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The Demonata: Demon Thief by Darren Shan

on February 14, 2013

Demon ThiefThe Demonata: Demon Thief by Darren Shan

Demon Thief is the second book in the ten-book long book series by Darren Shan, who is most famous for writing the Cirque du Freak series. It also has the same amount of fun gore, clever twists, and random yelling.

Interestingly enough, this books does not pick up where Lord Loss leaves off, instead it seems that this series is taking a non-linear approach. This time, the book is narrated by Kernel Fleck, a sad, lonely boy who has the mysterious power of seeing magical lights that he can touch and rearrange at will. However, a couple of characters from Lord Loss make an appearance: a teenage Dervish Grady and the demon Lord Loss himself. One of Lord Loss’s hellish servants also plays a big part in the story, but saying who gives away the book’s twist.


The book begins with Kernel Fleck telling us about his general life, particularly about his power over the magical lights he sees at any given time. Unfortunately, when he was very young, he made the mistake of making this odd talent known, which didn’t make him very popular with the other kids. Ever since then, Kernel has lived a sad and lonely existence, where he is not so much bullied as he is ignored by pretty much everyone in his life, other than his parents.

Needless to say, our protagonist is pretty depressed.  The only thing that really gives him solace is the moments he spends in his room, casually playing with the lights. One day, he decides to find out what happens when he puts a cluster of the lights in a certain way, and accidently opens the door to another dimension where Lord Loss almost comes into his room.



But Lord Loss decides not to completely come to this dimension, but Kernel decides to follow him back to his.

Surprisingly, he comes back a few days later, completely fine, clutching his infant brother Art to his chest.

Something doesn't seem right here...

Something doesn’t seem right here…

Yeah, this is where things get a little weird (as if they hadn’t already).  See, Kernel’s parents are happy to see him, but they act weird around Art and they escape to the countryside one night soon after their return. Not suspicious at all, right?

Well, Kernal himself is suspicious about the sudden move, but he doesn’t really mind because he is considerably happier in the small village they moved to, Paskinston, than he ever was before.  He also becomes closer and more protective of his little brother than ever before.

But not everything is sunshine and rainbows, because one day during school time, a crazy old witch opens a portal that lets loose a demon onto the students, including Kernel and Art. The demon grabs Art and runs back to its dimension.

Kernel follows, intent to save his brother. There, he meets Beranabus and his Disciples, a group of people who find and kill demons, and finds out more about his powers and the world of magic and demons.


I’m not going to lie, I liked this one a lot more than I did Lord Loss. I think it’s because I honestly liked Kernel as a character and protagonist more than I liked Grubbs, Kernel seemed a bit more heroic and less selfish than Grubbs did. That doesn’t make Grubbs a bad character, it just means that I like my protagonist more traditional than other people do.

I also really like the direction that this story is going, as I am a big fan of well-done non-linear story-telling. The Disciples were barely mentioned in Lord Loss, and much  of Demon Thief was spent establishing the “organization” (because they seem like a hoard of cats lead by an extremely grumpy old cat who doesn’t actually want to lead and is kind of a douchenozzle), and its relationship with its leader, Beranabus.

Yeah, I don’t think we are supposed to actually like Beranabus, and I don’t. Well, maybe it’s better to say that I don’t like his actions. “Oh yeah, Kernel I’ll totally help you in your quest to find your brother, only after you help me find this magical artifact that’s where Only-God-Freaking-Knows and I don’t even actually know where it looks like. It’ll probably take about a thousand years or so, deal?”

That being said, there were moments when I really thought that, despite what he said to the contrary, he really does care for his Disciples. He outright saves a few of the them in the book. That being said, he did pull some crap on them, like forcing a young woman with the power to see glimpses of the future, named Nadia Moore, to help him find the Ka-Gash thingy, despite the fact that she was absolutely miserable and hated Beranabus with every fiber of her being.

Speaking of, we are introduced to the Ka-Gash, a magically weapon that can apparently destroy the demons once and for all. It’s a major part of this book, in that a good portion of it is Beranabus and company trying to find the thing, and I’m pretty sure this will come up at some point later in the series.

Finally, I’d like to say that this book has one of the best twist endings I’ve read in a mystery novel in a good while. Seriously, I did not see this one coming. At all. And I especially didn’t expect the Ka-Gash to materialize the way it did, and I feel like it was a clever and different way to insert the Ka-Gash into the story.


All in all, I really liked this book a whole lot. I do recommend it, and if you want, it can be read out of order from Lord Loss. That being said, I recommend reading them in order, as I’m sure that Shan meant for them to be read that way for a reason. Demon Thief is a fun read with loads of twists and turns that I’m sure will keep any reader on their feet. Be warned though, it’s a total gorefest.


Rating: 8 out of 10.


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