9 Rated Books Book Reviews

Demon Bound Special: Book Review and Giveaway

Title: Demon Bound

Author: Meljean Brook

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Stand Alone/ Series: 4th full-length novel in the Guardians series. The books are written such that one could theoretically read them as stand alone novels, but I would highly recommend reading at least the full-length novels in succession to minimize confusion, and to get a better sense of the overall universe and continuity. (Thanks Thea)

Why Did I Read the Book: The Guardians series is my favorite Paranormal romance series and I am Meljean Brook’s fan.

Summary: Alice Grey is known as the Black Widow—a woman trapped in a web spun by the demon Teqon. Jake Hawkins is a novice Guardian whose gift of teleportation could be invaluable to Alice in determining her next move. But can they survive when fear and secrets threaten not just their lives and souls, but the fate of the universe?


Demon Bound is the 7th book in the Guardians series (4th full length novel) and much more than being a stale installment in the middle of a series it actually represents a corner stone and a breath of fresh air. It picks up threads started in the previous books and expands them in what can only be described as a complex, multi-faceted journey – in time and in history that tells and expands the Guardians’ tale; For the hero Jake, who goes from boy to man; And for the heroine Alice, who goes from being bound in every possible way to absolute freedom.

Thesaurus: bind – definition #1 -To place under legal obligation by contract or oath

Jake Hawkins is a Novice Guardian, who died in the Vietnam War and is training under the tutelage of Drifter (hero of Demon Night) to become a full –fledged Guardian. What usually takes 100 years to achieve needs to be cut short by the recent Ascencion in which the majority of Guardians basically quit their “jobs”. Jake sounds and acts like a young, restless man and when we saw him in Demon Night he fucked up his mission and that had serious consequences for Charlie, the heroine of that book. He has a recent found Gift of Teleportation, which he is still trying to control and at the moment it works only he feels fear –one of the things he fears the most is…..

the Guardian Alice Grey, the Librarian in Caelum known as the creepy Black Widow for her Gift which connects her deeply with spiders giving her heightened senses. Alice is bound by a Bargain with a demon called Teqon. A Bargain she stroke before becoming a Guardian, when she was still human: either she will give him Michael’s (the First Guardian and their leader) heart – or she will freeze in hell for eternity.

Her only way out of the Bargain is to find something Teqon wants more than Michael’s heart. Since Teqon works for Belial, she believes that if she can find out more about the Prophecy that says that Belial will one day rise to beat Lucifer, she will be able to get out of it. This ties up nicely Demon Bound to Demon Night by expanding that particular storyline. She believes she can beat the demon by investigating and exploring these Temples that mysteriously appear and disappear, Temples that have been built over the centuries and which have the history of the Guardian’s carved in stone. Her passion for archaeology connects her to Jake who also shares a passion for excavation and when he is able to see past her creepiness they get to work together with this common goal.

Their pursuit for answers leads them to temples all over the world and to Hell until eventually they find more than they were looking for, and the History they learn is much more than they bargained for, with surprising information about the origin of the Nephilim, about Michael, their leader, and possibly tragic consequences for the future of the series.

Thesaurus: bind – definition #2 – to unite with emotional ties or commitment.

It is hard to say what is more incredible about Demon Bound – the plot or the characters. I should probably say both as they prove to be cohesive, coherent which consequently translates as a kick-ass, good quality story.

At first it is the plot that gives the impulse that the characters need to get together – by coincidently putting them at the same place as the book opens. From that moment on, for a little while, the characters take over as we learn more about them and at first what leaps from the pages is the difference between these two:

creepy, Victorian Alice; Prim, proper, lonely Alice. She is bound by her bargain to the Demon and this bind is everything to her. It determines the way she lives – in hiding, in solitude, not bonding with hardly anyone, even though there is enough love in her for her friends which makes it all the more poignant. She doesn’t risk connection because she can’t bear to lose it. She is also bound to her service as a Guardian and in what she believes and is that belief that tells her she can’t and won’t ever fulfill a bargain that will send her to hell anyway. She is bound to spiders even though at first, her Gift has scared her and the why she is stuck with such a Gift is even creepier and sad. She is also bound by fear and by guilt and regret for accepting the bargain in the first place. And again, (can you sense a theme here?) she is also bound to her past – she is a Victorian woman in all , in the way she dresses, in the way she speaks, in the way she still allows what her horrible husband has done to her to consume her nonexistent sexual life in which “settling her nerves” is the most she will experience, until The Novice comes along.

