School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-Daphne's home life is Hell. Literally. The daughter of Lilith and Lucifer, the sensitive teen feels out of place. When her adored older brother, Obie, abandons Hell to be with a girl he met on Earth, Daphne does what she has never done before. In order to find him and warn him of imminent danger, she leaves Hell, too. Once on Earth, Daphne seeks help from Truman, a self-destructive teenage boy whose incessant nightmares spur him to dangerous excesses in order to stay awake. As they work together to find Obie, besting a demon or two along the way, Daphne learns to appreciate and cultivate her humanity, the very thing that alienates her from her family. This bildungsroman features a sympathetic, believable protagonist who learns, changes, and grows. Daphne shrinks from the future planned for her, that of being like her ravenous older sisters, the Lilim, who live off the pain of weak men. Yovanoff's writing distinguishes itself with its inlay of eloquent and imaginative passages about life in Pandemonium (the sleek, metallic capital city of Hell), Daphne's sometimes-comic acclimations to life on Earth, Truman's tragic story arc, and the tender romance that develops between them.-Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Library, NC (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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This powerful and decidedly uncomfortable dark fantasy concerns Daphne, a serious and introspective young woman who just happens to live in Hell, being the youngest daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Pandemonium isn't a bad place to live-"the city shines silver, as highly polished as a wish. The streets sprawl out in complicated spirals, winding between glossy buildings"-but Daphne feels like something is missing. She could go to Earth and seduce young men like her older half-sisters (the hunt made more delicious by the danger represented by Azrael, the sadistic angel of death, and his monstrous companion, Dark Dreadful), but she feels like such sexual goings-on are beneath her. Then, her brother Obie, Hell's most notorious do-gooder, saves Truman Flynn, a teenage suicide, from death. Witnessing the boy's brief, painful materialization in Hell, Daphne is taken with him; when Obie disappears on Earth, she enlists Truman to help find him. Yovanoff (The Replacement) once again develops complex, believable characters as well as a supernatural milieu that feels both original and lived in. This confident tale contains moments of beauty, terror, and significant wisdom. Ages 14-up. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
It takes moxie to set the first act of your novel in Hell, but Yovanoff does just that, and with a confidence that suggests she might have taken a vacation there at some point. Daphne, Lucifer's daughter, is bored and unhappy in the steel cityscape of Pandemonium when the escape of her brother, Obie, to Earth compels her to chase him down. She has never been to Earth before, and its grimy realness is intoxicating. To find Obie she must help a self-loathing teen alcoholic named Truman. Not only does Truman's pain and anguish tempt her to drink of his spirit (as is the habit of her vamp seductress sisters), but she finds herself pitted against the brutal angel Azrael. This novel is saddled with a number of the standard tropes of modern paranormal romance, but Yovanoff's ability to tantalizingly draw back the curtain just a little on hideous metal-and-flesh monstrosities is used here to the same chilling effect as seen in The Replacement (2010). Largely unsentimental, this is a breath of fresh (or fetid?) air for the genre.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist