Berkley, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-425-22864-7
Reading Demon Mistress is a test on my part. I was this close to getting off the Sisters of the Moon bandwagon – this is the sixth book in the series – and I picked this book up to see whether the author would change my mind about the decay of the series. Alas, this book shares the same flaws of the previous two books in the series, and not only that, it is boring. When Ms Galenorn can make the most interesting of the D’Artigo sisters boring, that’s when I know it is time to hop off the train and find something else to read.
There is no big story line anymore. Just small mini-episodes of little spooky dramas interspersed by soap operas involving the sisters Camille, Delilah, and Menolly. It is Menolly’s turn to tell the story from her point of view, and while she may be a bisexual kick-ass vampire heroine, the story is so boring that she becomes boring by osmosis. Menolly inherits an inn and stumbles upon some belongings of a missing Elf. She tries to find out what happened to this Elf. Meanwhile, there is a giant squid attacking the P3 bar run by the sisters, some pack melodrama involving Menolly’s girlfriend Nerissa, some sexual tension between Menolly and the demon Roz, and a few other story lines, all of which are narrated with the urgency of a bored baby trying not to yawn.
Secondary characters show up like a roll call in action. All the men who have ever slept with the sisters are reduced to being personality-free groupies. Mario and Smoky, Camille’s two husbands, literally follow her around like docile puppies in this story. I’d like to imagine that her “alpha husband” is MIA because he’s decided to grow some and regain his spine. Chase, Delilah’s no-good cheating boyfriend, is back to being a goo-goo eyed fellow here, as if all the drama in the previous book has been erased by Delilah’s magic personality-devouring hoo-hoo. Roz sleeps with Menolly here, so expect him to become a docile shadow of his former self in the next book.
Meanwhile, the mythology is resembling more and more like an overflowing waste basket. The author seems to be making up new rules and introducing new creatures into her already crowded and incoherent world as she goes along. Meanwhile, the main characters are all bland and they all share the same thought bubble. Reading this book is like having to endure those horrid young adult Charmed spin-off books. The whole thing is as deep as a puddle.
The heroines don’t even have to face any repercussions for their actions anymore. Menolly can kill the bad guys without batting an eyelid and nobody tries to stop her. Apparently the D’Artigo sisters are the good guys and therefore they can bend and even break the rules without being called on it. She sleeps with Roz, effectively cheating on Nerissa, and Nerissa doesn’t care, wanting instead to know whether Roz is good in bed. When the men cheat on the D’Artigo sisters, it’s time to wail, screech, and rage, but when the women sleep with people behind the backs of those they are in a relationship with, it’s a beautiful thing because they aren’t meant to be monogamous, you know. The D’Artigo sisters are oozing with awesomeness, why not spread the love around?
At the end of the day, this is a very boring story because there is no suspense. The heroines are so awesome, it’s incomprehensible that they would ever do anything remotely wrong, so it’s not like there is any moment where I’d worry that they’d be defeated. The pacing is non-existent as the author rambles, goes into bizarre tangents about the soap opera lives of secondary characters, and has the characters treating supposedly dire problems as if these problems are no more urgent than a broken fingernail. Secondary characters exist only to worship and adore the D’Artigo sisters.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel, it seems, only a huge sign lit up with bright sparkling neon lights, telling me, “You’re Going Deeper Into Mary Sue Territory”. Really, stop the train – I’m getting off right here.