Published: 27th August 2015
Number of Pages: 512
Book: For Review*
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death, Cannibalism, Swearing
Author's Site: Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress
Blurb From Goodreads:Full of Landy’s trademark wit, action and razor sharp dialogue, DEMON ROAD kicks off with a shocking opener and never lets up the pace in an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers: they’re all here. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in... Sixteen years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves.
Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be…
Omigod omigod o-mi-freaking-god!
Times this, add a few swearwords, crazy dances, shrieks of excitement and hugs of this book to my chest, you might begin to gather the excitement Demon Road has caused me.
Probably not though. It was OTT even for me. Because – hello! Derek Landy! Road trip! Demons! Supernatural! Evil freaking cars, people! This book is like everything I have ever wanted all wrapped up in one – and all of this even before I started reading!
I think I've fangirled enough... For now, at least.
Oh who are we kidding. This whole damn review is going to be me fangirling my little head off. I apologise in advance.
“Her parents were monsters. They had grown horns. They'd killed cops. Her parents - and their friends - were going to kill her.”
Amber Lamont's already having a bad day. Being attacked by two jerks and going red just tops it all off. So does the finger Amber bites off. Yeah. Ew.
Her parents take the news surprsingly well. Celebrate it actually. By drugging Amber. And trying to kill her.
Turns out they're all demons and her parents want to eat her to amp up their own powers. So now Amber is on the run with the mysterious Milo.
Oh, and if she doesn't find a guy specifically skilled at hiding in three weeks, her soul is toast.
And so begins the roadtrip of a lifetime – maybe literally, because death (or worse) is a real possibility. And while Amber might go red and grow horns, she isn't the worst monster in America. Oh no. Not when she's encountering countless demons, serial killers and even murderous cars, all along a stretch of highway called the Demon Road, a very path of darkness that has no map and could be Amber's only chance of survival...
Ah, how I adore Derek Landy! I've been reading the Skulduggery Pleasant series since the age of nine or something and I have been a huge fangirl ever since. I was devastated when SP finished (and then delighted when I learnt it wasn’t – summer, hurry the hell up!), but before that I heard about Demon Road. It was described as Supernatural for teens with Derek Landy's signature brilliance – and that was all I needed to hear! I was sold! And I must say, Demon Road really didn't disappoint – although I, and lots of other SP fans I’m sure, will see definite Skulduggery-esque character and dialogue correlations. I didn't really mind, but it might bother some. Just a tiny warning. But if you love SP and can't get enough, go and buy Demon Road right this very second! I'll be waitin'...
You back? Awesome. On with the review.
Characters first! Our leading gal, Amber, was a total badass – and also a scared, lost teenager. And so totally relatable! I mean, she was just so... normal. You know. Except for the monster, scales, horns, occasionally-killing-dudes bits. But otherwise totally normal! Like she went to the toilet, she felt self-conscious about her weight, she was funny and snarky and sometimes didn't make decisions that were overly smart or whatever – but she was just so real.. And awesome - and so unlike your average YA heroine. Sometimes in gross ways – but still cool.
Milo was the Skulduggery to Amber's Valkyrie. Only....not really. 'Cause he was nowhere near as funny as SP – mainly because he didn't have a sense of humour. At all. Which was funny. Like he was funny because he wasn't... um funny... Let's move on. Milo was protective and also a badass and he had a car that ate people and he was a big ol' softy under the stoicness – you don't fool me, Milo.
Glen was such a dork – very Fletcher-ish, but (I think) slightly less annoying? At the very least, he didn't have such high maintenance hair. Seriously though, you could always count on ol' Glen for some timely and hilarious comic relief!
The rest of the characters were... well, a varied bunch! From homicidal parents, hilarious writers, demons, serial killers and a people-eating car, there was a mix of hilarious, terrifying, sweet and awesome people. Oh and some bad ones. VEry very bad ones. But awesome anyway. In a bad way. Kind of. I don't even know what I'm saying anymore – and I totally blame Derek Landy for being his usual awesome self and blowing my tiny mind. This mess of a review is all his fault. Obviously.
Let's move on, yes?
Ok, I do love Derek's writing – the way he uses dialogue so much, the witty quips and banter between his characters. He's hilarious and utterly addictive as hell (heh – pun intended). I loved the action, the adventure, the suspense, the gallons of gore and blood and icky stuff, the humour, the touching moments, the unusual places visited along the Demon Road. It was all just so awesome. Obviously. This is Derek Landy we're talkin' about here. The man is a master of the funny-scary, of awesome plots that suck you in from the beginning and take you on a wild ride you don't wanna get off!
And FINALLY! A book that mentions going to the toilet like a normal person! And finds it weird that another character doesn't pee! Halle-blinking-lujah! As if Derek Landy wasn't enough of a god amongst men – he then goes and does this. I bow to him.
Wow, I really didn't get enough sleep last night. Again, Derek Landy's fault. I am so tired because I just couldn't put Demon Road down. Apparently tiredness inspires hero worship in me. Who knew?
Ok, so it might not just be my need for like four hours more sleep. It's also 'cause Demon Road was freaking awesome and I loved it to pieces. Sure, it had definite Skulduggery Pleasant-esque qualities. But y'know what? It was damned awesome in its own right and I loved it and I need more and when can I have more and please go read it now and OMG it’s so brilliant and where is my bed?
Seriously though. Demon Road was pure awesomeness with awesomesauce and awesome chocolate sprinkles. It was hilarious, exciting, gory as hell, gripping and did I mention awesome? It had moments of laugh-so-loud-and-sudden-you-snort-a-little and touching moments that tugged at the ol' heartstrings. It had brilliant characters (who were brilliant in their own right and totally different from the SP ones, despite the similar dynamics) and tons of action and fighting and demons and blood. It had everything a Derek Landy or Supernatural fan could want (including flannel shirts and a killer car – albeit 'killer' in two totally different senses) and then some. And man I can't wait to get my hands on Desolation!
Also sleep. Sleep is required right now. So I'll leave you to read the awesomeness that is Demon Road while I go back to bed for a few hours. Goodnight and may Derek Landy rule over YA as he does MG – with a swagger, lots of laughter and a twisted imagination.
4½ Out of 5
4½ Out of 5
Read this book if you liked:
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
* This book was received from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review
** Quotes used are from a proof copy and may have been changed in the finished book