Author: TJ Nichols
Publisher: DSP Publications
Rating: 3 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Angus Donohue doesn’t want to be a warlock. He believes draining demons for magic is evil, but it’s a dangerous opinion to have—his father is a powerful and well-connected warlock, and Angus is expected to follow the family tradition.
His only way out is to fail the demon summoning class. Failure means expulsion from the Warlock College. Despite Angus’s best efforts to fumble the summoning, it works. Although not the way anyone expects.
Angus’s demon, Saka, is a powerful mage with his own need for a warlock.
Saka wants to use Angus in a ritual to rebalance the magic that is being stripped from Demonside by warlocks. If Angus survives his demon’s desires and the perils of Demonside, he’ll have to face the Warlock College and their demands.
Angus must choose: obey the College and forget about Demonside or trust Saka and try to fix the damage before it’s too late. Whatever he does, he is in the middle of a war he isn’t qualified to fight.
Review: This is another one of those books that in theory I should love. I’m a huge fan of magic. A school for warlocks will suck me in anytime despite the fact I don’t love YA books. I’m easy that way! This is more NA as it’s a college of sorts though. Throw in some demons and other worlds and I’m sold. This book for me however fell pretty flat.
Angus makes a fairly lame attempt at NOT conjuring a demon. A requirement for students to continue at the Warlock College. Instead of failing Angus conjures up a very powerful mage demon from the Demonside. A world quickly losing all water resources because the Humanside or Earth is taking too much magic and not giving balance back. Earth is getting colder everyday. You’d think someone would figure out the balance is off but a group of greedy powerful Warlocks have floated around lies for so long their version of “truth” is being taught in schools. To question them at all means you could be banished to Demonside or up and disappear one day. The humans take a demon for power. Force them to do their will. Sucking up all their magic until they die and then repeat the cycle of trapping another demon. Once there was a mutual benefit to a human and demon relationship but no longer. There’s a divide and a power struggle. The corruption I and greed is costing both humans and demons their worlds.
Despite liking the world building and conflicts between the realms for the most part I had problems with this book. First parts of this book were overly descriptive to the point I’d blank out while reading them. Never good. Maybe it’s because a lot of it was repetitive? Either way parts of this book dragged. There was an abundance of sex scenes just for the sake of sex I wanted to skim read because they had no emotion behind them. I know this is a personal preference. Sake, the demon who snatches Angus during the summoning, uses sex magic to balance out his world. Although Angus is willing because he feels lust for Sake it has a non con feel initially. I get it serves a purpose In this world and Angus seems to enjoy it more than blood magic but it just didn’t add anything to the story for me beyond lots of sex scenes. Also there’s an icky demon orgy where Angus was offered up somewhat unwillingly that kind of squicked me out. It’s tame as far as orgies go but I still found it uncomfortable to read about.
I did like the correlation of humans taking too much from the world without giving back in comparison of how we treat our planet in real life. How given a pass we can overlook the harm done by our actions but eventually it’s all going to catch up. I also enjoyed some of the Demonside politics. The Earth side resistance gaining power and realizing what needs to be done may make future books more promising. This book relied heavily on sex between Sake and Angus which I don’t find all that interesting. Angus had minimal growth. Sake’s character was interesting. He’s hot and cold. More practical. He gets jealous of others wanting Angus at times but then he’s okay with a lover on Earth for Angus. Yes it seems an unbalanced love triangle is coming basically because Sake isn’t capable of giving Angus what he wants. I’m not a fan of love triangles BTW. This seems to be a YA or NA trope. So I don’t know that I’ll be reading the next book in the series. There’s enough there to be intriguing of what will happen next but I do not want to sit through another book of sex magic. The rest of the world building is fairly interesting. There was just too much of the book that couldn’t hold my attention sadly.