Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: August 24, 2010
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark #9
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
CW: Slavery; sexual abuse; rape; violence; torture; kidnapping; murder
I will fully admit, it’s been a few months since I read this, as I’m still playing catch up on some reviews, so this might not be as detailed as usual.
Demon From the Dark is book nine in the Immortals After Dark series and kicks off a bit of a dark phase on what has been dubbed in the book community “Torture Island.” I enjoyed this one while reading it as it starts with a bang and continues to take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance, heartache, torture, and so much more.
After being kidnapped by a mysterious group of humans, Carrow Graie, a witch, is forced to head to Oblivion, a hellscape dimension, to capture the half-demon, half-vampire Malkom Slaine. After being tortured and forced to endure unspeakable pain, Malkom lived alone for years. When Carrow stumbles into his life, he feels connected to her even though they cannot communicate. As they grow closer, he risks losing control and jeopardizing her safety, but little does he know betrayal is heading his way even though it’s the last thing Carrow wants to do.
Who would have thought a venom – half-vampire, half-demon – could be so loveable? From what we’ve seen of them previously in this series, they appeared to be killing machines. But Malkom, despite his issues, is so dang loveable. The poor man had been through some serious trauma, and all I wanted to do was hug him. He literally cannot catch a break for most of this novel. The only good thing that happens to him is finding his mate Carrow, but even she ends up hurting him. He’s one of Cole’s more complex heroes, and I liked spending time with him as he goes on his journey. Even though he has some of those alpha tendencies, they felt tampered down a bit given everything he’s been through. I liked him a lot as our male romantic lead.
Carrow doesn’t have as much baggage as Malkom, but she also goes through a pretty big transformation in this book. A former party girl whose magic comes from the emotions of joy and happiness, she’s forced to step up and do what is ever necessary to protect the young daughter of a friend who was murdered. She stepped into the role of mother seamlessly, and I loved her devotion to little Ruby. Forced to capture Malkom by the head honchos on Torture Island, she ends up forming a relationship with Malkom despite them not being able to communicate at first. I would have liked a little more exploration of her backstory – there were mentions of her past and potential parental abandonment, but it felt like a forgotten storyline, and I was expecting more from it.
The romance in this book shined as it was so sweet and angsty at the same time. Poor Carrow and Malkom really have to go through the wringer to get their happily ever after. I got a lot of Tarzan/Jane vibes from them, especially given that these two need to learn to speak the other’s languages. Watching that relationship grow as they learned to understand each other was sweet and a nice change of pace from the previous book. I also loved that we have a virgin hero. And even though he’s a virgin hero confronted with his mate, he’s willing to respect her boundaries when it comes to sex, which is quite amazing as he has both the demon and vampire need to claim his mate. Also, we got some sexy cave bath times which I loved. The conflict in their relationship was legitimate, and I liked how it was handled and resolved in the end.
While this story was incredibly character-driven as we spend the bulk of the time with Carrow and Malkom, the overarching series plot continues to drive forward. This book has a ton of action. It starts with a bang on the first page and continues until the end. I’m intrigued by the hints we get of what’s going on on Torture Island – it seems pretty terrible but Carrow and Malkom miss most of it as they’re in Oblivion, aka a hellscape dimension for most of the book.
We see a lot of familiar faces, including Lothaire, who is still up to no good despite being captured – I continue to be intrigued by what he’s up to. I loved the whole last act of the book as its non-stop action. My one complaint with the plot is that the ending felt like it came on rather abruptly as I had many questions about what was going on with everyone else stuck on the island. I know we’re not done with Torture Island, so I’m sure the questions I have will be answered in the next book.
Overall, this was a solid entry into the Immortals After Dark series. I don’t think it’s my favorite, but I still enjoyed reading it. Cole balanced the action with the romance perfectly in this one, and I cannot wait to see what she does in the next one.