Edward Youngblood has taken on an incredible task. He must collect a list of rare and downright impossible items, all in the hope that doing so might finally free his beloved from hell. Mullins has been his teacher and friend for more than a century and Edward knows time is running out for the demon. Mullins has spent 400 years avoiding the one thing that every demon must accomplish, the taking of a soul. As a result, Mullins has retained his humanity, but his reluctance hasn’t gone unnoticed. If he isn’t freed soon, then he may never have another chance. He wouldn’t risk Edward’s life just to be free, but the Youngbloods are a stubborn bunch and along with his brothers, Edward is determined to save the man he loves.
Doing so won’t be easy, but the Youngbloods have managed the impossible before. It just takes a little bit of planning. And elves. Mostly it takes elves. When the Youngblood’s power isn’t enough, they will have to ask a favor from a race that lives a life separate from everyone else. But doing so might just allow Edward and Mullins to finally achieve their happily ever after.
Familiar Demon is the direct sequel to Familiar Angel and I think they really need to be read in order to have everything make sense. Amy Lane’s comfortable and engaging writing style is on fine display with Familiar Demon and the book had her trademark voice and aesthetic. Edward is just as determined as the rest of the Youngblood clan, but he lacks the bent for self destruction that we saw in his brother, Harry. He’s lived a different path than his brothers, having taken two spouses during his long life. He knows what it means to love and to lose, which makes his desperation to save Mullins all the more poignant. Mullins feels a bit more distant as a character, but given his situation it made sense. He’s been a part of the Youngblood family for decades, but he’s still a demon and has to be treated as such, meaning he’s always been held at arms length. He may love Edward, but that doesn’t mean much in the face of his confinement in hell.
My frustrations with Familiar Demon are mild, but they are the same ones I had with Familiar Angel. There is a chaotic edge to the story that left me feeling as though I was never getting all the information I needed. Mullins and Edward have had all these years to fall in love, but we don’t get to see much of that. Instead, we’re dropped into a relationship already well established and its done in such a way that it creates a disconnect from the characters. Additionally, we see the inclusion of the Green’s Hill community, which is a completely separate set of books by Lane. I think she does a good job of integrating them, but it just felt like another instance where I felt out of step as a reader.
Despite my issues with the book, Familiar Demon is still very enjoyable and, while it isn’t my favorite work by Amy Lane, there’s a lot to love here. Lane is truly a master of strong character development and giving readers an engaging story with epic consequences. Consider this one recommended.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.