The Devil Inside: Got an overdue notice

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review Jenna Black Morgan Kinglsey Exorcist The Devil InsideThe Devil Inside by Jenna Black

I checked out The Devil Inside from the library, read the first few chapters, and then ended up simply forgetting to pick the book up again. Eventually I got an overdue notice from the library, which often results in my either renewing the book or hurrying up and reading it before returning it. Instead, I simply took The Devil Inside back to the library without regret. It took me a while to put my finger on why I lost interest, but now I think I’ve got it.

The beginning is great. Jenna Black sets up a dark urban-fantasy world in which demons sometimes possess unwilling humans, and in which exorcists, like Black’s Morgan Kingsley, have the difficult task of casting them out. A “successful” exorcism is far from a happy outcome, as the human’s psyche is severely damaged by the ordeal of possession, but a worse fate awaits if the exorcism doesn’t work. The only way to banish the demon in those cases is to burn the human alive. As the book opens, Morgan is on her way to exorcise a little girl. The fire is already prepared in case she fails. It’s a horrific situation and it gripped me completely.

After that scene, there is a sexual scene involving Morgan and her boyfriend, followed by an brief but interesting plot development. Next up is another sex scene between Morgan and the boyfriend. This is interrupted by a conversation between Morgan and her voluntarily-possessed brother. This talk is quite poignant in a way, since essentially the real brother is dead. That was as far as I read.

I think, in retrospect, that Black lost me with the sex scenes. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with them per se. They’re well-written and steamy. The issue is that they’re too early in the story. The sex scenes sort of throw me out of the dark atmosphere Black set with the first chapter. They also seem oddly impersonal, because we barely know Morgan and don’t know her boyfriend at all. I find that sex scenes work better when I’ve been given a reason to care about the people involved and about their relationship. Black might have done better to include a few more chapters of world-building and character development before heading below the belt.

Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist — (2007-2010) Publisher: Posession. Murder. Mayhem. Let the games begin… Exorcism isn’t a job, it’s a calling — and a curse. Just ask Morgan Kingsley, a woman who has a stronger aura than any Demon. Or so she thought. Now, in a pair of black leather pants and a kick-ass tattoo, Morgan is heading back to Philadelphia after a nasty little exorcism — and her life is about to be turned upside down… by the Demon that’s gotten inside her. Not just any Demon. Six foot five inches of dark, delicious temptation, this one is to die for — that is, if he doesn’t get Morgan killed first. Because while some humans vilify Demons and others idolize them, Morgan’s Demon is leading a war of succession no human has ever imagined. For a woman trying to live a life, and hold on to the almost-perfect man, being possessed by a gorgeous rebel Demon will mean a wild ride of uninhibited thrills, shocking surprises, and pure, unadulterated terror…

Jenna Black Morgan Kingsley Exorcist review 1. The Devil Inside 2. The Devil You KnowJenna Black Morgan Kingsley Exorcist review 1. The Devil Inside 2. The Devil You Know 3. The Devil's Due 4. Speak of the DevilJenna Black Morgan Kingsley Exorcist review 1. The Devil Inside 2. The Devil You Know 3. The Devil's Due 4. Speak of the DevilJenna Black Morgan Kingsley Exorcist review 1. The Devil Inside 2. The Devil You Know 3. The Devil's Due 4. Speak of the DevilJenna Black Morgan Kingsley Exorcist review 1. The Devil Inside 2. The Devil You Know 3. The Devil's Due 4. Speak of the Devil 5. The Devil's PlaygroundJenna Black Morgan Kingsley Exorcist review 1. The Devil Inside 2. The Devil You Know 3. The Devil's Due 4. Speak of the Devil 5. The Devil's Playground


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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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