Thursday, 25 April 2013

UKYA Review: Demonic Dora by Claire Chilton

Published by: Ragz Books
Release date: 30th June 2013
The Demon Diaries #1
I got it from:

Goodreads summary:

Dora Carridine is trying to summon a demon, but she's not very good at Latin and nothing ever works out the way she plans.

Her life is fraught with weekly exorcisms and having to watch her father’s fire and brimstone TV show every Sunday. So, when Dora finally succeeds in summoning an incompetent demon lord, she’s absolutely delighted when all hell breaks loose.

She thought summoning a sexy demon lord would be the answer to all of her problems, but her problems are only just beginning when her zealot parents try to burn her at the stake, and Dora is left with only one option—to escape and follow her demon straight into Hell.

My review:
I wasn't quite sure what to make of Demonic Dora at first. I haven't read anything by Claire Chilton before, and I can safely say I've never read anything quite like Demonic Dora. Most YA involves a certain level of angst. It's all a bit emo usually - brooding boys, forbidden love, drama and doom. Demonic Dora kind of has those aspects, but it also has an all-important hit of comedy. I wasn't expecting it, and it took me aback at first, but when I got into it, I realised I loved it!

Light-hearted, irreverent, full of swearing and down-right funny at times, Demonic Dora is a perfect candidate for the Best of British Challenge I'm taking part in this year. You just don't get this kind of humour from any other nationality. Dora is brilliantly teenagerish - full of attitude, sarcasm and misplaced confidence. Her dad is a TV minister, and in a typically teen act of rebellion, Dora is teaching herself witchcraft and trying to summon a demon. To everyone's surprise, she succeeds. Unfortunately, her father is not too impressed and reacts by trying to burn her at the stake. It's surprising how stupid an angry mob can be. There's only one way to get out of it - Dora lets her demon (the rather sexy and distinctly human-looking Kieron) escort her into hell.

Chilton's Hell is just brilliant. Full of all manner of winged, horned, furry and smelly demons, a Disneyland level and an office-worker's corporate nightmare, this is an interesting place to visit. Kieron's dad isn't too impressed that he's brought home a girl with a shiny white soul at first, but he agrees to let her stay for a while and once Kieron rescues Dora from the dungeon (where his schizo mother decided she belonged), everything is hunky-dory. Well, for a while at least...

Kieron is different from your average paranormal hero. To start with, he's not exactly the brightest spark. He's much too nice for Hell's standards, which means that he's a bit of a rubbish demon. When he's in his human form he's all blonde-haired, blue-eyed, good-boy-sexy, and when he's in his demon form... well, he's pretty much the same but with little horns and red eyes. Not quite the scary monster his parents want him to be. He's enough of a demon to be pretty low on morals, which makes him a fun, sexy character who's always trying to get into Dora's pants. He's got a good heart though, which may not be a great trait in a demon but it makes for a good story and means that he comes through when Dora really needs him.

Full of entertaining adventures and torture devices, Demonic Dora is a charming read - a super bit of witty escapism and a welcome break from the usual YA distressed souls.

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