4.5 out of 5
Although I bought this book back in 2009 when the tenth book in the Demonata series was published, Lord Loss was first published back in 2006. What was amazing at the time that I bought the novel, I was offered the chance to go meet Darren Shan in person and hear him talk about Hell’s Heroes and get him to sign one of the books I brought with me. However, from that point I hadn’t really read the books. I was given them all and some from other series too, but the Demonata I never got round to reading. So I was excited when this book was picked out of my TBR box by my brother.
Though it’s not perfect, I absolutely loved it. Plot line wise, the story was paced really well. The language used is realistic for a story told in the perspective of a fourteen year old boy. Plus the gore was well described and vividly imagined. It wasn’t over done either, just enough that I was able to picture these horrifying creatures and wounds.
Grubs is a really cool character to read about. In the beginning of the book, the foreshadowing of his hatred of the game chess and the inevitability of him having to play the game to save his, his brother’s and his uncle’s lives was surprisingly subtle. Also, I am really pleased that Darren Shan decided to write Grubs as a crier. In a lot of the books that I’ve read that have a first-person-male-protagonist he’s always surly and stoic, he thinks everything sucks and doesn’t handle his emotions openly. Grubs is scared, he is frightened and upset. He is emotionally broken from witnessing the gruesome deaths of his mother, father and older sister and reacts just as any sane person would when confronted with the idea of real life demons. I wasn’t surprised he was locked away in an institute for so long.
The only thing that bothered me at first was the shortness of the sentences. The book was written out basically like a list:
-> A week passes. At ease with the house. Getting to know Dervish, though he’s a hard one to figure.
It was slightly difficult to get along with the structuring of the sentences but I soon got past it and was able to get on with the story.
When Shan brought in the character of Dervish, Grub’s uncle, I felt like the story was finally taking me in the direction I wanted it to. He felt like the Professor Xavier character – taking Grubs in when he was finally released from the institution, telling him about what happened to his family honestly, and training him how to play chess. When the story took the twist with Bill-E, Grub’s half-brother, suspecting Dervish of being a werewolf only for them all to discover he was the monster the whole time, I had a feeling that the story was going to take that sort of turn when all the fingers started pointing at Dervish with fabricated evidence. It felt kind of obvious that it was going to be Bill-E.
I recommend this book to anyone that likes a creepy story, horror, gore and realistic protagonists.