Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong

*spoilers ahoy* 

Why I read it: I picked this one up because I thought the storyline sounded interesting and I like trying new authors.  I thought I would like it.  I didn’t.

I got about 1/3 the way through it before I gave up.  I didn’t enjoy the writing and I didn’t think the characters were well drawn. I didn’t like the world building.  I thought it was a good idea but it didn’t deliver.

What it’s about:  The basic set up is that new Angel Serena is given the assignment of protecting a bad boy Hollywood actor, Nick Ramirez.  She trails him to Devil’s Paradise, a club run by Archdemon Julian Ascher.

What worked for me: I thought the premise was interesting and the cover is pretty but I did not enjoy the execution.  Maybe it got better after I stopped reading though.

What didn’t:  We’re told that Julian is the baddest of the bad demons; he enjoys corrupting human souls and has no remorse for any of his actions.  Next thing, Serena’s pricking his “conscience”. (“It pricked at his conscience for a moment – kissing an angel was surely some kind of sin”) Hur?

Serena on the other hand, is seriously lacking in the kick-ass department.  Much to my surprise, she was immediately attracted to the Archdemon at their first meeting.  I would have much preferred a slow build of attraction given the diversity of their characters but, because he’s hot, she’s horny. I found it a bit hard to believe.

Also, her angel supervisor, Arielle, has totally set her up and has given her no support for her secret task, so I felt she was unlikeable too. 

But, what really got to me was on p65.  Julian materialises in Serena’s house while she is sleeping.  They barely know each other but she’s piqued his interest. 

“Awake, she’d never have let him touch her like this.  But now, as she slept, he took liberties that would have made her shriek with fury during waking hours.  He got into bed with her, sliding under the covers with a carefully practiced stealth…” 

then he feels her up til she wakes and he dematerialises. 
This is NOT hero material for me.  Dude, that’s sexual assualt = NOT SEXY.    It is apparent from the bit I quoted, that he knew she DID NOT WANT but did it anyway.  No thank you.

I did read on a little from there but I found nothing in Julian’s character that I was interested in reading about further.  He did not come across to me as a sexy misunderstood demon or as someone who could be redeemed.   He then decides to force Serena to choose between her soul or her brother’s and blackmails her into staying with him.  At that point I stopped reading.

What else?  Maybe Ms. Chong is able to pull of the redemption of Julian but I couldn’t bring myself to care.  To me, he’d already crossed into irretrievable territory and I had to put the book down.

I can see from other reviews on Goodreads that I am a bit of an outlier though, but this book was definitely not for me. YMMV.

Grade:  DNF

2 comments on “Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong

  1. nath

    Hmmm, I'm kind of glad you DNF this one ^_^; Means I'm not alone ^_^; Well actually, I never officially started reading so I cannot DNF it LOL. I was pulled in by the cover and actually bought the book, but when it came time to read it… well meh. that's how i felt…

  2. Kaetrin

    Well, I'm glad I'm not alone as well. We can be a minority of 2! 🙂

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