Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Early Review: Demonic Dora (Demonic Dora #1) by Claire Chilton

Release Date: June 30, 2013
Publisher: Ragz Books
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Website | Goodreads 

She's finally managed to summon her first demon...

Dora Carridine is trying to summon a demon, but she's not very good at Latin and nothing ever works out the way she plans. 
Her life is fraught with weekly exorcisms and having to watch her father’s fire and brimstone TV show every Sunday. So, when Dora finally succeeds in summoning an incompetent demon lord, she’s absolutely delighted when all hell breaks loose. 
She thought summoning a sexy demon lord would be the answer to all of her problems, but her problems are only just beginning when her zealot parents try to burn her at the stake, and Dora is left with only one option—to escape and follow her demon straight into Hell.

Hmmm, I don't want to smack an indie book around, because it's just not a very nice thing to do. Besides, there is evidently a special ring in Hell for people who give bad book reviews...more on that later, though. However, this is definitely a two star book. Now, according to Goodreads that means the book was ok. Not great, not awful, but tolerably readable. 

There were several things I liked, and several things that just didn't do it for me, but they were all fairly interconnected with each other. In other words, some of the things that I enjoyed were also the things that kept the book from totally working.

Here's a very simple run-down of the story:
Dora is the daughter of a crazy televangelist. To rebel she practices black magic, and (for some unspecified amount of time) has been attempting to summon a demon. Evidently, she would like this demon to get rid of all of the pink that her parents insist on having in her room.

Shortly after the story opens, she manages to summon a teenage demon named Kieron, who's basically a sweet (but horny) teenage boy. Her parents and the rest of the town try to burn her at the stake, Kieron saves her, and they escape to Hell where they compete in a Hunger Gamesish competition to become full-fledged demons. Or something.

The silly tongue-in-cheek writing style wasn't bad. Unfortunately, I think the plot had too many holes in it to attract the age group that the author is aiming at. If the book were written for the pre-teen group, the silly stuff would go over well. For example, people get pooped on a lot. It's a running theme in the book. It got old kinda quick for me, 'cause I'm a grown-up and poo is icky. My kids never get tired of poo jokes...go figure.

Also, an older set of readers will probably wonder how an entire town goes crazy enough to try to burn a teenager at the stake. Really?!  As an adult, I found that questionable. While a younger group of readers might just assume that the Big People are weird like that, ya know? 

The writing is good enough that the author could get away with some of this stuff...if it were a middle grade reader. The content is definitely too mature for kids, though.
The f-bomb gets dropped even more than the poo, and even though Dora and Kieron never do it, there's quite a bit of sexual content. Including, but not limited to, a bad guy getting ass-raped by a Minotaur. Erk!

And then there's the (above mentioned) ring of Hell dedicated to reviewers. When Dora is finally introduced to the Worst Sinners, it turns out...dum, dum, dum...they're people who gave Bad Book Reviews. Which, was so totally hysterical I actually laughed out loud! I mean, how can you not love that, especially coming from an author?! Except, like the poop jokes, it went on too long. What could have potentially been one of the best one-liners that I've ever read, devolved into a personal rant from the author.

Frigid librarians, reviewers with tiny man-parts, wannabe writers, and baby killers! They are worst of all humanity rolled into a nerd with a keyboard. Gulp. It quickly shifted from really funny into really awkward.

One of the things I did like was the male character, Kieron. For once you get to see a teenage boy act like a teenage boy. He's continually trying to get into her pants, but he's not portrayed like some skeevy rapist. He's just a goofy kid who wants to touch boobies. Which, let's face it, is a pretty accurate description of the majority of teenage boys out there. I remember being in high school (they had just discovered fire), and none of the boys I knew wanted to 'wait for marriage'. Yet YA books are littered with young men who seem to be actively trying to avoid sex. Makes sense to me!

So, in conclusion, here's what I think:
This author has talent and a sense of humor, it just hasn't all come together quite yet. If Chilton polishes her quirky humor, she could be an extremely funny adult writer. Or she could  get rid of the adult content and write for the Percy Jackson crowd. There's definitely a lot of potential in this lady, and if she can find the right age group for her books, she could really do well.



Danielle Romero said...

Great review..too bad you didnt love it but I'm glad u gave an honest review and explained why it wasnt a winner for you! I always hate when I see 2star ratings with no explanation aside from ehh I didnt care for it. Yours was really well thought out :)

Addicted2Heroines said...

I agree, Danielle! Anne did a great job with this one.


Thanks, guys. I felt bad giving it a low rating, but I'd hate for someone to buy it just because I was trying to be nice. I really do think the author has potential, though. I'd probably check her stuff out again in the future.

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