Review: Taming Demons for Beginners - Annette Marie

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Taming Demons for Beginners by Annette Marie
Series: The Guild Codex: Demonized #1
My rating: {★★★★★}

Urban Fantasy
Published September 13th 2019 by Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.

Source: Review copy via Publisher
Rule one: Don't look at the demon.

When I arrived at my uncle's house, I expected my relatives to be like me—outcast sorcerers who don't practice magic. I was right about the sorcery, but wrong about everything else.

Rule two: Don't listen to the demon.

My uncle chose a far deadlier power. He calls creatures of darkness into our world, binds them into service contracts, and sells them to the highest bidder. And I'm supposed to act like I don't know how illegal and dangerous it is.

Rule three: Don't talk to the demon.

All I had to do was keep my nose out of it. Pretend I didn't find the summoning circle in the basement. Pretend I didn't notice the shadowy being trapped inside it. Pretend I didn't break the rules.

But I did, and now it's too late.

From the author of The Guild Codex: Spellbound comes a new series that will plunge an unprepared young woman into the darkest magic of the mythic world.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Magic has a way of attracting equal or greater mayhem

My initial thoughts upon meeting Robin in The Guild Codex: Spellbound series made me ridiculously intrigued about this petite, glasses wearing, bookish and girly DEMON CONTRACTOR. I know, the juxtaposition is a bit crazy. And let me tell you, Annette Marie made it WORK.

I do have to admit, I was fairly apprehensive about this series for a multitude of reasons.

  • Can I enjoy a series set in the same world as some of my favourite characters and friendships when it's not centered on them? **spoiler alert** YES I CAN!
  • Annette Marie's heroines have always been pretty badass women who, if not trained for big things have at least been destined for big things... And yet here we have the aforementioned bookish, girly girl who loves reading, baking and avoiding all things magical. And while of course I was super excited to have such a relateable main character the question kept rolling around my head: Can Annette Marie pull this off? **spoiler alert** YES SHE CAN!
  • Can I learn anything new about a world that I've already read FIVE books in? How will the world building even work? Won't I be bored? **spoiler alert** There's TONS of new lore, near perfect world building and I definitely was NEVER bored

“Winning,” he growled softly, “and not losing are different things."

When I read the synopsis of this one I didn't expect it to be happening around the same time as the events of Demon Magic and a Martini - I guess I saw Robin as being a far more professional, experienced and savvy demon contractor and didn't realise that she had actually just fallen (been pushed?) into the demon summoning world.

Robin is a really great main character, as are all of Annette's main characters to be honest, but I think Robin is easily her most relateable heroine to date. An unapologetic bookworm with a sweet tooth and a penchant for baking, Robin is the last person you would expect to find in a contract with a 'profoundly immoral and wicked' creature who is the 'definition of evil'.

And speaking of this titular demon... Zylas (Zuh-yee-las). Definition of evil? Maybe not. Mysterious? Absolutely. Definitely dangerous and unpredictable too.... But there's something there.... I undeniably have a soft spot for Annette Marie's demons with a code....

I loved learning more about the almost unmentionable Demonica class and also about the demons themselves. I was fascinated with the structure of their world and their 'class system'. I hope we'll explore this even more in future books.

“The weak can’t afford mercy.” I met his eyes. “I think we can.”

I also loved seeing the emergence of a strong female friendship between Amalia and Robin - these sorts of bonds don't get enough airtime in fantasy worlds in my opinion. It would have been easy to create more conflict here, but I love that it's gone in this direction and I hope that the relationship gets stronger and stronger in the future.

The underlying plot of Robin's parents and her inheritance have me more than intrigued enough to need the next book immediately, but the unusual relationship and idiosyncratic nature of the contract between Robin and Zylas are what really have me hooked on this series already.

I don't know how I can even rave about this series, these books (heck, any Annette Marie book to be honest!) and these characters enough to get you to pick up your first Annette Marie read. They are fast paced, fun, humorous and the characters nestle in to your heart like they were always meant to be there. This world is something special and you won't be sorry you picked this one up.


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