Plot Summary: Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again. Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is desperate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.
I have heard much about Brennan as a fanfiction writer. I’ve never read her stuff since I don’t really like fanfic, but she has definitely made a name for herself this way. And I think that’s great. So I happily picked up a copy of THE DEMON LEXICON.
The concept behind the story is very intriguing. And I think the author ties everything together fairly well at the end (though she left some pretty big clues, so the twist wasn’t so surprising to me). I wasn’t too thrilled about Nick, though...
As with all my book discussions, there are SPOILERS below. Big ones.
Nick isn't exactly your typical teenage boy. He's pretty much empty of all emotions, and he’s scary. Really scary. Why? Because...
If you don’t want to know the big twist at the end of the book, then stop reading because I’m about to reveal it.
Okay, I’m revealing it now...
...Nick is not human. He’s a demon in a human’s body, put there by his father before the human body was even born. Demons don’t have emotions, so Nick doesn’t have them either. He feels no love, friendliness, sympathy, or empathy. The closest thing he exhibits to an emotion is his devotion to his brother, Alan, and anger when Alan’s safety is threatened.
Because of this lack of emotion, I found it difficult to connect with him. In fact, I couldn’t stand him.
It's possible, though very difficult, to write a great book with an unlikable character. INEXCUSABLE by Chris Lynch is a good example. The main character does something horrifying, and yet the reader was still able to connect with him. Lynch did this by giving his readers insight into the character’s mind, allowing us to understand how something so awful could happen.
Unfortunately, there is nothing to connect us to Nick. He revels in scaring people, he insults those who need help, and he ignores anything that doesn’t directly affect him. Basically, he’s an incredibly selfish jerk. I thought there was way too much of this, and of him constantly telling the reader that he feels nothing.
Which brings me to the biggest issue I had with the story.
If I say that I feel nothing, that means something to me and to others around me. When my emotions overwhelm me, that also means something – I know what it is to feel nothing because I know what it is to feel something.
For Nick to constantly tell me that he feels nothing implies that he knows what it’s like to feel something. But he doesn’t. And, since he’s never had emotion, there's no way he could understand the lack of it. He is who he is, and only understands what he’s experienced.
I thought it would have been more plausible for him to openly not understand what everyone was talking about, and then either get annoyed or try to figure out what all that feeling stuff meant. This also would have provided me with a connection to Nick. If he had tried to understand what emotion was all about, especially since he has such a strong connection with Alan, then I would have had some respect for Nick. As it was, I didn't.