1/04/2011. Contributed by Sue Davies
The Devil Inside (a Morgan Kingley novel book 1) by Jenna Black. pub: Bantam Dell. 307 page paperback. Price: $ 6.99 (US), $ 9.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-553-59044-9.
check out websites: www.bantamdell.com and www.JennaBlack.com
As the first in the Morgan Kingley series, ‘The Devil Inside’ starts well, setting up its main lead with a visit to a state penitentiary to determine whether an inmate is being possessed by a demon.
Morgan Kingsley is a sharply dressed, tall, young woman who knows her own mind. She inhabits an alternative but recognisable world where demon possessions are by invitation and she also happens to be an exorcist who boots out the unwanted. This is no twinset and pearls lady and the boot is very pointy. Demons can only be hosted by willing participants and there are some pretty sick people out there. As demons have no corporeal body, they can only participate in life through a host body and must first come from their dimension.
Much of the demon experience seems to involve sado-masochism as the human body is much more resilient when inhabited by a demon. This is often the focus of the novel and in places it is quite graphically violent. There are tender moments, too, and it tries to balance this out with human relationships and dry humour. There would not be a complete plot without the sex and violence as the demon/humans are set up to enjoy this activity. Strangely, the demons don’t choose to inhabit human bodies so that they can go to Disneyland.
Interestingly, it is the human dilemma of Morgan that occupies much of the novel. She has conversations in a virtual environment with the demon in her head. He’s quite good looking so we have the juxtaposition of Morgan’s relationship with her human boyfriend against the attraction to the demon, who wears leather trousers or sometimes not a lot. She acknowledges that the demon has set out to look attractive to her because he can read her mind. He knows what she likes and because he has no real body he can appear as an ideal. Their conversations are light-hearted bantering which lifts the mood away from its darker plot. This is an enjoyable read but I am ever conscious these days that there are many of these kinds of books and reading the first one will determine whether you keep on with the several books in the series. I think enough happens to make you pick up the next one as I will be doing.
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