Thursday, March 14, 2013
Death, Doom and Detention by Darynda Jones
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The normal part of Lorelei MacAlister’s life didn’t just slip away quietly the day Jared Kovach came to town. Nope. The normal part of her life shattered. It exploded. It burst into a gazillion shards of fleeting light.
It went out with a bang.
Hello dark and eerie.
While her best friend, Brooklyn, is focusing all of her energy on helping Lorelei hone her abilities, Lorelei is dealing with the reality that Satan’s second in command has taken up residence inside her body. Oh, and the fact that she has a crush on the Angel of Death. But what a beautiful death it is. If those weren’t bad enough, something sinister has come to town and it wants nothing more than to hear Lorelei’s dying breath as it strangles it out of her. Thank goodness the gang has a supernatural champion. But what happens when the only being who can save them switches sides midstream? How can a group of misfits capture one of the most powerful beings ever created? And will they find out how to bring Jared back to them before it’s too late? (courtesy of Goodreads)
Death, Doom and Detention is a combination of a paranormal romance and contemporary teenage novel. I suppose every YA paranormal romance fits that description, but it feels particularly pronounced in the Darklight series. That's a compliment, not a criticism. I enjoy the juxtaposition between Lorelei's role as a prophet and her life as a normal girl with friends, homework, and petty high school drama.
In many ways, Death, Doom and Detention is a typical "second book." Jared, Lorelei's hot Grim Reaper/Archangel lover boy is absent for much of the novel. Thankfully, this book avoids the stereotypical love triangle (at least one involving Lorelei). There is one, actually, but it's so brief and fits into the context of the plot that it's understandable.
Lorelei is trying to come to terms not only with the recent revelation that she's a prophet but also that she is possessed by a demon. Plus, Jared is now keeping his distance from her. Like a typical teenager, her parental figures, her grandparents in the case, bear the brunt of her moodiness. It was tempting to pass her off as being whiny to two people who have her best interests at heart, but if my family had hidden such things from me and discouraged my boyfriend's attentions, I'd be rather peeved as well. I thought she was realistically written.
The highlight of this series for me continues to be Brooklyn, Glitch, and Cameron. Jared is a hot sexy angel guy who is the perfect combination of dangerous and utterly devoted lover, but his is just not the personality type that sets my heart a-beating. To each her own. I am much more into the dark, loner, angry protector type that is Cameron. I picture him being rather emo and goth, which I know is not correct. I love his sarcasm and the tension between him and Jared. Glitch and Brooklyn are super fun best friend characters. They remind me of puppies - Brooklyn is a perky toy poodle and Glitch is something goofy like a cocker spaniel. They are always at Lorelai's side and know just what to say to lighten the mood - both for Lorelai and the reader.
While Jared is absent for large swaths of the book, this isn't a novel where the action dulls without the lead guy's presence. Lorelai and her friends encounter numerous danger with and without Jared. Plus, the mystery of his disappearance drives a large part of the book. The book is never an uber-pageturner, but it also never drags. A nice comfortable pace.
I only have a few criticisms. First, an overuse of the word "heck." It fits Lorelai, being the granddaughter of a preacher, but a few more swear words from the other characters would be more realistic (to the characters' credit, there are a few) - and this is from a person who does not like reading a lot of swearing in books. Second, I hate it when people don't use the serial comma/Oxford comma. It should be "Death, Doom, and Detention." Nerd alert - sorry.
All in all, Death, Doom and Detention is a fun continuation of the Darklight series. I'm excited to read the third installment and have put Ms. Jones's adult series even higher on my TBR list. A recommended read!