Title: The Daemon Whisperer
*Series: The Liminals Series
Author: Candice Bundy
Publisher: Lusios Publishing
Pages: Ebook; 366
Release Date: October 1, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who are fans of strong female characters, UF and PNR.
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Meriwether Storm discovered the grisly remains of her parents when she was only fourteen—the result of a failed daemon summoning. Meri immediately swore vengeance on the daemon who'd killed her parents, but there was only one problem: she had no idea which one had committed the atrocity. Before their untimely deaths, her parents trained her intensively in the arts, which Meri used to follow in their footsteps, ever seeking the daemon's name. Now, despite her years of searching, she's no closer to the truth and her time is running out.
When a mysterious daemon named Azimuth offers Meri a deadly summoning in exchange for information about her parents’ murderer, she takes it immediately and without intimidation. What does worry her is her attraction to Azimuth: when he touches Meri, her pulse races and she breathlessly awaits the feel of his lips upon her skin. Meri knows she should keep him at arm's length, but her traitorous thoughts obsess over him night and day.
Blinded by her desperation for the truth and her desire for Azimuth, Meri places her trust in the creatures who are her sworn enemy, jeopardizing her need for vengeance. After Meri discovers there's more to the deal than the daemon cabal first promised, can she accept all they have to offer?
When retribution is the only thing that drives you, how much are you willing to sacrifice before you lose yourself to the cause?
Candice Bundy has definitely started something fresh with this series. What first struck me about The Daemon Whisperer was Meri's personality. She is a strong, but believable, female character. Meri hurts. She carries baggage and craves revenge. Underneath the calm exterior is a woman who just wants to feel vindicated. I liked Meri a lot to be completely honest. Watching her grow from a wary, reserved person to someone who could trust in others was extremely satisfying.
Pair that with a whole new take on daemons and I was hooked. Perhaps it's because I'm so new to the UF genre, but this is the first book I've read that really deals with daemons and the way that they operate. The line that Bundy walks between beauty and brutality is truly wonderful. Meri's interactions with the other side really give the reader a look into why things end up where they ultimately do. There is a whole new world build in this book, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Really, if Meri had just continued right on being a bad-ass daemon dealer I would have been perfectly okay with it. What threw the book into a tailspin for me was the romantic subplot. We have a woman whose parents were viciously murdered by a daemon. A woman who makes it her job to keep these entities away from her and under her control. Then, all of the sudden, one walks into her life that has her head over heels in lust. This just felt forced to me, and not believable at all. Don't get me wrong, I liked Azimuth. It's just that the two of them together didn't seem to make sense.
I also had no idea that there were heavy erotic scenes in the story. While these didn't really affect my reading at all, I do think it's important to note to others who might want to give this series a shot. The line between UF and PNR in The Daemon Whisperer is very thin. I'm a fan of sex in my books (if it's done well), but if you're not you might be turned off by Meri's very interesting talents. That's all you'll get from me. No spoilers! Just be warned that there is sex and it is sizzling.
So there you have it. I wavered for a long time on what to give this first book in The Liminals Series. Despite any issues, The Daemon Whisperer was a read I ultimately enjoyed. I'm looking forward to seeing where Meri's story takes her next, and how much more she grows in her new role. The world that Candice Bundy has built is tantalizing and I'm fairly certain I'm in for the long haul.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.