Jake. Wonderful, funny, young Jake. I have fallen in love with him back in demon Night the minute he uttered words quoting Karate Kid. Jake thinks about sex all the time and has no finesse whatsoever and one of the ongoing jokes in the book is how he is always uttering words before thinking about them and in fact, the first time they have a real conversation, there are some words uttered by Jake to Alice, who responds in kind:

Jake decides to be trained by Alice as well as by Drifter once they discover their shared passion for the Temples they find. He tells Alice what he is going to say to Drifter to convince him to let him train with her as well….

“You’re pretty much the only female who doesn’t make me think about sex when I am near you. So I’ll point out that you’ll be good practice for when I am around real women”

ouch. But she replies:

“you may come to me, novice, if it teaches you how to behave around real women. But I suggest you return to Ethan’s training, where you might learn to behave like a real man”

and this is the onset of their relationship, where these two are far apart not only in age but physically and mentally. The Jake that we start with is utterly different from the Jake we end up with – a clear transformation from boy to man.

When he realises he is falling for her against all odds, mid way through the book, the scare is so huge he ends up teleporting them to Hell – the event that propels both the story, their relationship and initiates Jake’s transformation.

In the end he is the one of all heroes in Meljean Brook’s world so far to make the highest sacrifice, to make the toughest decision one that proves how much of a man he truly is. Jake in the end, is Guardian. He is a Man and with his help and his stubborn pursuit of Alice she goes from someone unable to make plans to someone who dared. His greatest gift to Alice and one that opens one of the greatest lines in the whole of the series?

The one that makes her go from being Certain to Uncertain – freeing her from the certainty of doom to the uncertainty of hoping.

Thesaurus: bind – definition #3 – To make certain or irrevocable

And then, of course there is the writing. What I love about Meljean Brook’s writing and which I mentioned before in my review of Demon Night – it how very graphic and very visual her descriptions are – for example there are small gestures that end up describing her characters and make them more REAL. Be it the way Alice walks, or how Jake every time he is thinking he walks around with his hands linked behind his head. I am not a very visual person and it is difficult for me to create images in my head. It is testimony to the writer’s skills that I can visualise almost in a cinematographic way everything that happens in her book. From the fighting, to the archaeological remains becoming alive in my mind to the weapons and the way I was able to see them with my mind’s eye – a good example is Alice’s Naginata. I never heard of this word before and as soon as Meljean spoke of it, I “saw” it and I proceed to google and voila, exactly what I imagined.

This review is already way, way long and I haven’t even mentioned the secondary characters, the new ones that are introduced (Irena! Alejandro!) and the old favroties we get to see again. Or how the sex doesn’t happen until late in the book when they already love each other and how it was not magically amazing from the get go and they had to work at it to make it good. I guess I should let things for you to find out by yourself.

I read Demon Bound for the first time a couple of months ago and I thought it was incredible and I knew it was one of the best books of the year. Before writing this review, I decided to re-read my favorite parts in order to refresh my memory and ended up reading the whole book again and by doing so, I realised how much I loved every.single. line.

Is Demon Bound perfect? No: there are some plot developments that were a bit contrived – like for example, the accident jump into hell that ends up being exactly what was needed to further the story or the long Architect scene (damn you, Thea) also set in hell whereupon a new character dumps historical information and everything is explained. Or how I still don’t understand exactly how Jake was such a young gun even though he was 60 years old: was it the effects of Enthrallment? Or the 30 years spent in orgies?

