I'm not really sure what's wrong with me lately. It seems that I can't stop reading demonic or ghostly horror stories. Decapitations, deformed monsters, waterfalls and fountains of blood? Perfect. The more gory it gets, the better as far as I'm concerned.
I knew that Darren Shan was a highly respected author, mastermind behind the celebrated Cirque du Freak series, but it was my thirst for gory, young adult horror that made me pick up The Demonata series.
And I'm glad I did. The first book in the series is Lord Loss and it features Grubitsch Grady (although he'd really rather you call him Grubbs) who witnesses a brutal demonic massacre that makes him doubt whether he'll ever make the journey back from the edge of sanity.
Emerging from his waking nightmares, Grubbs realises that the massacre was just the beginning and that demons, magic and the supernatural are to play a far greater role in his life than he could ever have imagined.
I really enjoyed the description of the demons, their absolutely terrible and unique deformities and the conceptualisation of the demon master Lord Loss. I thought that the depiction of Grubbs's horror and recovery was particularly well written and a realistic portrayal of the post-trauma process. Finally, I loved the idea of a demonic chess death match.
Relatively short at 224 pages, Lord Loss should appeal to reluctant readers and lovers of young adult, supernatural fiction or horror. I wouldn't recommend the book for squeamish readers but definitely recommend it for lovers of demonic gore and mayhem.
I give Lord Loss an easy 5 out of 5 stars and will definitely be reading the rest of the books in the series.