Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (September 1, 2009)
As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.
Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.
But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years -- a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.
I don't know why, but I didn't really have high expectations for Devil's Kiss. So I was surprised and excited when this book managed to hold my attention from the first page to the last. Actually, it did more than hold my attention. I was totally and utterly absorbed into Billi's world from the minute I picked it up.
Billi is a strong female heroine. She can hold her own in fights, and she doesn't let anyone push her around. Actually, she reminded me a bit of Buffy--she's got the whole tough female out to save the world thing going on. Billi has run-ins with the whole host of chilling, evil creatures: corrupt archangels, ghosts, devils, vampires, and even Satan himself. And I have to admit it, she handles herself pretty well.
I loved the mythology and the religion intertwined in this novel. I'm a complete sucker for history so I thought it was really fascinating how all the ancient texts and beliefs from different religions and cultures combined in this book. I also thought it was a very intriguing concept to have a near-destitute Knights Templar soldiering on in modern-day London, whose goal is to fight the Unholy. Actually, Knights Templar has fallen on hard times--there's only nine members left in the book, and Billi herself is reluctant to be a part of it. But her strict father, who happens to be the Master of the Knights Templar, has forced her to train constantly for the last five years and join the Knights.
Devil's Kiss is chock-full of action and is extremely fast-paced. One minute Billi's battling monsters, the next minute she's saving the world, and the next she's going out on a date. There's a ton of blood and gore and death. And there's lots of tension. Billi literally has the weight of a couple million lives on her shoulders, and her actions determine whether those people will live.
Billi came across to me as a solid character, and I really liked her friend-maybe-more-than-friend, Kay. She has a rocky relationship with her father, which provides a lot of conflict throughout the story. However, I didn't feel like the villain acted suitably scary. I mean, I don't want to give away any spoilers, but the villain in this book should've been immensely powerful and wise--which wasn't reflected so much in his dialogue. Other than that, I can't complain about anything else. The plot has twists and turns that left me reeling, and a devastating but powerful ending. Devil's Kiss is extremely well written and full of lovely descriptive passages.
If you're looking for a fast-paced action novel with a strong female heroine, Devil's Kiss is your best bet. I had a great time reading it! If you enjoyed City of Bones, Rampant, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you'll fall in love with this book.
I give it a 8.5/10
aesthetics author interviews book reviews captivating thursday Choco wants Choco wants to be exiled to Hex Hall Choco will kill for this book Choco would eat giant inedible vegetables to get her hands on this book chocolate conquerors cover talk Daily Dose design stuff Discussion Post DWJ fangirlism DWJ is the best Endless suffering Friday Favorites further proof of my insanity hypothetical bookish situations I AM SO NOT TECHY I love you guys I really don't want to do my homework I want cookies In My Mailbox indecisiveness It took me a while to figure this out lol lalalala literature review Literature Week new favorites oh dear I haven't written my English essay yet and it's midnight poetry Proof of my uncoolness rambling Random shiz Shameless squealing Sparkly vampires can do this and so can you teen writer interviews The Joy of Reading Waiting on Wednesday what eez twitter? why are your reading these labels and not poetry hmm why yes I do write isn't it frightening Wouldn't it be sad if they called tweeters twits? you tell them choco