It is another evidence of Meljean Brook’s writing qualities that despite the above, the chapters in Hell were the best part of the story with the way Alice and Jake team up (seriously the whole sequence in hell is pure fun coupled with nerve-twisting action and unparallel emotional development for Jake ) and Jake ended up being my favorite of her heroes to date; which is to say that Demon Bound’s strengths are numerous and outnumber its weaknesses tenfold.

Golly gee Ana…could this mean?…. Yes, Demon Bound is the ninth book to make my top 10 reads of 2008.

Notable Quotes/ Parts:

There is one scene set in Hell which is absolutely brilliant and according to the author was inspired by a Tim O’Brian’s The Things They Carried. Alice is sick and sleeping. Jake has been walking around the barren scenario for more than 60 hours carrying her in his arms. It reminds him from when he was walking in Vietnam when he did a mental list of the things he had. His new list starts just like the list when he was walking through the jungles in Vietnam and it includes the memories if his grandma and grandpa, his then girlfriend, Barbara the mother of his daughter. It now expands to include the things he has done over the past 40 years as a Guardian – the things he learnt, the friends he has made. Also his fuck ups (including Charlie’s situation in Demon Night), the years he spent doing nothing; The weapons in his cache, the toothpick in his mount and his Gift of Teleportation that he couldn’t allow to go haywire anymore – it goes on and on until the gets to the most important:

He had a woman sleeping against him who was in danger of being trapped in a frozen screaming wasteland, and he had a deep ache that settled in his chest whenever he thought of it. And whether she knew it or not, he had the burden of her bargain on his shoulders now, too. He had the dread and the terror that came with it.
And he had every intention of freeing her, no matter what he had to do to accomplish it. (…)
He had Alice in his arms, but he didn’t have her – and she had over a hundred years’ practice keeping anyone from getting too close.
And that, he thought , was the item that topped a list made in Hell.

Verdict: I don’t think I need to say more – Demon Bound is on the top 5 reads of 2008 and Jake Hawkins is my top 1 hero of 2008. I absolutely adore this series.

Rating: 9 Damn Near Perfection – I am also bound by Rules and even though I would love to give this a 10, I need to take into consideration the very minor issues I listed above.

Additional Thoughts: NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY !!!

Leave a comment on this post until Thursday 3pm Pacific Time when our Smugglers Sorting Hat will pick 4 winners – first winner will win a copy of Demon Bound. The 3 following winners get to pick one book each from Meljean Brook’s awesome backlist.

Good luck!


  • AnimeJune
    November 4, 2008 at 5:55 am

    I’ve been on her blog a couple of times, and while I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of her books yet, she certainly looks like someone I’d like to.

    I’ve stayed away from paranormals for the last year or so since I was burned out after having to review a slew of really bad paranormals – Blood Ties by Jennifer Armintrout and Moon Called by Briggs (yes, I am apparently one of the three people in the world who didn’t like it).

    But Brook’s books sound pretty interesting.

  • Cindy W
    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Great Review!!! I would LOVE to win.


  • katayoun
    November 4, 2008 at 6:45 am

    i’ve also been on meljean brook’s blog this past voting month, it’s been fun and her books look so interesting. i would love to entered

  • CrystalGB
    November 4, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Great review. Demon Bound sounds good.

  • fuzzycricket
    November 4, 2008 at 7:25 am

    While adding books to my List, I came across this one in the side bar of your site. So, it’s on the list and I just need to track down a copy.

    I need a good new series and this sounds like just the thing. Great review!

  • Judi
    November 4, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Wow, now that’s a review that would hook anyone into reading this series! I’d love to be entered to win. 🙂

  • Karen Mahoney
    November 4, 2008 at 7:30 am

    I wanna win! I love winning Meljean’s books… *g*

    Demon Bound has been out at Murder One for a week, and is already selling. Yay!

  • Leslie
    November 4, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Amazing review! I’ve been hearing nothing but great things about this series. I’ve only read the first novella so I would love to have another book of Meljean’s.

  • A fly on Meljean's Wall
    November 4, 2008 at 7:42 am

    The Architect scene:

    I know. A total *headdesk* If the author was smarter, she’d have found a way around it. She has one planned for Michael’s backstory, but this one? *headdesk* totally escaped her.

