Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Being the youngest daughter of the Devil has never been easy. Daphne's father has no time for her, her mother no interest, and her status in the upper echelon separates her from the working-class demons that populate Lucifer's metropolis.
When her brother and closest confidante leaves, life in the restrictive city of Pandemonium becomes intolerable. In an attempt to find him, Daphne sets out for Earth - and finds it larger and more chaotic than she imaginedl a dazzling expanse of noise, dirt and random violence. Despite her bewilderment, she navigates the mortal world with growing fascination, gaining an ally when she saves a dying boy from her father's minions.
For Truman Flynn, the last year has been one long downward spiral, but when Daphne arrives just in time to save his life, he finds himself unexpectedly glad to have another chance. Together, Daphne and Truman go in search of her brother, braving the hazards of Las Vegas and the perils of first love, even as it becomes increasingly clear that her brother might have had a secret and compelling reason for leaving.
Lucifer's agents aren't the only creatures on the prowl, and Daphne soon finds herself the target of a plan to rid the world of demons for good. Now she must evade a demon-eating monster, rescue her brother from an angelic zealot, and save the boy she loves.
A big thanks to Caroline from Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!
Okay I'm just laying it all onto the table - Brenna Yovanoff is an amazing young adult writer. Not kidding. She not only manages to pull of great storylines but she also has the nack for creating fairy-tale-like stories. Only they are so much, much darker. So dark in fact, that she's a legend when it come to writing her lyrical proses.
The author's debut novel, The Replacement, was a favourite book of mine last year and I believe it was a favourite for many readers judging by the gushing reviews over the internet. As much as I won't like admitting to this, but surprisingly I found SMOULDER was far more entertaining and I was engrossed from its tale right from the very first page. The descriptions were both lovely and visual, the imagery itself were dark, sharp, creepy and beautiful, and not to mention the characters were like long lost friends and were shrouded with a whole lot of mystery that you're always on the edge of your seat . . . waiting impatiently to find out more. Unlike Brenna Yovanoff's first book, this one is all about the ugly demons and highlights heavily on the worlds of Heaven and Hell. And I know what you're thinking: My kind of book, right? At least it was for me and boy was it everything I was hoping for.
The story follows Daphne, the daughter of Lilith and Lucifer. She lives in a world called Pandemonium, a city of Hell that is marked by metal and heat. As she questions about what she will become and where her life is heading, her older brother suddenly disappears and declared missing . . . so it's up to her to find him and understand what's going on. By that, I mean she has to travel up to Earth for the very first time in her existence and it's not what she expects. It's a very dangerous world out there for someone like her. However, in order to find her brother, Obie, she must seek help from the last person who had seen him - a human named Truman, a boy Obie saved from Hell about a year ago. But he's just as messed up as she is, which clearly doesn't 'help'.
Without going into further details, I found Daphne to be the absolute perfect heroine. This girl isn't entirely sure where her life is heading towards and comparing herself to her demonic family members . . . Daphne is bored of their life and she wants to be something more than to eventually become someone like her soul-sucking-succubus sisters. The only real person who cares about Daphne is her brother, Obie, and it was nice to see her love for him shine in this dark setting. As you explore her world and the world she experiences down on Earth, readers will get to see two very different sides to Daphne's character and personality, and you too, I'm sure, will fall in love with her. She's smart, totally badass (she likes a little knife action okay!), a little crazy (not like that's a bad thing in her case), and she's quite compassionate despite her demonic side. And she's afraid of nothing. What can I say except she was perfect to the very bone.
Now onto Truman Flynn. Honestly I loved Truman and he entered my heart immediately. He is a broken soul and completely messed up - there's no need to deny it. But I love him. So, so much. He's the kind of guy who seems far away somewhere in his own little world and he's someone who has gone through so much pain in his young life that words cannot describe it. It's no wonder why he wants is to escape from all that pain and end his life. But once you overlook his depression and his need to no care about anything or rather anyone, readers - much like with Daphne's character - will get to see such a strong, courgeous, and an absolutely stunner of a boy character. He is my favourite character in this novel and I just want to hug, kiss . . . and do whatever with him. He's perfect in every way possible.
Also, another bonus from SMOULDER is the one-on-one interaction between Daphne and Truman. Their relationship was cold and distant at the beginning, but once you get to know the two of them and get to know their lives that they're currently living, the intensity increases to the highest level and their sudden friendship evolves into something more that neither anticipated. Trust me here, there's a lot of fiery sparks coming off these two teenagers from two very different worlds. I mean, both characters have no idea how to love or what love exactly is, but once they find each other and explore the hidden secrets and lies . . . they are perfection within themselves. Not to mention there was perfect chemistry flowing between them. Love them to bits . . .
Overall I thought SMOULDER was a delicious, unique, entertaining, exciting, and a very captivating storyline with so many elements that fascinated me - a novel that easily becomes one of my favourites of this year. And I hope it does the same for those readers who have yet to read a great Yovanoff novel. So be sure to check it out when it's released.