4 star reviews / Book Reviews

Review: A Despair of Demons by Cassy Campbell

despairReviewed by Toni…

This one almost fell into the sinkhole of my email.  I get so many review requests that most get a millisecond of a cursory glance before being minimized away.  I don’t delete it though.

Something I learned about myself through the years of reading. This may be an obvious fact to you readers, but it does bear something to mind: emotions will dictate what you will read.

Duh.

As a behind-the-scenes moment for you, I try to pick books to review when I’m in a neutral mood. When I’m neutral, I don’t have preconceived feelings or expectations of this book. I let the story grow and move me. Does the story surprise me? Was that scene so hot that I choked on a tapioca boba ball? Did I come away with my mind blown? Have I added another world in my already expansive mental book world? (If you’ve read the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde…that’s pretty much how I envision organizing all the worlds I’ve read about.) I don’t even look at the cover until I’m done with the book since that could also influence my thinking. If my interest is not piqued by the first chapter, done. Moving on.  Yet I am guilty of picking books when I’m particularly drained and need a boost of action or love scenes. Or when I’m bored and I need a boost of action or love scenes.

I must have been having an angry day to pass this novel over. Or distracted. Or one of the cats must have stepped on the space bar.

Demons. Time travel. How could I have overlooked my favorite elements in a story?

When I realized I passed this over, I immediately downloaded it into my kindle and started reading.

So glad I did. I was riveted by page one.  One of my favorite memories reading this story was hovering over a bowl of ramen in Hollywood during a great battle scene with fire throwing demons. This was an awesome read.

DEPOT (Department of Parallel and Otherdimensional Travel) employs highly intelligent people  born with the ability to time travel. DEPOT utilizes their intellect and skills to explore other parallel dimensions to expand trade, knowledge, and allies.  I’m assuming there are other Travelers since there’s a rival for-profit company with Travelers (one of whom is an ex-lover of our heroine).

We’re focusing on what I’m deeming the stars of DEPOT: Olivia a.k.a Liv, (a cognitive neuroscientist), Jordan(super awesome blue-eyed language expert), Commander Connor Bryant ex-SEAL, Trent  (also ex-SEAL), Ben (explosives), and Gin (explosives AND computers).

What’s neat about this team is that everyone is trained in military strategies and combat. So it’s not the scientists cowering in the back with wide naive eyed fear. They use their guns  and they use them very well.

Interesting extra. Campbell provided a wonderful extras page detailing the gun that she envisioned for each of the characters here. That’s some hardcore detailing. And definitely changes how I envision Jordans’ arm muscles.

The story starts off with one of their run of the mill missions. Except it’s not. Everyone in the world has disappeared (I immediately imagined the opening scene for “Walking Dead”. I admit that my hope deflated in the chance of seeing zombies. I am quite tired of zombies. Quite.) As the team scopes the area, Jordan and Liv make a beeline for the library so Jordan could study the world’s language.

Digression alert: every world they travel to has the potential to speak a completely different language. Jordan’s role as the language expert is extremely important in establishing peaceful communications. This is a great detail about time travel I have not considered before!

As Jordan studies away, Liv encounters another Traveler named Elachai. Something about Elachai is wrong. Very wrong. Liv and her team realize that her mind was wiped.  The Commander witnessed her talking to a stranger, but she can’t remember Elachai.

This sets off a multi-dimensional mystery. Worlds have had their populations wiped out. Or worlds are burning. The common connection is that demons were spotted.  A being that the team finds hard to stomach since it’s mythological and all. Until they come face to face with demons.

Then all hell breaks loose!

I had to. I had to end on that note. I just had a donut.

The mystery and plots are magnificent. Completely riveting. Ahh, but what about the romance? The romance in this instance is between Liv and Jordan. And it is sweet, hot, and absolutely wonderful. In the midst of all the intellectual mumbo-jumbo and running for their lives, an honest love is between these two.

At first, I wasn’t happy with where it was going. Liv developed a wall around her since she was still hurting from her ex-lover. Jordan tried but Liv gently deflected. As Liv tended her wounds, Jordan waited. Why would this bother me at first? I was worried that it was going to be a chasing romance–in a Jordan chases Liv to prove he was worthy kind of way. Even though I am a sucker for one person pining for their love and being rewarded by gaining it, this would have annoyed me.  With everything going to chaos around them, that would have come off as more of a time waste then a romance.

So I was pleased when a certain hot scene came up early and firmly established that they both had feelings.  Plus it changed how I imagined Jordan over all. He warped from a blue-eyed quiet guy, to a hot blue-eyed intelligent sexy man with wonderful arms.

The ordeal they go through together! Oh it’s enough to clutch your heart and rejoice in the power of loyalty and love. I value loyalty more than anything else. That’s not a common thread in stories of any genre. A shame for that is what makes love so powerful. It’s what turns lust into love.

Campbell has a great knack for relaying detailed information in a cohesive and enjoyable fashion. Your eyeballs are not crossed over from the jargon. You don’t have to dust off your high school edition of  science. You don’t even have to watch the military channel. Campbell execution of the science and military aspects is wonderful. I was not turned off in any way from it. In fact, I was pretty pumped from all the action scenes. Made me almost want to play paintball. Almost.

According to the novel, a despair is a description of a group of demons. I thought a legion was a group of demons? Whatever the correct nomenclature, Despair of Demons has a great sound to it.

Could be a great title for a rock band…

Length: Novel

Genre: Military/Time travel/ Sci fi romance

Primary Book Format: e-format

Publisher/Imprint:  self published

Blush Quotient: shock of red

Smart Girls Rating:  4 stars

Can order it here: Amazon

Find out more info about the author and series here.

(Disclaimer: This book was purchased by reviewer to enjoy and review)

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2 thoughts on “Review: A Despair of Demons by Cassy Campbell

  1. This looks like an excellent book to read. Awesome review! I’m adding this one to my list 🙂 Love checking your blog where I can always find out about new books to check out!

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