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The Devil's Playground is the final book in Jenna Black's Morgan Kingsley series. This is one of my favourite series and I am very sad to see it's at its end, especially as I didn't realise until quite far into the book that it was the last. For those of you who haven't been following the series this is obviously not the place to start. This series focuses on Morgan Kingsley, an exorcist who is possessed by Lugh, the king of the demons. The world that this series is set in is just like our own except in that world people can be possessed by demons. Lugh's brother is trying to kill him so that he can take the throne and basically enslave humans. Lugh and his council are working to defeat his brother. This book is really just a continuation of previous books. Lugh is still possessing Morgan. Lugh's brother is still trying to kill him. Morgan is still having boyfriend troubles and still stuck in a strange kind of love triangle with Lugh and Brian.
The thing that really struck me with this book was that it felt very comfortable. It wasn't as exciting as earlier books but I felt comfortable reading it. The characters are familiar and I really like most of them. It was proving to be an enjoyable read. It certainly didn't have the same hold on me as the very early books but I felt like we were just getting into a comfortable part of the series. Then of course I found out that it was last book and suddenly it went from being an enjoyable book to a disappointing book. I expected the final book in the series would have something more to it...more excitement, more action, more drama. This just seemed a little bit of an anti-climax. I think that when you have a series like this it is really hard to write a good ending but in this case it was just so unexpected. It was only as I got to the end of the book that I started to wonder if this was it. I think that there should have been a much bigger build up to the finale and it just feels like it should have been grander somehow.
I feel bad giving this book a three star rating because up until the end of the book I did enjoy it. I have always really liked Morgan and there are some excellent secondary characters in this book. The whole premise of the world has always been so simple yet so well thought out at the same time and in this book we continue to discover new aspects of the world. There are some fantastic little twists in it, nothing spectacular or over the top just a few things to keep you wondering what will happen next. As just another book in the series it worked really well but as I've said it's just because this is so disappointing for a final instalment that I'm rating it low.
I wrote to the author to ask if this was the final book and she sent me a response almost immediately (which impressed me greatly). She told me that she felt that the series had become very comfortable for her and that she writes best when she is uncomfortable. This really echoed my own thoughts on the book. It did feel very comfortable to read but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Obviously there is a point where a series should come to an end but for me this one just felt so unexpected and so premature. She also told me that she had left some doors open so that she could come back to the series if she wanted to and that there would be a short story published at some point. Although she said that she was keeping some doors open it really felt more like she was leaving things unfinished. There were so many loose ends that weren't tied up and as a reader and fan of the series I felt a bit cheated. To an extent I'm holding off judgement until I read the short story, maybe some things will be tied up then.
Like all of the books in this series this one was good. It was well written, the characters continued to enchant me and the world that it's set in continued to intrigue me. But as a final book in the series it was a disappointment. This book left me feeling bad. I feel like I invested some many hours into reading the series and this one just left me with a slightly empty feeling, like I had been cheated.
I would still recommend this series but warn readers that the last book is disappointing and certainly not the grand finale I was expecting.