasn’t truly been explained to her. The plot hardly hangs together in a followable fashion, leaping from one event to another. I felt NO tension in Anima and Torque’s ‘romance.’ And the whole thing ends on a cliffhanger.

It’s readable and I imagine those who are into demon kings and motorcycle club presidents and magical assassins and fallen angels (yes, we have all of those included here) might like it. But it was not a winner for me personally.