blo Teens Read and Write: Devil's Kiss

Monday, October 5, 2009

Devil's Kiss

Devil's Kiss
by Sarwat Chadda
pub: Sept 2009
336 pages

As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.

Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.

But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient
enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years -- a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.

This book opens with a bang. The first line...

Killing him should be easy; He's only six.

To die for (pun intended)! Loved it! Then it rolls right into a great action sequence.The pace stays fast. Chadda's characterization, description and plot development is very good. I enjoyed the history/folklore of the Knights Templar. There was enough to be interesting and move the story along without bogging it down. I thought the endless description of their vast array of weapons got a bit tedious but that's a minor point.

The mood is dark and stays that way throughout. There isn't any humor which I usually like but this wasn't that kind of story so it would have been out of place.

The love story was good but mild (appropriate since they were only 15), and certainly secondary to the action and the themes of family, responsibility, self-sacrifice for the greater good and saving the world.

The jacket pushes the love triangle concept which, after reading the book, appeared to be a ploy to entice readers. I don't want to give anything away but the love triangle never developed, which annoyed me simply because of the fact that it was pushed as a spicy plot factor.
I found Billi annoying, immature and whiny at times but the protagonist isn't supposed to perfect and it is about her developing and finding her path in life. The story dragged a bit about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through but then picked up again. I found some things predictable early on but I'm not sure a younger teen would. And urban fantasy is my genre (I read a ton of it) so maybe I pick up on things quicker

But minor complaints because overall, I thought this book was a good read. Again, it's dark (the term 'gritty' comes to mind), so while the ending does have resolution and satisfaction in some areas, I wouldn't call it a happy one.

I picked this up from the library and would probably recommend you do to. It isn't something I'd read again and again...but you might, and you can always buy it later. With only a couple of days needed to finish it, it's definitely worth the time.

And the covers? Both awesome! The top one is the US version while the bottom one is the UK. While they are both great, (and the girl is lovely), I think I prefer the UK version because it is more reflective of the dark mood of the book.

Which do you prefer?
Point of Interest! Jessica at A Booklover's Diary also posted an excellent review on Devil's Kiss. So check it out for another perspective!

A Note About the Author (who seems like a great guy):
Sarwat Chadda was brought up a Muslim but is married to a minister’s daughter. He says his ‘home life curiously reflects the ongoing conflict between Islam and Christianity, especially when it comes to whose turn it is to do the dishes.’ He was brought up on stories of Saladin, Richard the Lion-heart and the Crusades, viewed from both sides, and cut his authorial teeth writing his own role-playing scenarios. He is an engineer who has worked on some of the biggest projects in the world, but now lives in London with his family.


Orchid said...

Nice review. I definitely check out Devil's Kiss if it ever comes to my library. Especially since I love books that have to do with the Knights Templar .

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great review. I like the cover with the girl.

Thanks for the heads up on the non-existent love triangle.

Jessica said...

Great review, Alyssa! I prefer the US cover, but the UK version is much more fitting. I purchased this one, and now I don't know what to do with it. Maybe I'll put the dust jacket over another book, maybe? lol

And I'm wearing red, what color are you wearing? hehe

Blodeuedd said...

First I was a bit what? I thought it took place in the Middle Ages and a woman templar no way, but then I got to the rest and suddenly it was likely and very interesting :)

Crystal said...

Great review!! It's interesting to see your's and Jessica's review of the same book.

Eleni said...

Great review, this book sounds interesting, I'm adding it to my TBR list!

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I wasn't sure about this when I first ehard about it but your review has made me want to read it!

Jessica said...

Thanks for the name dropping! :)

By the way, I just tagged you in a photo meme, Alyssa, if you are interested.

Alyssa Kirk said...

Orchid - the Knights Templar stuff has a very romantic feel.

Juju- thanks and your welcome. The girl cover is beautiful.

Jessica - Thanks. I'm going to start framing some of these covers.

Blodeuedd - no it's current but the traditions are being carried on!

Crystal - that was fun. Jessica has great insight!

Eleni - I love the premise. Hope you get a chance to read it.

Sophie - it's good but be ready for dark and brooding!

Jessica - you're welcome. And thanks to you, I'll go check it out!

Ladytink_534 said...

I like the idea of a female Templar but the character doesn't seem like she will appeal to me so I'm a little wary about this.

Both covers are awesome but since you say that they're pushing the romance angle too hard it seems like the second one reflects the story better.

Sarbear said...

I like both covers but I think maybe they both were targeted to appeal to different genders -- can you see it? The one with the girl seems like it would attract girls, while the other one seems like it would be more appealing to guys. I think the girl-cover one is dreamy looking but kinda cheesy.

Jennay and Luke the Pup said...

Nice review. It seems like the kind of book I would read. I'll def. have to keep a look out for it.

Affilorama Review said...

Where can i read the Davil's Kiss online free? please help me!

Affilorama Review said...

I really like this book. I find that YA Fantasy is much more innovative than adult paranormal stuff, and this book had me engrossed from start to finish.

YA Book Queen said...

I've seen this one around, but never really looked at it. Now, I'm thinking I totally should. Thanks for the review :)

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