DNF Review: A Demon Does It Better by Linda Wisdom

January 20, 2012 Books, Reading, Reviews 1

I’m kind of thinking that I just wasn’t in the right mood for this book. Other reviews for it are glowing, but I absolutely could not get into the story. At all. I felt no emotional connection to the characters, the prose was clunky and off-putting, and by page 100, I still had no idea what the main plot thread would be. Let’s break this down into things that annoyed me:

The Characters
I just wasn’t interested in the protagonist, Lili, at all. There wasn’t any kind of emotional connection between me as the reader and Lili as the main character. I know I was supposed to feel bad for her that her mother died and her best friend is missing, but I didn’t. In fact, I really didn’t get any kind of emotion off of Lili when she mentioned those two big life events. I was told she was feeling sad and worried, but I never got a sense of it. She was just… there, and I could never get a feel for her.

The love interest, demonic Jared, was the same. He’s described as sexy and mysterious, but I just couldn’t ever muster enough interest in him to care who he is, why he’s locked in the magical hospital’s psych ward, or what the amazing chemistry is between Jared and Lili. Even that felt perfunctory: there will be a romance between these two characters, therefore they are suddenly and inexplicably attracted to each other. Meh.

The majority of the supporting characters were cardboard cutouts: the bitchy head nurse, the creepy old doctor, the sweet and supportive best friends, the sexually adventurous new friend. The only supporting character with real potential is Cleo, Lili’s cat friend who used to be Cleopatra, queen of Egypt. I like the idea of Cleo, but the execution was lacking. To me, Cleo is that stock sassy friend character who says, “GURL!” a lot to the protagonist and nudges her into the romance.

The Prose
Infodumps, ahoy! I’m wondering how I would feel about the infodumps if I had read the first book in this series (nothing on the Amazon page indicates that it’s book 2, so I went in flying blind). As someone without any background in the universe, I was annoyed that I was dropped into a world and had little, incongruous nuggets of information dropped on me randomly. If I were familiar with the world, I might not need those nuggets of information, but I still think that they really do nothing to enhance my enjoyment of the world.

The Plot
There are just too many plot threads brought up haphazardly. Lili has started her new job at the magical hospital. She sees the sexy demon dude. She’s feeling regret over her mother’s death. Okay. By this point, I’m not sure where the story is going (other than that Lili and Jared are eventually going to hook up), but I’m willing to stick around and see. At around page 70, Lili suddenly thinks about her best friend who used to work at the magical hospital but mysteriously quit her job and disappeared. Huh. It seems like that’s something that Lili would have thought of sooner, since she’s in the hospital all day. You’d think that would bring up memories of her friend or something. At page 100, yet another new character, the bitchy headmistress of Lili’s old witch school, suddenly shows up to chat.

And I still have no idea where the plot’s going. I try to be a forgiving reader; I’ll often give a book way more time than I should to draw me in. But with this one, I just couldn’t go on. If within the first hundred pages, I haven’t been given an inkling of what the main plot thread is going to be, I have to give up.


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