Lord Loss / Demon Thief

The Demonata 1 + 2

Before I begin this review, I think I should get the warning out of the way. This series is violent. Incredibly violent. If you are in any way squeamish or easily frightened, these books are not for you. There are scenes of a disturbing nature throughout every tale and I would not recommend them to anyone who is sensitive to reading explicit descriptions of torture and dismemberment.

The Demonata was the second young adult series written by Irish author Darren Shan and presents a much darker tale than his previous work, The Saga of Darren Shan. The series consists of ten novels, each told in first person by one of three protagonists. In order of publication, these are Lord Loss (2005), Demon Thief (2005), Slawter (2006), Bec (2006), Blood Beast (2007), Demon Apocalypse (2007), Death’s Shadow (2008), Wolf Island (2008), Dark Calling (2009) and Hell’s Heroes (2009). The novels focus on the protagonists’ battle to stop legions of malevolent demons from wiping out all life on earth. For the purpose of this review, we will be looking at the first two novels.

Lord Loss is told by Grubitsch “Grubbs” Grady, a teenager who likes nothing more than playing grotesque pranks on his older sister and hates his family’s obsession with playing chess. Life is pretty normal for Grubbs until he returns home one night to find that his whole family has been butchered by three hideous demons. Grubbs manages to escape with his life by activating his previously dormant magic powers but soon succumbs to shock and suffers a nervous breakdown.

After a lengthy recovery, Grubbs is allowed to live with his Uncle Dervish. Dervish Grady is a strange man but is the only one who believes Grubbs about the demons, seeming to know more about them than he lets on. He claims that so long as Grubbs remains in his care he will be safe from them, but his nephew is not wholly convinced. Half-eaten animals have been found in the woods and one of the local boys has a theory that Dervish might be a werewolf…

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