In the first book of in the Morgan Kingley series, Morgan, an exorcist in a world where demon/human "partnerships" are the norm, comes up against some very powerful demons and manages to survive. But along the way she begins to suspect that there is more about her past than her family has ever let on. In this second installment, Morgan's life is at risk - a sociopathic demon called, simply, "The Hunter" is on her trail. Even the other demons are frightened of him, which doesn't make Morgan feel any better about her situation.
Spoilers for those who haven't read the first book follow - so you may want to stop reading here. Morgan is still hosting the exiled demon king Lugh, and she is able to converse with him via her dreams. Lugh senses a block in her memory, urging her to confront it - if she doesn't understand her past, how can she hope to combat a situation that may well have roots in that past? Morgan resists his advice, but quickly realizes that he is right. How can it be that Lugh, one of the hated demons, has become her ally? More than an ally, perhaps, if Morgan's increasing attraction to him has any significance. If it's in her dreams, does it count? If it doesn't count, then why does she feel guilty about it when she's awake, and the only one she really wants to be with is her boyfriend - ex-boyfriend - Brian.
Morgan is forced to team up with people she can't quite bring herself to trust, but whose help she needs. Nothing is black and white in her world, nothing is quite what it seems - and nothing is ever easy. I enjoyed this second book in the series - it further develops Morgan's character, and it was interesting to watch her struggle to come to terms not only with issues from her past, but with her dawning realization that demons can be as unpredictable and multi-dimensional as humans. I did find myself wishing that Morgan would use her area of expertise - she's supposed to be a kick-ass exorcist, after all - more effectively instead of being bounced around as a constant reaction to the events of the book. Maybe it's just me, but I wanted her unique abilities to play a more substantial role in the plot - otherwise, what's the point of making her an exorcist in the first place?
While I'm still feeling that this series is more of a tide-me-over-till-the-next-book-comes-out-in-a-beloved-series series, it's growing on me, and I am becoming intrigued by the human/demon social issues that are at the center of these books. Morgan is an admirable heroine, and I do love a character that's constantly getting into precarious situations. So I am looking forward to reading the forthcoming book when it is released next month!
Books in the Morgan Kingsley series:
1. The Devil Inside
2. The Devil You Know
3. The Devil's Due
4. Speak of the Devil (forthcoming)
The Devil You Know (#2 in the Morgan Kingsley series) by Jenna Black (Dell Spectra, 2008)
Also reviewed at:
Amberkatze's Book Blog: "I did enjoy it but I also have to say that it wasn't better than the first book."
Darque Reviews: "Ms. Black crafts a well-detailed storyline and keeps readers fully engrossed while she exposes the heroine’s strengths and weaknesses."
SciFiGuy.ca: "Morgan is a complex character; vulnerable and courageous, with a dash of self-deprecating humour."