Sunday, 1 March 2015

BEC by Darren Shan (Demonata, #4) - Book Review

4.5/5 Stars

Screams in the dark...


Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 262
Chapters: 22
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


With Slawter being my favourite - if forced to choose, I'm biased heavily with the entirety of this series - then BEC is on the other end of the scale. It's far from bad, and I mean, far, far, far from it. But sometimes the story in this single novel can be a little larger than necessary; disjointed in ways. In comparison though it's massively enjoyable, and it takes a surprising break from modern life to delve back through the centuries, and this on its own, is refreshing. We also meet some new characters, people from a time long since past, but still as crucial as our more modern heroes.

Bec remembers her life from the minute she was born; she remembers it perfectly.
She remembers her mother dying giving birth to her.
But Bec's life was far from terrible. She learned under the tutorship of a powerful wielder of magic.
And then the demons came.
Now Bec is given the opportunity to quest to their source and put an end to their blight.
But the sacrifices might be too high...

BEC must be set several centuries before any of the other books, although the time period isn't specified thus far. The story is interesting - as usual - and flows along well. We also get a nice chunk of history revealed to us, and more layers are added to the series' mythology. It's definitely welcome, as it answers some questions brought up through the last three instalments. They aren't groundbreaking revelations, but they're essential to thickening the story's lore.

What gives me pause is the magic, the actual force our characters use. In BEC this is also elaborated on, but in the beginning it's hard to get your head around. We've been focused on an explanation given in the other books, that the new details can be confusing. It eventually comes together perfectly fine, but those moments of trying to fit everything together cause the story to stumble, at least for me.

We're also introduced to a fresh wave of characters, something I love when it's Mr Shan behind the wheel. There's a few of them, but they're well-developed and fleshed out, which keeps not only them, but also the story, interesting and unique.

Bec herself is a pleasure. She's a nice contrast to the two leads before her: Grubbs and Kernel. Where the former utterly refuses the world of magic, and the latter stubbornly, with little choice, has to convert, Bec is ready, willing and able. It sets her far apart from the rest, and while she has her misgivings, she's a force to be reckoned with.

And the allusions continue. There are subtle parts of the story that gently nudge us to some sort of epiphany without downright telling us. What I enjoy is the fact you don't have to get it, not yet, because things will become clear as the series progresses.

That last part sounds ominous.

But you'll get what I mean once you devour all the books.

Previous Instalment: Slawter
Next Instalment: Blood Beast

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