Demon’s Lexicon

Lately I’ve read quite a few books people have been raving about and been really disappointed. So it was a relief to read two books that I loved, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Demon’s Lexicon and Coe Booth’s Kendra. Today I’ll be talking about DL, next week I’ll talk about the fabulously brilliant Kendra.

Demon’s Lexicon is told from the point of view of a sociopath. Nick does not get other people. He doesn’t understand what they’re thinking, why they do the things they do, or why they talk so much. He’s a classic case of a character who’s fabulous in a book but I would run a mile if I ran into him in real life. He has no qualms killing! This is not a quality I look for in my friends. Just saying . . .

Demon’s Lexicon is funny, fast-paced, packed with fabulous 3D characters and has some awesomely convincing world-building. I love me some magic that makes sense. I found it unputdownable. It’s my favourite fantasy I’ve read this year. I need want to read the sequel right now.

I have heard from a couple of people that they found it a little hard to get into. I have two responses:

1) People frequently find new books hard to get into. Scott’s even been told that Specials starts too slowly. It begins with a hoverboard raid on an illicit party. Things blow up! It is the opposite of slow. Similarly very exciting things happen in the first few chapters of Demon’s Lexicon. I suspect it just takes some people awhile to get started reading a new books. 2) DL may be a bit hard to get into because it takes a little while to adjust to Nick’s voice. But trust me, once you get into it you will love this book as much as I did. I know this because I already bullied a friend into reading past the first chapter and she loved it and thanked me for hassling her about finishing it. She now wants me to get her the sequel immediately. Even though I have it on good authority that the sequel exists only on Sarah Rees Brennan’s and her editor’s computers. My friend points out that I know both these people and could thus be all ninja-y and steal it. I pointed out to my friend that that would be wrong.

The other objection I’ve heard is to the cover. I’ll be honest I don’t like the US cover either. But books are not their covers. Authors have very little control over the covers of their books. We readers need to get over worrying about the cover. Seriously, readers speculate on which character is portrayed on the cover and how it relates to the the book and blah blah blah. But mostly covers are an image that sales & marketing think will sell the book. The cover artist rarely has time to read the books they illustrate. The author frequently isn’t consulted and if they are and don’t like the cover they are often ignored. Please, readers, let it go. Assume the cover has zip to do with the book. A hideous cover does not mean a bad book. Not does a genius cover mean the book will be brilliant.

Go forth and read Demon’s Lexicon!

Here’s Sarah talking about writing a sociopath. And here’s a prequel story that in no way spoils Demon’s Lexicon but is an excellent taste of what the book is like.



  1. Amber on #

    I am not the biggest fan of the US cover either. I might have a problem with Nick’s mouth. And the orangeyness makes me feel as if I am inside a bottle of Lucozade. (Um, Lucozade with LIGHTNING in it. Yes. What?) It’s not to do with the artwork itself. As they used to say on that awful quiz show on tv when I was a kid, when someone gave a wrong answer, “It’s good, but it’s not right”. I like the UK cover better.

    But the book omgsogood. And I need to say it, but am not a spoiler (pointed COUGH), so: I thought I (redacted) the brilliant (redacted) but I totally got the wrong end of the (redacted) so when I finally (redacted) it was even more (redacted)! Like, dude, (REDACTED)!!!

  2. Justine on #

    Amber: Me too! I thought [redacted] was totally [redacted]!

  3. R.J. Anderson on #

    Seriously, I too thought I had [redacted] all sussed out and was feeling smug about it, but in reality I was not even half right, and when I got to [redacted], I SCREAMED RIGHT OUT LOUD.

    There is nothing redacted about how much I loved this book.

  4. Kiera on #

    I just read about Demon’s Lexicon on Whatever yesterday. I’m definitly going to check it out now. On the cover: the first thing I thought of when I saw it was Clark Kent on Smallville.

  5. Lizabelle on #

    Yep, really enjoyed this one! I’m glad it’s the first of a trilogy, because I want more of these characters.

  6. Keren David on #

    I love the UK cover though. Really beautiful.
    I thought there was great writing in The Devils Lexicon and the relationship between the brothers was moving. Great twist at the end too. I did wonder about the title though – where/what was the lexicon? Did I just read too quickly and miss it (because I was enjoying it and wanted to know what was going to happen)?
    It brought to mind Jonathn Stroud’s trilogy The Amulet of Samarkand which also features demons and is fantastic.

  7. Sara on #

    The Demons Lexicon is my favorite read of the year so far. I adored it enough that I bought 3 extra copies and am now forcing it on helpless friends and relations.

  8. Sherwood on #

    I’ve told a few people who kvetched about Demon’s Lexicon to think of it as a new take on Beauty and the Beast . . . from the POV of Beast. It seems to snap something in alignment, at least for a couple of same people.

    (Not saying who I think Beauty is . . .)

  9. Natalie on #

    I’m late for this party but so affirm everything being said! 🙂 It took a few chapters for me to really get into Demon’s Lexicon, but once it pulled me in I was (happily) stuck. One of my favorite things is the relationship between Nick and Alan. I grew up in a culture where masculity can be so weirdly, traditionally interpreted – to show any emotion as a guy is almost “weak”. I like that Alan is very masculine, and tough, but he’s also SO very affectionate toward his brother. Just nice to see affection, and nice to see a kind of love so well written that isn’t just romantic. The fantastic [dedacted] is so worth getting to 🙂 And I thought the prose was quite elegant. I wasn’t a fan of the cover either. In fact, I’m not wild about the latest face phase in so much YA. I would rather imagine the characters myself but I get that it’s marketing, and that some people connect with a face (FYI: Liar is a rare exception. I like Partial Face just not Full Face… :). The US cover is most definitely not a good indicator of what happens in the pages. What happens there is broken, and lovely, and darkly endearing. I can’t wait for book two.

  10. London on #

    I was turned off by the cover, too, but after reading your post I went to SRB’s website and read the first chapter…and, darnit, now I have to go get the book! It shows no respect at all for my TBR pile. 😛

    Also, the excerpt from Liar is so fantastic! I cannot wait for it to come out!!

  11. Thomas on #

    I got Demon’s Lexicon yesterday (along with HTDYF, which has been surprisingly hard to find — I hope because it sells too fast).

    Very impressed. Nick is definitely someone you want to keep in fiction.

    It would probably be a spoiler to say that Nick and Alan reminded me of [redacted] by [redacted]. So I won’t.

  12. Justine on #

    Lovely to see so much DL love. Tell all your friends!

    London: Thanks so much!

  13. caitlin on #

    I agree Coe Booth’s Kendra and also her earlier book Tyrell are stunning. I have yet to read DL — I’ll get on that one soon.

  14. Georgiana on #

    I just finished Demon’s Lexicon and immediately handed it to my youngest son with the command that he read it right away so we could discuss. I also, like other readers above, let out a scream when I got a certain page. I don’t remember ever being quite so astonished by a book before. Well done Ms. Brennan!

    I finished Tyrell and Kendra a couple of weeks ago. Loved both of them.

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