    Don’t enter me, because I have the book.

  • meljean brook
    November 4, 2008 at 7:51 am

    I think Jeff Goldblum is hot, even when he’s mutating. 😀 I do not know what this Arch-i-tect is. Do I look like the type of person to watch the Matrix? Pfft.

    *happy dance about the review*

    Ana and Thea — thank you again for having me over yesterday.

  • Ana
    November 4, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Thanks everyone for commenting. This series is really REALLY good, one of my favourites out there. It is for the lack of a better word: smart.

    Dear Fly – psssst, will you tell me, since you are an insider… *whispers* when is Michael book coming? is it after Irena and Alejandro’s?

    Meljean – Our pleasure and thank you saying yes! And for writing my Jake. Dibs!

    also do you really think Jeff is hot? Because I thought I was going crazy when saw him recently at a play and i was drooling all over.

  • meljean brook
    November 4, 2008 at 8:08 am

    I think Jeff is seriously hot. I don’t know what it is. I think it’s the geeky look he’s got going on, or those lips.

    Sadly, the first time I noticed him?

    Earth Girls Are Easy

  • ArkieRN
    November 4, 2008 at 8:16 am

    I just won Demon Night and would love to win another of Meljean’s books.

  • Flor
    November 4, 2008 at 8:42 am

    I’m a new fan of Meljean Brook and this demon Bound seems really good 🙂

  • Thea
    November 4, 2008 at 8:49 am

    As usual, brilliant review Ana–one of your best, in my opinion 🙂

    Brundel-Fly–what’s up? I have to admit you totally gave me the willies when your skin started falling off and you did the walking on the walls thing… 😉

    Meljean–Thank YOU for coming over, and for the awesome giveaway 🙂 I wasn’t able to finish DB in time (I’m still just about 1/2 through), but I can agree with a lot of things Ana says in her review.

    (And Earth Girls are Easy LOL!!! I admit…I thought Jim Carey was hot in that movie *blushes* And hilarious. Naturally. OH and I always wanted a pair of American Express earings like that girl had. I thought they looked cool.)

    Commenters, if you haven’t yet tried Meljean’s stuff, you should! It’s far and away the best paranormal romance series I’ve read!

  • Robyn
    November 4, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Great review, I would like to enter to win please!

  • the fly on meljean's wall
    November 4, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Michael’s book is not after Irena/Alejandro’s book. The following book will be about new characters. Michael’s book will come after the steampunk one is released–

    *buzz* What is that? Meljean, coming with a swatter … Oh my god, nooo–


  • Holly
    November 4, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Excellent review, Ana. You made some excellent points, but I didn’t think their jump into hell was contrived. It really worked within the context of the story, IMO. Other parts were somewhat contrived, but I didn’t think that was.

    No need to enter me in the contest, I just wanted to talk about the book. *g*

  • Karin
    November 4, 2008 at 10:02 am

    That was an absolutely fantastic review. The book sounds great!

  • Chris
    November 4, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I am psyched to read Demon Bound and would love to enter this contest!

  • M. Fred
    November 4, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Me! Pick me! I love free books!

  • Angiegirl
    November 4, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Well, Ana, you’ve convinced me I need to get started on this series. Please enter me in the contest!

  • Tracy
    November 4, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I so want to read this review but I’ll have to come back and read it after I read the boo – I want to know nothing going in! I love the series and know I’ll love DB as well!

  • orannia
    November 4, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Thank you Ana & Thea!

    I've only just discovered Meljean's books and after checking with Meljean (thank you Meljean for letting me know where to start) I'm going to read Falling for Anthony 🙂

    All the best with the release of Demon Bound Meljean!

  • Aymless
    November 4, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Great review as always!

    I want a Hellhound puppy. Can you hook me up with one?

  • Marg
    November 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    I bought the first book when it first came out but I haven’t read it yet, and I haven’t bought anymore. I would love to win another book so I have it ready when I do get around to reading it!

  • Mandy
    November 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Great review – makes me want to read Demon Bound.

