After forcing myself through the first chapter of The Demon's Lexicon, I very nearly wall-banged it. Being thrown head first into the lives of two magician fighting brothers with action coming fast with no explantion, I wasn't so much confused as I was just...well, underwhelmed. When the brother/sister duo of Jamie and Mae arrived sporting odd piercings, pink hair and forced conversation, I almost figured someone else was going to have to review The Demon's Lexicon because I just couldn't figure how I'd ever get into Nick and Alan's weird behavior. But willing to be fair, I went ahead and read another chapter, and then another, and before I knew it, I was in over 100 pages. The pages were flying by. And I was intrigued.
The Demon's Lexicon is different than most young adult paranormals out there today in that it focuses on "magicians" (spell casters) and the demons being called into human lives to give the magicians their power. Nick and Alan have been raised to fight these dark forces by their father who became a victim to the menaces early in their lives. They are also on the run since their mum, who has retreated into madness, has something valuable that the magicians want back. Jamie and Mae show up, somehow deducing that the brothers fight the forces of evil, hoping that Alan and Nick will help Jamie remove the third tier demon mark he's received. In the process, Alan himself becomes a victim of a demon mark, and now it's a race against time for the only cure: killing a magician and using its blood to erase the marks before the demons can take over the boys' bodies.
The Demon's Lexicon is a dark, dark book; Nick in particular is very hard to like and understand with his stand-offishness and cold calculations. There are several small mysteries that must be solved along the way to finding the cure, and each of these peel back a layer as to why Nick, Alan, and their mother are the way they are. The writing is clunky at times, especially in the beginning of the book; I felt like I was reading a manic blow-by-blow that needed more depth. But as I continued on, I realized that Ms. Brennan had crafted a fairly intricate world that did explain itself as the story developed. In fact, I was very surprised at a big revelation; perhaps because I literally raced through the second half of the book I didn't see the signs of what was coming, but it was entirely believable in the context of what had happened. My advice would be to give this book at least three chapters to capture you because my rating went from a definite two stars early on to a solid 4 (and possibly even a 4.5) by the time I'd closed the last page.