Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Monday, May 16, 2011

 Plot Summary:Nick and Alan Ryves have been on the run for as long as they can remember. After the death of their father, and their mother stricken with madness, they have had to move, a lot, in order to escape from a man responsible for their misfortune named Black Arthur. When their home is attacked by a flock of crazy ravens, who happen to be possessed by a demon, under the control of the magician, the boys know that Black Arthur knows where the are. Later that night, two of their classmates sneak up on them and ask for advice; Jamie, the brother of Mae, has been marked by a demon, and in the process, Alan is marked as while trying to save them from the mist. Nick will not let Alan succumb to the demon and, thus, they head for London looking for the next Goblin Market to try an erase the mark. Little do they know, this is only just the beginning of a much larger set of problems.


Critical Evaluation:
Sarah Rees Brennan is a brilliant writer. Not only does she hook her readers, immediately, but she keeps them begging for more. In the Demon's Lexicon, is a start of an amazing journey where two brother must put aside their "normalcy" in order to survive. At the core of their problems is the fact they are being chased by their mother's (Olivia) ex-lover who bestowed an amulet of great power. Unfortunately, this man, Black Arthur, drove Nick's mother mad just after she had met his father because of the amulet. In many respects, Nick blames his mother for the death of their father and the fact they cannot live simple lives (there is a lot of animosity). However, Alan is the glue that holds this broken family together since he had to step into their father's shoes. Not only is the adventure awesome, but the vulnerability of each of these characters is easy to relate to and incredibly moving.

Information about the Author:
Born and raised in Ireland, Sarah Rees Brennan spent much of her youth reading books by Jane Austen, Robin McKinley, and Diane Wynn Jones rather than learning the Irish language (not Gaelic). According to her website: "[[a]fter college she lived briefly in New York and somehow survived in spite of her habit of hitching lifts in fire engines. She began working on The Demon’s Lexicon while doing a Creative Writing MA and library work in Surrey, England" (para. 2). After writing Demon's Lexicon, she returned to Ireland where she will continue to write about her future endeavors.

Genre:
Teen Fantasy


Reading Level/Interest:Grades 9 & up


Books Similar to Demon's Lexicon:


Awards & Recognition:
Positive reviews from the following review sources:
  • Booklist
  • Horn Book
  • Kirkus
  • School Library Journal
  • V.O.Y.A.

{ 1 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. All of the characters have more to them than it appears at first glance, and it's easy to believe the vivid world of magicians and the Goblin's Market could truly exist amidst our own. The many twists will keep readers guessing and glued to the page, but ultimately the story rests on Nick and Alan and the intense yet tenuous bond between them. It's this relationship that gives the novel its heart, and raises it above the many other paranormal and urban fantasy offerings hitting the shelves.

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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