  • Katiebabs a.k.a KB
    November 4, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    WOW Ana, simply wow with your review.
    OMG Michael is coming soon?! Seems I will too.
    tee hee.
    Don’t enter me because I have never read this series. 😛

  • cfisher
    November 4, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I can’t wait till Friday when I get my copy!!!!!!

  • Cathy
    November 4, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I haven’t read this series yet, but it sounds like it has some great paranormal storylines.

  • Maered
    November 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I love this series, and this book looks amazing. Enter me in the competition, please. (Is it open for international readers?)

  • Strlady
    November 4, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I’m in!! Love her series!

  • I Heart Book Gossip
    November 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Nice review, I cant wait.

  • Z.M.
    November 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Meljean! What will you be working on next?


  • tabitha c
    November 4, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I am not really into paranormals but this review makes me so tempted to buy this book NOW.

  • Kristen
    November 4, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Great review! I haven’t read any of this series but I’m intrigued. I’d love the chance to win a book from it!

  • Kammie
    November 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    What a terrific write up! I’m adding this one to my wish list.

  • macbeaner
    November 4, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    I have the first book in the series, but haven;t had a chance to read it yet!

  • Pamk
    November 4, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    i have the first book in the series and the last one but haven’t gotten around to starting them yet. Hopefully will try this weekend.

  • Tasha
    November 4, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I am really late in joining in the Meljean’s books, but I really need to get my hands on some of them. They look fantasitic.
    Natasha A.

  • mamasand2
    November 4, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    WOW!!! That is a very powerful review. Demon Bound sounds fantastic.


  • Pam P
    November 4, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Great review and interview. I’m still catching up on the last two in the series, love to win a copy of this latest.

  • Anonymous
    November 4, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    I was just lucky enough to win a copy over at Book Binge, but damn, can’t resist trying my luck again! Am so thrilled I get to try a new author. –willaful

  • meljean brook
    November 5, 2008 at 3:09 am

    Z.M. — it will be Alejandro and Irena’s book. I’m not sure of a publication date yet, but I assume it will be next fall or so.

  • sarabelle
    November 5, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Great review. I cant wait to read this book. I have had a great time on meljean’s blog and all the contests. I didnt win anything ( so sad) so I hope my luck changes with this one. lol

  • Dagny
    November 5, 2008 at 9:18 am

    I love these books so much that I save the newest one until the next is out so I always have one to read. So now I can finally read Demon Night. I’m so excited but also afraid that with this review I won’t be able to resist reading Demon Bound too.

  • Anonymous
    November 5, 2008 at 9:46 am

    I have heard so much about this series but I have been hesitant to take the plunge. But this contest has called to me, so hope I win ;).


  • Susan B.
    November 5, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Ana! Hi Meljean!

    I have the 1st 2 books & the last 'Demon Bound' but I am still putting the series together so I would love to be entered for 1 of the back books! Meljean's blog is awesome check it out if you haven't already!!!

    Have a great day.
    sbussey AT windstream.net

  • Mary M.
    November 5, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    I’ve had the first two books for an eternity but still haven’t read them….mainly, I think, because I suspect that once I start, I won’t be able to stop, will spend much $$$$ buying all the next books and then scream in frustration until the next book comes out. I’m a series addict and this one has all the potential ingredients to addict me as well – and I’m already addicted to so many great series that the prospect of one more is almost scary. On the other hand…mmmm…. the more series I’m following with baited breath, the more chances there are of a new installement coming out in one of them shortly :-DDD Hmm… *eyes pile of Meljean books on top shelf of bookcase*

    P.S. OMG, and here I thought I was the only one of my generation to think Jeff Goldblum was hot!!!

  • Jessica
    November 6, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Great review! I love the meditation on layered meanings of “bound”!

    Your review made me realize also that one of the things I love about this book and Brooks’ writing is that the heroines are attracted to who the heroes are, not what they look like. I am so tired of generic description of big cocks and broad shoulders standing in for the development of genuine attraction. Brook always gives us person to person attraction, never stock hero to stock heroine.

    I have DB but I would love to get Wild Thing, so please enter me inthe contest. Thanks.

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