“ Paperback: 454 pages / Publisher: CreateSpace / Published: 15 May 2012 „
On Demon Wings - Karina Halle
A while back, I fell across a new series by an author I had not come across before. It was a series which held fantastic reviews previous to me reading the books, and came well recommended by many different people on a site I am apart of; Goodreads.com - a site which people can share their love of books absolutely free.
Talking of that brilliant word; Free, the very first book in this series; Darkhouse, continues to be free to download on Kindle at Amazon.co.uk. So if you have not already started the series then you have no excuse! If you do not have a kindle then that is not a problem - Amazon allows you to download a PC kindle free also! I really do love that word!
The first book was completely different to most books I have read in this type of genre, and the realness of the writing kept me hooked from beginning to end. I was eager for more, and luckily I had already got hold of the other books in the series, once again on the Kindle, though it is also available in paperback form.
My review on the first books in this series can be found on my book blog; elfie-books.blogspot.co.uk.
On Demon Wings is the fifth book in the 'Experiment in Terror' series. To date, there are six main books in this series, with another one due out later this year (2013) which I am very excited about. A further two books (at least) are also due some time in the future. There are also a number of novellas which fall in between certain main books. These you do not have to read to enjoy and follow the series, though if you are like me and fall in love with this set then you will want to go back and fill in the blanks with these novellas. The main books so far include;
Dead Sky Morning
On Demon Wings
Into the Hollow
Come Alive (Expected out 2013)
Ashes to Ashes (Not yet published)
Dust to Dust (Not yet published)
With all this said, I will now take you on to my review of the fifth book of the series...
BETTER THE DEMON YOU KNOW
"She's waking up. Get the bat." Not exactly the best words to wake up to."
There are so many vampire, werewolf and faerie books out there, and I admit, I have read a large share of these, though after a while, supernatural and fantasy books along these lines can quite often look the same and make you become almost numb to all things in this genre. This book, and the series as a whole, deals with the supernatural, and in the main, ghosts, though it covers this genre like never before.
The Experiment in Terror series takes the supernatural on to a whole new level in more ways than one. The main focus is upon ghosts and the supernatural, though this book reads so 'real' that you almost forget that you are reading fiction. The author throws in so many twists and turns and throughout the whole series as well as this book, the story takes it one step further and provides amazing entertainment.
In this fifth installment, Perry is suffering the aftermath of the previous book ending (I am not wanting to say too much about this as I do not want to spoil you, but trust me, it certainly has a huge shock factor to it!). With the help of her sister, the sister who seemed once very estranged from her, Perry is able to pull her life back to some sort of order, though something has changed inside her. She no longer feels like the Perry everyone knew and loved, and when fires start spontaneously flaring up around her and a mysterious, terrifying growl seems to echo from under her bed, she knows there is something very wrong.
But what exactly is wrong?
Perry does not have a lot of time to find out. Where once she and her ex-partner Dex used to hunt down the evil and terror which dwell upon the earth, she now finds that the evil is beginning to hunt her down with a vengeance! The evil is inside of her, feeding off of her soul and taking over her life bit by bit.
There is only one person who can help her, though it is the last person Perry wants to see, and due to this, will his help actually cause his death?
From the very beginning of this series, I have felt the amazing writing alongside the powerful, imaginative and completely spectacular story lines. In this fifth installment, the power almost jumps off of the scale, as does the evil that dwells within the story.
In the previous book, we learnt a lot more about the characters we have grown to love, though now it is completely back to business with the supernatural hitting hard. That is certainly not to say that we do not learn more about the characters in this book. As always, the characters are so 'real' that we are able to feel every emotion, every inner thought of the main character, and learn what background information we need in order to really fall in love with both characters. The information is held back a little throughout the beginning of the book, though we find out a lot more once the second half of the book begins, and this information is part of what has been building up from the beginning. Of course, there is still loads more to learn from these wonderful characters, though as always, this great author knows just how much to give us so we are completely hooked!
Due to the storyline, we do lose a little of Perry's characterisation, though this is written into the story perfectly that we are able to accept the new situation immediately. She is still very much a character which I feel I can relate to in many ways (though the storyline certainly puts a slight bridge in the circumstantial relation!), and I still continue to feel that she is a character which pleads for my attention so completely. Neither one of the main characters are 'fake' or forced in any way, and a number of the lesser characters are also as real as they are, creating a very well rounded 'cast'. We also learn a little more of Perry's younger sister in this book which I really loved. Before, although the character was written perfectly, I felt she was almost a spare part to the bigger story, though in this book she realy finds her place in Perry's world, something I am sure we will see more of in future books/novellas.
As already mentioned, we have been given a taste of the characters leading the story over the supernatural in the past book, though now it is very much centred upon a supernatural eternity which attacks Perry. This is obviously a book which you would have to have read the former ones beforehand, so you will already know the style that the supernatural beings take in these books, though this book takes this series to all new heights.
Concentrating along these lines, you will also come to understand that these books are like no other. Although they focus upon the supernatural, they are not written in a horror format. The fear factor is not generally one which will make you cower under the bedcovers, afraid of being alone in the dark, though one which is perhaps inside of you. It looks at the fear of yourself and your choices, your own thoughts and feelings and pushes it into situations which are slightly creepy. It is more these situations and the surroundings which provide the creepiness rather than the supernatural itself. Weather, noises, darkness...it all provides an amazing setting for a creepy tale, though it is the characters which provide the inner fear. This is something which is paramount in this book through Perry and her own circumstances.
