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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review: Demon Princess: Reign Check by Michelle Rowen


Reading level:
Young Adult
304 pages
Walker Books for Young Readers (May 25, 2010)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble| Indiebound
Read: Chapters 1 & 2

Enter the world of Nikki Donovan, a demon princess hell-bent on living a normal teenage life.

Nikki Donovan has had a lot to deal with since learning she was half human, half demon. But things take a darker turn when Rhys, a gorgeous -- but potentially dangerous -- faery king enrolls at her high school to investigate Nikki's potential for fulfilling an apocalyptic prophesy. Nikki knows she'd never turn violent, and she certainly couldn't destroy the world...could she?

Of course, all Nikki really wants is to be reunited with Michael, a Shadow creature whose status as her personal servant is further complicated by their undeniable attraction to each other. Even though the rules of the Shadowlands strictly forbid their romance, Nikki is determined not to let Michael go. But when she is summoned to the Underworld to appear before a demon council, it will take all her courage -- and perhaps a bit of demon-level strength -- to get herself out again.

Quick & Dirty Book Review:
The first book in this delightful series, Demon Princess: Reign or Shine was a light-hearted, hilarious novel with an intriguing storyline, compelling protagonist and a whole of demon butt-kicking action. In my opinion, Demon Princess: Reign Check surpassed its predecessor. With an exciting romantic triangle and profound writing dealing with deep issues of death, choices and the consequences of our actions, Reign Check has become my favorite book within the series. Michelle Rowen has crafted a thrilling world full of demons, faeries, dragons, slayers and much, much more.

Book Opening:

"Act normal, I told myself as I pushed through the front doors of Erin Heights High School. Everything's going to be just fine.

Unfortunately that thought lasted exactly thirty seconds."

Notable Scene:

“I was either going to burst into tears or go into a rage. I hadn't decided yet. But the fury I was feeling coursed through my body, and I felt myself start to change into my Darkling form again- this time under my own power, so it didn't hurt as much.

Her eyes grew large with alarm. "What are you doing?"

Have you heard about the prophecy?" I asked her. "The one that says I just might be the one that will bring about the destruction of pretty much everything and everyone?"

She swallowed. "I thought you said there might be another Darkling it applies to."

I fisted my hands at my sides. "Maybe I was wrong." -page 230

Full Review:

Nikki Donovan is hell bent on having a regular teenage life. She's back in the human world now, having fought her demonic aunt and saved the King of the Shadowlands from an agonizing death. As Nikki adjusts back to the life of a normal high school student, things seem to be back to normal. That is until Rhys, the teenage faery king comes waltzing into school and flips her entire world upside down. Now instead of worrying about little things like those pesky demon horns popping up when she gets angry, Nikki's got to convince Rhys she's not going to destroy the world despite the latest prophecy he insists is about her. Throw in the shocker that her best friend is in training to be Buffy-the-demon-slayer and ex-boyfriend Chris is mighty suspicious about her secret demon side, everything quickly goes straight to hell. Except in Nikki's case, that's more than just an expression. As news of the prophecy begins to spread, Nikki gets called to the Underworld to face a frightening demon council. This time, it will take all her wits, a little bit of power and the magic of the boy who loves her if there's any hope of making it out of the Underworld alive.

Michelle Rowen has a way of infusing so much warmth and humor into her heroines that you can't help but root for them and immediately be on their side. Nikki is an average teenage girl, just trying to make sense of her life. She isn't perfect. She has insecurities like we all do. But she also has tremendous strength, a lot of heart, and a hilarious sense of humor that makes this series really shine. Nikki impressed me with how determined she was to help Michael from not being treated as a second-class citizen and how she put her life on the line in the Underworld to do the right thing for him, knowing full well that every moment she lingered there, she ran the risk of ending up in the same boat as he was. I also loved that despite the fact that she was terrified at times (who wouldn't be), she never fell to pieces and still managed to make light of things with some really hilarious inner monologues and witty one-liners.

The romantic triangle between Michael, Nikki and Rhys was intriguing, and added some extra tension to the book. Rhys was the complete opposite of Michael. He was moody, dangerous and downright rude to Nikki, but their interactions really intrigued me. When he opened up to her and showed some depth and sensitivity, I began to see why she would be drawn to him. Michael was extremely lovable and the type of guy every girl dreams about—brooding good looks, strong, sensitive and willing to do anything to protect the woman he loved. I think should the series continue, it will be interesting to see who Nikki ends up with. Both guys have a lot to offer in their own ways.

The Demon Princess series was a real delight to read and I truly hope that this series gets another book. There are so many open-ended story lines I would love to explore including characters like Melinda and her demon slaying activities, Kassandra, Nikki's Underworld friend (sort of), or Chris, the ex boyfriend who has an interesting "gift". I'm also fascinated by what really goes on in the faery realm and would like to learn more about its inner workings. The Underworld itself, with its ever changing scenery, frightening creatures and harsh laws was also fascinating to me. I love how Michelle Rowen has created all these different worlds instead of one set land known as "hell". It keeps things mysterious and seems even more dangerous. With so many power players, things are fated to never be peaceful for long. I'm sure whatever Rowen cooks up will keep the series rolling with her trademark brand of humor, romance and action.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for my interview with Michell and your chance to win a SIGNED copy of Demon Princess: Reign Check!

Michelle Rowen is the national bestselling author of paranormal romance novels including the "Immortality Bites" vampire series. She has sold books to Grand Central Publishing, Harlequin Blaze, Berkley Books, Walker Books for Young Readers, and Dorchester Publishing (writing as Michelle Maddox).
Visit Michelle Rowen's Official Website & Blog


Tabitha said...

Great review! I read (and thoroughly enjoyed) the first book. I've been meaning to pick this one up, so I need to just do it already!

yllektra (force-oblique) said...

Michelle is such an awesome writer
I have read a couple of her books and I am hungry for more!
This seems fantastic!
Thanks for the rec and review! XD

yllektra (force-oblique) said...

Michelle is such an awesome writer
I have read a couple of her books and I am hungry for more!
This seems fantastic!
Thanks for the rec and review! XD

linaramz said...

I'm really looking forward to this one!