Monday, March 1, 2010

The Devil Inside by Jenna Black

The Devil Inside
(Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist, Book 1)
Author: Jenna Black
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Dell (November 27, 2007)

Summary: 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... her life is about to be turned upside down…by the Demon that’s gotten inside her.

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. . . .

I picked up my copy of The Devil Inside because I had heard such good things about Jenna Black. I'm not sure what I expected, but I have mixed feelings after reading the first book in this series. It's a dark urban fantasy with erotic sexual content, action and intrigue. I like the main character, Morgan, though she often gives new meaning to the word bitch. Then again, she has reasons for her anger, none which I can argue with. I find myself wishing someone would give her a break, and possibly a hug. I also thought her demon, who she shares a body with, was scary but honorable and likable. The other characters were complex; some I actually hated, others confused me.

I found the concept of demons sharing bodies with humans because they exist in a dimension/world where they aren't corporal, fascinating. The political struggle, the attitudes of human hosts who worship the demons vs. those who hate them, and the relationship between cooperating hosts and demons were intriguing and unique.

I found myself uncomfortable while reading The Devil Inside for a couple of reasons. First, the erotic sexual content went from playful between Morgan and her boyfriend to the painful and controlling world of S&M where whippings and violence are common place. I've read books before that included this type of lifestyle and didn't feel quite this uncomfortable. I wonder if it's because I didn't know the characters or their reasons behind this type of sex. Later, we get a little hint into why some demons might prefer it, but never as to why Dominic would choose the lifestyle. We are never given a hint as to why he endures it. I felt that this aspect of the plot was overwhelming, to the point of taking away from the struggle that was going on with the demons and their human hosts.

I'm a very eclectic reader in that I love Happily Ever Afters but I also like thought provoking plots that make me examine human nature, love, sacrifice etc. I also don't judge books on their sexual content, as long as it's a part of the plot but not the entire reason for it.

Even though I remain uncomfortable with much of The Devil Inside, I also find myself wanting to know more about Morgan and the struggle between the demons and the humans in her world. I have to say it takes a talented writer to make a reader want to keep reading even though they are taken way out of their comfort zone.



Smokinhotbooks said...

The S and M side of BDSM is hard for me to swallow outside of a contemp erotic romance. And even in erotic romance it's not really my cup of tea, I struggle with the submissive aspect.

Great review!

Sarah said...

Great review, I read this last week & I found the S&M aspects of the story left me feeling uncomfortable. There were a lot of good things about the book & I'm intrigued about the rest of the series but in some ways I'm not sure if I really want to read more.

I'm going to read book 2 as I already have it from the library but I'm not sure if I'll read more after that.

I've added a link to your post from my review :o)

Moonsanity said...

Thanks for commenting ladies. I had so many mixed feelings about it. I've read Anita Blake books and The Black Dagger Brotherhood books and even they didn't make me feel this uncomfortable. Okay, I guess a couple of those LKH books did have some YIKES! scenes but by time I got to those I knew the characters and shrugged it off somewhat. There was one scene though with Anita, Jean Claude and another master vamp that almost made me throw the book across the room. BAHAHAHAHAHA

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

I seem to find many of the books you read and enjoy I have enjoyed as well. I hate to pass up a good book based on a review and on the first book, but I think I may wait to see what you think of the next book. I don't mind some sexual scenes in a book but these sound a little more heated than I usually read. I think if you get book two I'll wait and see what you think of it. Thanks for the honest review!