Once again, it is the hauntings in the book which also provide fuel for Perry and Dex's rollercoaster relationship. Like the fact that the supernatural element does not make this a horror, this relationship certainly does not make this a simple love story, though from the very beginning, this relationship has grown, changed and progressed and it is perhaps the main part of the story in many ways. Unlike the past books, though, we see mainly the after effects of their relationship problems, and for the first half the perfect fictional couple is split which I found such a shame. Although I loved the whole book, I felt that the first half had a gaping hole in it where Dex should have been. There was enough action and storytelling to keep me entertained, though it would have been so much better if Dex had featured somewhere in the first half.
The flow and style of this story is one that we have come to expect in this series. Once again, it is perfectly timed and flows magnificently. The style and flow mirror the action and story and in a lot of ways at a lot of moments in this book, both style and flow represent more of an urgent prose, and it is reflected in the writing perfectly.
Have I said 'perfectly' too often in this review? In my opinion, no, as the writing style, story and characters are simply that! I have high praise for the author here!
The story did have a small sense of predictability, though enough twists and turns happened which were surprising that the aspects which I did predict did not matter in the slightest.
The story probably best falls into the paranormal romance genre. The genre, though, is not that easy to place as there are also aspects of amazingly funny humour, supernatural, mystery, thriller...you name it, this book has it all and everything is incorporated into the story in such an amazing way that you don't really concentrate on what genre this should rightfully fit it - you just fall in love with every part of it!
The story is written from the first person perspective as already mentioned, and this is from Perry's perspective. This is a fantastically written viewpoint and we learn just as much as the author wants us to about this character, with the story opening up before us as it does to Perry. We see and feel her insecurities about her life, her body and her thoughts and feelings. We feel her fear. We cry out in shock the moment she does. It is possibly one of the best third person points of view I have read as there is nothing unreal about this character, and although I can not relate to everything about her, there is bound to be something with this person that everyone will be able to relate to.
Soon, The Experiment in Terror series will change view points and we will see the story unfold from Dex's point of view and that is something I am also very much looking forward to.
The following warning is written in the blub of the first book and still applies here;
"The Experiment in Terror series is a horror/romance for mature audiences only. Readers who are easily offended by harsh language should think twice about reading it."
This is something to take note of. I am not one to love reading harsh languages within a book and often feel that it is put there for no good reason other than the way younger readers tend to speak these days, though I do admit that most of this language within this book feels right to be there. Perhaps it is the 'real' feeling of the characters and storyline which makes these words seem in the right places? Perhaps it is something else, though either way, I was not offended by it in the slightest and it became as part of this story as the characters themselves were. There is a lot of this type of harsh language, though, so do be warned.
Other aspects to be aware of are such things as violence, sexual tension and mental health. All of these pop their heads in and out of the pages throughout the story. Possession is another aspect which is paramount in this book with references to evil and demons.
So what makes this book any different to other books along these lines?
Everything makes this book different from other books along the ghostly/supernatural lines. Yes, it does have elements from other books and films, a couple which spring to mind is the US television series of Supernatural and also X.Files, though still, I find that this book goes even further. The fact that it is a continuation story from the previous books also build on the originality. It is certainly not a book to be read if you have not followed the story right from the very beginning in the Darkhouse. I think it is the perfectly written reality of it all which keeps it grounded whilst allowing the mind to roam free which creates such an amazing read. The story is not overly unique in many ways, though there are a number of surprises, and again, the way it is written creates the feel of something until now, left undiscovered. Also, due to the element of truth in the story of the island, it makes the whole story become that much more real.
One thing which I find very important in a book is the ending. A story can be written perfectly, though if the ending is wrong, then it gives me a really terrible feel to the whole book, almost as though I feel my time was wasted reading it, even if I did enjoy the rest of the story.
So how does the ending of this book compare?
The ending did not have so much a 'wow' factor as the book before, though it certainly had a shock factor to it. Although I had pretty much guessed the ending to a large degree, it did not make it any less exciting. Like the other books that came before it, the ending to On Demon Wings left me wanting more and more of both the characters and the story.
"Perry," he said quietly, his fingers trailing down the side of my face, "you'll never have to save my life. You gave me life. I never lived a single day until the first day I met you."
There were a number of slower moments in this book though none which were un-called for in the slightest. I found the beginning half of the book a little fraustrating at times due to the lack of Dex, though the fantastic writing style kept me going, and as per usual, the story really took off in more ways than one.
The whole Experiment in Terror series to this point has been absolutely fantastic. I can not praise the author enough, and this latest book has not let me down at all.
If you have not read the first three books then I would certainly recommend doing so now. This is not a book to be read before entering this world from the very beginning and so much in this book depends on what you already know. Without this information, the power and emotion of both the storyline and characters will be lost on you, and you really need to read this and feel everything there needs to be felt.
Will I read the next book?
After this book, there is currently one more book published (as of time of writing) and three novellas to look forward to, all of which I have already read.
Throughout this series I have learnt that you will simply not want to wait for the next book so I suggest purchasing them all at once. Luckily, if you are reading on a Kindle device, the one click download enables you to buy the book and read it without delay which is fantastic, as once you have entered the world that this author creates, you will not want to leave it!
This story is approximately 454 pages depending on which format you are reading.
The price of this book on Amazon is slightly more than many books of this kind coming in between £8 to £12 for the paperback form. The Kindle book is a lot cheaper at only £2.49. That is my kind of price! Don't worry if you don't have a Kindle, simply go to Amazon.co.uk and download their Kindle app absolutely free to your PC and then download the Kindle book in seconds.
Do I recommend this book?
Without a Doubt!
The Experiment in Terror series has to be one of my favourite series this year.