The Demonata Series: Slawter
Shan, D. (2006). The Demonata Series: Slawter. New York. Hachette Book Group USA. ISBN: 9780316013871.
"Juni kicks one of the demon's legs--no response. She kicks a mouth stalk. It wobbles from side to side, but only from the force of her blow. Slowly, carefully, she pries its main mouth open and peers down its throat. I tense. If the demon's faking, this is the perfect moment to strike. I see the teeth start to come together and I prepare a ball of energy to hurl..." -page 132
Dervish, Grubbs, and Bill-E are trying to live a normal life without demons. Dervish is approached by a horror producer who wants to use him as a demon expert on her upcoming film. The film will take place in a town called Slawter. While filming paranormal demonic happenings disrupt the set which leads Grubbs to believe that it is not only actors on the set portraying demons.
Slawter does a great job of mixing the real with the supernatural. The novel takes place in real time and dashes between memory flash backs of demon possession to the present day. I love this literary approach. The reader does not know if it is reality or paranoia and fear that are driving assumptions and accusation.
This book is frightening at times, as well as choked full of off the cuff quirky, sometimes self deprecating humor. Though the characters take on cliche "spooky" stereotypes it only adds to the suspense and drama. For example, Davida the movie producer, when she is described throughout the book she has the likeness of an aged flower child Elvira. She is described as, "Fiftyish, black hair streaked with gray, purple rimmed glasses. Like a giggling granny horror movie meister".
Something about this book that might capture others off guard is how there are a lot of references to the previous two books in the series published. It is assumed that if one reads this book they are familiar with the first which is not always the case. That aspect left me struggling at moments as I tried to put together references to Lordy Loss in the previous novel. If you have not read them you will have a hard time sorting out what previously happened to what characters and demonology truisms that have been established in the series.
Though I think this book could be enjoyable to both a male and female audience, it is definitely catered more towards males. On a positive note, this book does read a lot like a more mature Goosebumps novel, and it is appropriate for juvenile fiction, as well as young adult readers. Though, much like Shan's Cirque Du Freak series, this book would be of more interest to males than females.
Also, this book was very formulaic and the implication that this is only the beginning of a series is apparent early on. So, if you are looking for resolution in your reading, this is not the book for you. I, am one for resolution, and found it frustrating that not much was resolved as I would have liked. Also, it is revealed that the demons talked about and battled are "overgrown ghoulish ants, or monsters with five legs, etc..". When the demons were described in detail they seemed a bit corny and I would imagine incapable of really frightening someone. But, that might be an aspect of what makes this a good read for boys interested in juvenile fiction.
First of all, you have to read the first two books: Lord Loss and Demon Thief. The third book is so action packed and scary. This book is full of foreshadowing and you won't even see it coming you want to read it to the end. Its amazing. These are one of my favorite books, it sucks you into reading other scary books, and i love it. Darren Shan writes with a touch of Stephen King, which makes it a unique way of writing. I am almost finished with "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" and it is scary and awesome. I got sucked into this book because of the Demonata series. READ THIS SERIES AND YOUR PERSPECTIVE OF READING WILL CHANGE IN A GOOD WAY! this reading is for all ages.
-Sally Kelly (Reader's Review)
When I got this book I thought it was going to be like the last two. I was wrong; this book is more entertaining and exciting then the last two.
Grubbs Grady is trying to get his life on track after saving his brother from turning into a werewolf. His uncle Dervish is almost back to normal after fighting lord loss. In this book Dervish is called to do a movie with a famous horror director. It turns out it is a trap set by lord loss. I can't believe that Dervish and Grubbs escaped from the grasps of lord loss for the second time in a row but in return many civilians were slaughtered.
This book is a great book for young adults, but I am not sure about children because there is a lot of graphic violence. I can't wait until Darren Shaw comes out with the fourth book Bec.
-Amazon Kid's Review