I cannot believe I did this to myself again. I opened this book and didn’t stop until I had inhaled it. And it was so good to revisit this world, but now I’m horribly aware of the looooong wait for the final book. And it’s Michael’s book, so that just makes it even harder. I don’t want to say goodbye, but I want it so bad. I know I’m not going to be able to hold out a whole year. I’m going to crack and have to reread them all to torture myself some more.
I was really surprised to discover how different this entry felt from the earlier books in this series. That’s not a bad thing, I actually liked seeing things from another perspective, but it was unexpected. I think if you were completely new to the series you could jump into this book without a lot of the same issues you would experience by jumping into one of the other ones. The third book, Demon Night, also seems like an easy place to jump in. I DO NOT recommend it, however, because I think this series is best experienced from the beginning, so you can watch each twist and turn develop in the story arc. And I seriously cringe in horror over the thought of someone starting with this book and spoiling themselves for the intense events in Demon Forged.
One of the most surprising things about this book was how removed it was from the Guardians. The hero tried his hardest to steer clear of them so he could fulfill his own mission, so we spent most of the story solely focused on Ash and Nicholas. We occasionally cut away to spend some time in Taylor’s POV (squee!) and eventually get some time with the Guardians, but for the most part it’s just them. Luckily, they were great together. Ash was especially hilarious, owing to her problem feeling emotion, and watching Nicholas become frustrated by her lack of memory was fun.
Ash is the worst demon ever, but that’s what makes her so fun. She cannot remember anything, so we get a crash course on the ins and outs of demons right alongside her. I really enjoyed getting a deeper look at the Rules and what was and was not allowed and how that could be twisted. Nicholas finds her a little frustrating at first, and is very suspicious of her—big surprise. Who isn’t he suspicious of? I loved watching him be bothered by her staring—she’s isn’t worried about making people uncomfortable—and I laughed to myself as he tried to figure out whether or not she really was that clueless and actually did want him. I can’t blame him for being suspicious, especially because what he knew about demons was pretty concrete, but I wish he had let it go earlier. Luckily, neither of them were unreasonable and both were willing to own when they screwed up.
I loved watching Ash and Nicholas grow into themselves together. They both started the book in a kind of childlike state. They inadvertently helped each other discover themselves, but it wasn’t without bruised feelings along the way. I also really, really liked how the author played with what makes a person who they are. I, personally, agree with the decision that Ash made, and the reason she did. I would have been very unhappy if it had gone any other way. I am firmly of the belief that the person you are is what life and experience has made you. Change one thing and it might change everything. You might never had ended up the person you are today.
In addition to a lovely romance, we are also treated to an ever deepening story arc. Each book has layered onto this storyline, which is why I really think people cheat themselves if they skip around. I am constantly impressed by the depth and intensity we get in each book and am amazed at how well balanced they are. Not only do we get a great romance, we also get an intricate story full of well developed characters and plots galore. I am really excited to see how this will all resolve in the end.
“And I wasn’t thinking of a plane.” When she looked at him blankly, Nicholas clenched his teeth and counted to three. “I know you can fly.”
Her eyes widened and she looked down at her hands. “I can shape-shift into a bird? How?”
Jesus H. Christ. The next time he made a bargain, Nicholas would damn well make certain the demon knew more than a bag of bricks.