This second book in the Demonica series deals with Shade, brother of Eidolon and Wraith, all of whom were introduced in the first book. So whilst you could start here, if you wanted to you would be missing out an awful lot of back story of who the brothers are, what they are and the world they inhabit. Alright, so they technically inhabit Earth, like the rest of us, but you get my point.
More importantly, and I have to say that this was a standout moment for me, but you whilst Runa, Shade’s mate-to-be was mentioned by name in Pleasure Unbound, we were also briefly introduced to her but never realised. Not only does Larissa Ione refer back to the incident obliquely which actually made me go “I remember that! Wow! That’s so clever!” but just in case the reference was missed, it comes up again in a character’s recall.
When an author does that it often makes me wonder if they plan it deliberately right from the start or whether it’s just one of those happy circumstances that fit with the story. Either way, it works completely here.
Unfortunately for the characters, we are introduced to them both whilst held captive of the mastermind behind the organisation that is responsible for the harvesting of demon harvesting so much like the first book, this book also made me squirm in some places. One part in particular really had me wishing the story would happen differently and had me feeling for the characters. Again, like Pleasure Unbound, I cared about the side characters. I guess I’m one of these readers that want all the characters associated with the heroes side to come out the other side unscathed. Unrealistic, perhaps, but there we go.
That doesn’t mean that this isn’t a good story, because it is. It’s just as good as the first and whilst not as full of the characters getting hot and heavy, for which there is a very good reason involving a rather nasty curse, it compensates on the action side. Another thing that I liked was that none of the previous characters were forgotten. Even Eidolon and Tayla got page time, although granted, Tayla was a cameo here.
The only thing that very slightly detracted from the story was that the ending was kind of obvious in how it needed to be resolved but by the time it came it was very satisfying in how it was handled. All in all, a very worthy sequel and I can’t wait to read Wraith’s story.