“Keep it secret. Keep it safe.” – Gandalf, Lord of The Rings: The Hobbit
“The books always make this stuff sound so goddamn easy. They don’t mention the smell. Or the way getting hit in the face with a tentacle as big around as your thigh hurts.” – Francesca “Chess” Barnes, The Demon’s Librarian
(Note: Ignore the cover. It reeks. The cover of the edition Published February 28th 2009 by ImaJinn Books is much more appropriate for the story. Also, if you have that book in your library, this seems to be the same book in republished form.)
It is hard enough being a librarian when “the ‘good citizens’ of Jericho City would pay thousands yearly for plastic surgery and to pad the pockets of the mayor’s friends, they simply would not vote a couple of measly bucks onto their property taxes to take care of her library.” Nope. That is minor compared to having to track down a skornac in the sewers and kill it with a knife. Bloody tentacled demon was eating kids – what else was she supposed to do?!
But killing a skornac demon draws attention – attention that could very well make her a bloody librarian smudge on the ground.
I read Lilith Saintcrow’s Jill Kismet series several years ago. (Wow. Hard to believe 2008 was ‘several years ago’!), back before I started writing reviews, but I rated them four and five stars. Then? I just wandered away. So many books, so little time! So, when I had the opportunity to read The Demon’s Librarian, I was well pleased. It is nice to greet an old friend.
This book didn’t disappoint. Chess is one tough librarian. Since finding (or being found by) a sorcerous library hidden behind a magical wall in the basement of the Jericho City library, life has been, well, interesting. Interesting in the Chinese, “May you live in interesting times” sort of interesting. Interesting enough that she spends a lot of the time in the fight gym learning how to protect herself, and a lot of time in the basement learning sorcery. Then, things get truly, well, ‘interesting’ in a very bloody, very painful way.
When a tall, handsome, tweed-jacketed fellow comes into the library one day, walks straight to Chess, and asks for Delmonico’s “Demons and Hellspawn” – and when the Phoenicis Fang at her hip, the magical knife she created herself, goes hot and vibrates – she knows she has problems. What sort of creature is this? Certainly not human – he smells too much like demon for that. But what is he? Then, a demon tries to break into her apartment through her wards – and another creature attacks the demon, taking it out in a smelly, messy manner – all Hades breaks loose. Because it isn’t just demons she has to worry about. The Order of Dragons has their own knife to grind. And Chess is not only a newly-minted demon hunter. She could very well be more. And everyone suddenly has way too much interest in using Chess for their own purposes.
“I’m lost in a fairy tale. Why do they call them fairy tales, when there aren’t any fairies in them? Troll tales. Giant tales. Witches and gingerbread tales.”
I like Chess a lot. Her character is strong and tough – but not too tough. She is genuine. She holds her own against some really nasty creatures, but she also has the occasional “break down into a crying, quivering mess” moments that make her real. Yep, sometimes I wanted to shake her, but in her place? Uh. I wouldn’t be as brave as she is!
If you like Urban Fantasy with lots of blood, a creative storyline, interesting characters, and a solid storyline, this is one to pick up and enjoy.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. If you enjoy my reviews, please let me know by “Liking” my reviews on GoodReads and Amazon. Thank you so much!
Oh. The new cover?
See what I mean? Pft. The book is about the Librarian! Yeah, yeah. There is ‘romance’ in a way – but the story is much stronger than a PR. Not putting them down, just saying that this is More than that . . .
The Demon’s Librarian
Published Jul 31, 2015