Monday, May 30, 2011

The Demon's Bargain by Lisa Alder 4 out of 5 flames

The Demon's Bargain (Demons Unleashed)
The Demon's Bargain
by Lisa Alder

4 Flames = Smokin Hot!

This is the first in the Demons Unleashed series and I have to say this story automatically gets major points for making Fae the bad guys. I hate Fae, it’s a quirk, it’s deep rooted from childhood…blame Peter Pan and “Labyrinth”. So I’m rooting for anyone/anything opposed to the heartless fu…er um…creatures. In this instance it’s demons.

Not demons as in Satan serving beasts, but other magical creatures that had been forced deep into the earth’s crust for imprisonment by the evil Fae. Not that the Demons are necessarily ‘good guys’ either, since both races use humans as power sources we poor humans are stuck in the middle of a raging war for dominance and have not necessarily fared well. Essentially the Demons disrupted all of our technology when they were released, thus forcing us back into a new sort of Dark Ages where we have to live off of the land again, live in tribes, and fight for survival while two magical creatures use us for their own gains. Does not sound like a good time.

Our main demon, Vetis, is collecting energy for an upcoming battle with the evil Fae. Enter a slimy twerp who wants to trade his wife, Amara, in to pay a debt he owes to the Demon Lord. Yeah, like that’s gonna work. Of course Amara is completely disgusted by her husband, an arranged marriage that hasn’t gone very well for her, and has trained herself to be completely empty emotionally. Guess what energy the Demons and evil Fae feed off of…you got it, emotions. So of course this presents a nice challenge to Vetis who’s been a bit bored as of late. Doesn’t take much of a stretch to guess the details from there, and there better be a sequel since we’re left on a bit of a cliffhanger.

What works for the story, outside of Amara’s seduction (which in the context of the story is really a huge gift Vetis gives to her), is the set up of this world. No one is entirely good or bad, except the evil Fae. While the Demons do what they have to in order to survive, they recognize how unfair it’s been to humans, however it can’t be helped. Or can it? Hmmm….seems there may be something more going on here. Like perhaps Demons wouldn’t have to feed off a lot of humans if certain events, like falling in love, can give them more than enough energy? But I’m speculating here. Time and sequels will tell.

And most importantly the seduction is H-O-T. I mean, yes she’s being pimped out by her weasel husband (and not for the first time), but in the midst of her ‘capture’ she’s taught that sex doesn’t have to necessarily be painful. Vetis makes sure that he lets her see exactly what pleasure really is, and in doing so gives her a new perspective on life and a new strength of purpose.
Also, I have a whole new appreciation for peaches and chocolate, it's proven once again that it is the most perfect food in the world.

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