Lord Loss is the first in the Demonata series by Darren Shan. It is the story of a boy named Grubbs Grady, whose life is turned upside down when he encounters demons tearing his family to shreds (literally). Living with his Uncle Dervish, he soon finds out who these demons really are and what they have against Grubbs and his family.
Without really giving anything away as it is a short novel, this one really did blow me away in the beginning. When I read the first forty pages into this book I didn’t realize how bloody and gory it was going to be. It was pretty graphically violent and I was wondering to myself if I really did pick up a young adult book. Anyway, if you can read through it, I really did like how the demons were described. They were very different and it read like something out of either the short stories of HP Lovecraft, or out of just a very wild imagination. It was good though as it made the demons seem more evil looking, macabre, and scary. I found it a little hard to picture them at first, but Darren Shan made such wonderful descriptions that it was if these things could only come from nightmares (and they do get really creepy once you finally pictured them).
The storyline is really good and it’s short, and to the point which makes it a fast and engaging read. The characters are few so it’s very easy to keep track of them, although the story centralizes on Grubbs. The character names in this book are rather strange and odd (Grubbs and Dervish to name a few examples) but it adds more quirkiness to the book and it makes it a different read. Although the names are funny and strange, I find them much better than the names you find in other young adult novels that seem to name their characters names that celebrities would give their kids (rather stupid names too). The names just seem to fit this novel more.
The only criticism I can find in this novel is towards the end, where Grubs can “suddenly” do things he could never do. I found it as an easy way out of finishing the book and a little too convenient. Everything ended just a little too quickly and the ending, well, all I ask is: “how did he wake up??!!!!” leave me with asking more from this series. Also, please note, this book is not for those that aren’t into gore. Coarse language may be an issue to some, I expected it, and it does add a bit more realism to Grubb’s character (since when did teenagers never swear in real life?)
Overall, a fast engaging read, with creepy descriptions of demons, and enough action to get you to read the rest of the series of The Demonata. This is a great beginning of what seems like a great series.
I give it a 9 out of 10.