Monday, November 22, 2010

The Devil's Playground, by Jenna Black

warning: this is the 5th book in the series, so expect references to the earlier books.

From the back cover: The Seven Deadlies, a demon club in Philadelphia, has always catered to the most attractive and desirable hosts. Recently, though, more and more of the lower dregs of society have been showing up with demons of their own - in alarming numbers. Exorcist Morgan Kingsley is sure that Dougal, the demon king's brother, is behind this, but isn't sure why. Is Dougal building an army to snatch the throne of the demons from his brother Lugh? If there's one person who can get to the bottom of this, it's Morgan, but caught between her mortal lover Brian and the demon she lusts for, it's going to take everything she has to keep her head - and heart - in the game.

I've put off buying this book because I didn't want the series to be over - I enjoyed it too much to want to let it go. When I eventually opened it, despite intentions of making it last, savouring this last of the series, I read it the same way I've read all Jenna's books - very fast.
The story starts when Shae, owner of the Seven Deadlies, pays Morgan a visit to tell her about the growing number of hosts visiting the club. Morgan gets Lugh's council involved, and they start investigating. There's also the conflict in her love life to deal with, though. Lugh expressing his interest in Morgan's long suffering boyfriend, Brian, puts more strain on that particular relationship. I felt like the pacing was a little different in this book to the others. It still picked me up and sucked me in just as much, but the characters have to spend a lot more time waiting for events to unfold than they have in previous books. I think I liked this - it sometimes annoys me when the events of a book take place over just a couple of days.

One of the great things about this book was that you could really see how far the characters have come over the series. The relationship between Morgan & Brian is much steadier than it has been. I've had mixed feeling about Brian in previous books - a lot of the time I felt like, if he couldn't put up with the involvement of the demons, and the way Morgan was, then he should shut up and leave. He is much more willing to accept things now, if still a little reluctantly.

This book is where things finally come to a head with Dougal, and the characters really have to come together and use all their alliances to protect the human and demon worlds from Dougal's plans, and deal with him once and for all.

As a final book in the series, I think it works. It ties up the important plot points, although I still have several questions about where things were going in the personal lives of some of the characters. I think my biggest disappointment with this book is that there aren't enough hot Morgan/Lugh times!

I love this book, and am definitely looking forward to whatever Ms Black produces next. 10 out of 10!

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