New Book Review 17: Demorn: City of Innocents

The seventeenth book I’m reviewing here is Demorn: City of Innocents, the second book of David Finn’s Asanti series. Back in June I read the first one, Demorn: Blade of Exile, and I reviewed it on the blog here. The first impressed me enough to continue to the second, and when the third in the series comes out later this year I intend to buy, read, and review it as well. The label I gave the first book seems true of the whole series, a cross-dimensional dark modern fantasy adventure. The first book was both manically entertaining and manically confusing, and this second book toned down the manic quality of the first to create a work that was a little slower-paced but much easier to follow.

To review, Demorn is a powerful fighter who’s been engaged in wild adventures across time and multiple versions of reality for several years. Her paths have crossed with various gods, monsters, aliens, cultists, historical figures (she was all buddy-buddy with Frank Sinatra for as long as that lasted), magical objects, and so forth. She’s seen the end of the universe and witnessed the destruction of her own homeworld, which makes her a bit of a nihilist. As a priestess of the Asanti religious order she is privy to a wide variety of spells and arcane information, and as the royal-blooded Princess of Swords she’s nearly impervious to physical harm. She’s also a huge fan of 1960s music, superhero comic books, and romantic trysts with other dimension-hopping women. Demorn spent a good chunk of the last book trapped in a dimension she calls The Graveyard, and in this book she is trying to put the pieces of her life together after escaping from The Graveyard. There are a wide variety of characters (though not nearly as many as in the first book), but most of the story centers on Demorn and a godlike man she calls the Tyrant, who is alternately her close confidant and her bitter enemy as she works to avert a semi-inevitable cross-dimensional cosmic apocalypse.

The vivid storytelling and highly texture detail of the first book, its strongest points, carried over into the second. Every punch and burn and shock is felt by the character and the reader. With the story slowed down and given a tighter focus, this book was much easier to understand than the first. The complexity of the universe Demorn inhabits was still a little over my head, but it felt less overwhelming than before. The important parts weren’t so hard to follow this time around. It also helped that Demorn didn’t spend nearly as much time jumping around between worlds in this book, so I had more time to get accustomed to her locations.

For its followability, I would say that I liked this one better than the first book and I have very little bad to say about it. There were a handful of typos in the last fifteen percent of the book, which was a little unusual considering that I didn’t spot any at all in the rest of the book, but that’s not so bad. As I said before, fans of fantasy, science fiction, sword-and-sorcery, and fast-paced action stories will most likely take pleasure from this book.

And now once again, the plug. If you liked this book review, you can see my others here: New Book Review 1New Book Review 2New Book Review 3New Book Review 4New Book Review 5New Book Review 6New Book Review 7New Book Review 8New Book Review 9New Book Review 10New Book Review 11New Book Review 12New Book Review 13New Book Review 14New Book Review 15New Book Review 16

If you are a fan of fantasy, you can look into my own book, Tales of Cynings Volume I, in print format here or Kindle format here.

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