Try Me (Demon Underground #2) by Parker Blue
Picking up where I left off yesterday, I’m going to talk about the second book in Parker Blue‘s Demon Underground series today. Again, thanks to Bell Bridge Books and netGalley for these books. I’m very grateful (though this in no way affects what I post on my site).
This part-demon teen vampire fighter and her faithful terrier hellhound are once again patrolling the dark streets of San Antonio, Texas. Val’s hunky human partner, Detective Dan Sullivan, is giving her the cold shoulder since she beheaded his vampire fiancée. Vamp leader Alejandro is struggling to keep the peace between vamps, demons and humans. The mucho powerful Encyclopedia Magicka has been stolen, someone in the Demon Underground is poisoning vamps, and Val’s inner lust demon, Lola, is getting very restless since Val’s now partnered with sexy Shade, the shadow demon with the blond good looks of an angel.
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I started reading this immediately after writing up my thoughts on Bite Me. It’s nice to find a series when there are already a couple books out since you can really immerse yourself in the world, and so I was extra excited to get back to my e-reader.
Try Me is another solid entry in the YA urban fantasy genre. The plot is tight and you don’t really know who’s stolen the Encyclopedia Magicka, though your suspicions will probably line up with those of the characters. It’s really fun watching Val try to keep the peace between vampires and the Demon Underground, and we get to see a lot of character development on her part as she tries to master her powers and maintain friendly-ish relations between the two groups. Try Me also explores the demon world a bit more, so we get to know some of the other members of the Demon Underground and learn the dynamics of the group a bit more, which I very much enjoyed. I really liked the new characters we meet from the Demon Underground, particularly Mood, and I hope she’ll show up again in the next book.
My favourite part of the book is definitely Shade. He’s a minor character in Bite Me but he’s front and centre in Try Me, which I really enjoyed. As a shadow demon, he’s not only aptly named but full of interesting powers that get explored quite nicely over the course of the novel. He’s also a good source of information about succubi and teaches Val a lot. Of course, his main function is as a romantic foil for our intrepid 18-year-old and Parker Blue has written their budding relationship in a very honest and compelling way, even if he is a little too good to be true. There were a couple romantic scenes between Val and Shade that made me wonder how this book was YA but, honestly, the Pretty Little Liars series is YA and I suppose this is no more racy than those books. Still, it was enough that I wouldn’t recommend these books to a younger reader.
In contrast, Dan is a bigger douche in this book, though he does have a couple redeeming moments. I can understand why getting into a relationship with someone who’s part succubus could be a mind trip and his reasons for avoiding Val are legitimate (even if Val disagrees) but he still comes off as a big jerk for most of the book, which makes Shade seem that much more awesome.
Finally, I’d like to talk about the New Blood Movement in the series. I didn’t mention it in the context of Bite Me but this organization is a major plot point in Try Me so I figured now would be a good time to discuss it. The New Blood Movement, headed by Alejandro, is basically blood banks for vampires so that they feed on volunteers and donated blood, rather than running around terrorizing innocent folks. It’s the vampire’s first step towards coming out to the rest of the world, something they want to do with the demons. This reminds me a bit of the whole True Blood business in the Sookie Stackhouse novels — the idea of vampires revealing themselves to the world when they have a safe option for feeding — but I like that Parker Blue’s idea is a bit different, and perhaps more polarizing, since it still involves feeding on folk. It also reminded me a bit of the Cadogan House rules in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series but, again, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing since Parker Blue’s put her own twist on the idea of alternative feeding.
Overall, Try Me has left me quite excited to start reading the next book, Fang Me. Come back tomorrow to hear what I think of it!