Newfound pet peeve of mine: when it is isn’t readily apparent that a book is a sequel. No one where on this cover, on the back cover or the dust jacket that this announce that this is the fourth book in a series. The way that the title page is designed you’d be forgiven for (like me) thinking that this might even be the FIRST book in the series. But nope! The only way you figure out we’re heavy into sequel land is either a) checking into Goodreads (how I found out) or by happening to stop on one of the inside cover pages and find a list of three other books. Oh.
But what’s this you say? “Didn’t you see the other books on the shelf, Carrie?”
Being a new book, this was a top of the YA display at the library. Just recently I was at Barnes and Noble where they only carried the third (i.e. just released) book of a trilogy and didn’t even have shelf space for the others, so I’m not sure I’d have fared better there.
Why the complaint?
Because unless your books are a series like Breathless – erotica that have ties with characters who know each other but all focus on different protagonists – sequels are always better enjoyed when you are acquainted with the books that came before.
As far as being the fourth book in a series, this one is pretty newbie friendly. It doesn’t spell out things out, but the world isn’t so unique that you can’t more or less figure out what’s going on anyways. Our protagonist, the Nick whose life is being chronicled, is a half human/half-demon. His demon half is supposed to be the “King Shit” the demon that all demons fear and want to kill. For his part, he’s been sending himself back in time to try and prevent himself from fully coming into his powers. He seems to be a decent enough kid, and I suspect that if you’ve read the other books you’d probably have a good investment in the character and want to pull for him. I personally had nothing against him, but again, without the first few books I didn’t have enough invested him to root for him, or at least enough to support the extremes that he’s taking.
There are some decent side characters here, many of them super-handsome, super wealthy blond demon types. I liked the characters themselves, but got to call out the obvious fanservice when it shows itself. Just saying.
As far as YA books good, this is a kind of middle of the pack book. It’s not great, but it certainly isn’t awful. I wasn’t drawn in enough to go and try and pick up the first three books, but if you’re out of stuff to read the first one, Infinity, might not be a bad way to go. Fans of the author (her author page on Good Reads credits her with 30 different titles) will surely enjoy this book as you figure that someone with that many books under her belt is probably writing in a fairly formulaic way, especially since most of those books all seem to be tied into each other in one way or another. This reminds me a lot of Laurell K. Hamilton: at this point in the game you’re either going to enjoy her as an author or your going to stay far far away. You know where you stand.
Verdict: Borrow It, but start from Infinity. I’d have gotten more out of this book if I had, and I think you will too.