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Thursday, August 30, 2012
Book Review: The Demoness of Waking Dreams by Stephanie Chong
Author: Stephanie Chong
Series: Company of Angels, book 2
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Source: From NetGalley
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For more information visit Stephanie Chong's website
The demon Luciana escaped the company of angels, and fled back to her home in Venice. She went back to give her yearly sacrifice to the devil. Brendan is sent to capture Luciana. They believe she has a poison strong enough to kill angel and demon alike. Brendan has to recapture her, and there is some talk of destroying her. Brendan has never failed at a mission, but when he sees how beautiful demonic Luciana is things get complicated.
The Demoness of Waking Dreams is number two in Chong’s The Company of Angel’s series. It is a lot better than the first one. The writing is a lot stronger than the first novel. Initially I believed it seemed stronger because Luciana is a stronger character than the previous female lead, then the story started describing things with a deeper tone than the first book which lead me to change my mind. The first book was linear and simple while this story is a little more complicated, and a little darker. This isn’t a series you have to read in order. The characters from the first book make a brief appearance, but for the most part they, or what happened between them is not vital to the story between Brendan and Luciana.
Luciana is complicated. She is a demon, and not a very nice one. She has bathed in the blood of innocents, and enjoys poisoning people. Reforming a character like this in the eyes of a reader is a hard task, so we send an alpha male super good guy, Brendan. Brendan used to be a cop before he died, and came back as an angel. Once he encounters, and captures Luciana, he has to remind himself that beauty can be evil. When she escapes him, he looks deeper into her past, her surroundings, and finds that not only does he care for her, but he doesn’t believe they are all that different. In fact lines start to blur until there is not just simple good and evil, but forgiveness, and belief in oneself.
Things become even more complicated when Luciana is pressed by another demon to kill Brendan. Brendan is soon pressured by his own company to pull her in sooner so they can destroy her. Both are pulled in two directions, and know they will never be able to be, though I never fully understood why. They are also not the only two romantically involved couple in the novel. One of Luciana’s gate keepers finds his heart with a past victim. The characters in this book have a lot more depth, and we see lines change and blur.
The surroundings of Venice, though beautiful, do not fully engross the reader. Chong’s growth is really shown in the characters themselves, and not the scenery. The plot is also strongly character driven, even if I don’t always understand certain choices.
Brendan and Luciana do have an instant attraction which what usually bother me, but I thought it was handled well. The double sided blade in the novel was the character choices. I didn’t always like them, or find them believable, but in other times thought they were dead on. The ending and the romance between these two opposing forces stands as fitting. It left me looking forward to the next novel in this series.