The Demon Within, by Beth Woodword could be considered a horror novel, but would more accurately fall under
the Dark Fantasy or Urban Fantasy categories. The story follows Dale, who is a
young woman that has been on the run since her she first started killing
people. Although she is a serial killer, she has only killed to protect people
and even then she moves into a blood crazed 'Rage' and does not remember a
thing after the event. However, when she
wakes up next to a man who did nothing to deserve his death, she realizes that
she might be losing it and runs again.
Picking up the pieces in New York, she allows herself to live again, but
isolates herself from the world with the exception of a few friends. However
when she meets John her life takes a quick turn toward the dangerous and the
otherworldly. Through John, she discovered that not only do Angels and Demons
exist, but she herself is the daughter of the most powerful female demon on the
planet. Dale, who thinks she is alone in the world, must come to grips that she
still has a mother, while discovering that everyone else seemed to know it but
her mother and most of the Angels are willing to kill her because of it.
Soon the book becomes a race to see if Dale can increase her powers and
locate her mother before the Angels hunt her and John down. There is a lot of
action here. This book is not a slow starter, but the author also takes her
times with some of the characters and descriptions and does a good job of it.
She makes John sound so attractive, I almost wanted to have a roll with him.
Although the book has a slight YA feel to it, Woodword does slip a sex scene
into the novel, which is actually refreshing after having read so many YA books
If you like Dark Fantasy, I am not sure if you would find a lot of
downsides here. I might like a sequel, but it is hard to tell if she is
planning one. Perhaps some of Dale's acceptance happens a little quickly. Her
brain is twisted in knots about it, but she does deal with the fact that Angels
are hunting her without a real panic attack. She is also a little pissy about
learning new skills. If a supernatural army was hunting me, I would be trying
to work non-stop to learn every scrap I could.
Overall it is a strong novel and my first 5 Star of the year. I think the
author writes quite well and knows how to present a strong tale. Her take on
Angels and Demons being basically the same type of entity, but just on
different sides of a war, I found an inventive one, I would look forward to
reading anything else Beth Woodword puts out.