Publisher: Pride Publishing
Sub-Genre: Urban Fantasy, Alternate Reality
Sometimes when you don’t know what you want, life gives you what you need.
When Neil Markovic witnesses the murder of his mother by Bone Men his world is thrown into turmoil. On the run from the assassins that killed her, his sorcerer father and the police, Neil finds help in the form of a tall half fae alchemist named Malachai. Mal seems more accepting than most of Neil’s demon bloodline, but curiously immune to his charms.
Malachai Valentine, disgraced scion of a noble Leprechaun clan, back in the Old Country, is happy living as an anonymous scrap dealer. Using his talent for alchemy to make fuel and potions, most days he doesn’t even think of his ruinous past. When a scared young man with a fancy car crashes into his life, at first, Mal thinks he can do without the hassle. But as Neil begins to get under his skin, Mal starts to reassess his hopes and ambitions.
Harassed by megalomaniac fae and stalked by sorcerous killers at every turn, Malachai and Neil must fight to be free, and to find what they both truly wanted.
Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder and non-consensual sex.
I’m already a fan of the authors’ Elemental Evidence series so when the opportunity came up to read the first book in a new series I grabbed it. It didn’t disappoint, and now I’m hanging out for book two. I got hooked into this book less than a chapter in.
The world building in Demon Familiar is fabulous. It’s based on our world, but isn’t as this one has plenty of demons, fae, and the ilk amongst its population. The descriptions are very visual, and I could feel the overhanging darkness, which is accentuated by the Bone men and shadow/dark magic. This first book in the series sets up the world nicely without info dumping and left me wanting more.
The action scenes are edge-of-your-seat. I could feel Neil’s desperation not to be caught. I also loved the descriptions of magic, which added to the tense, exciting fight scenes, and in particular the mix of demon and fae magic.
The characters, however, both main and supporting bring their own version of light. I love that, despite what Neil is, he’s naive, and a bit of an innocent. It’s a good twist on what I’d usually expect. Mal is an interesting character with more to his past than he’s letting on just yet, and I’m hoping we learn more about his experiences—and his wings—as the series progresses. Neil and Mal complement each other well, and I liked that they doubted that each other felt the same way, and that Neil had to learn about the human side of himself in that regard. Merc is an interesting character. I liked how he was the voice of reason, not entirely trusting Neil at first, which is realistically what I would expect.
I’d recommend Demon Familiar to readers who enjoy fantasy with fabulous world building, interesting characters, and a story that keeps you reading and leaves you wanting more. 5 out of 5 stars.