Friday, March 8, 2013

Luck of the Devil (Speak of the Devil #1) by Patricia Eimer

We all love of our families but if we're honest, family get togethers do have a tendency to become stressful.  This is especially true, if your name is Faith Bettincourt and your father is the Devil.  When her entire family descends upon her apartment, Faith knows that her plan to spend her week of vacation watching reality TV, is officially out the door.  If that were not enough, her succubus roommate has accidentally killed her boss and his ghost keeps popping up because his paperwork keeps getting messed up.  Life was simpler when she was simply flirting with the hot guy next door. Just having the Devil, your wiccan mother and police attention would be bad enough, but things get even worse for Faith, when an angel begins to stalk her, intent on stealing her powers and ending her immortal life.

Luck of the Devil is absolutely laugh out loud funny.  It takes the average (if there such a thing) dysfunctional family dynamics and throws in demons and angels. It's completely irreverent and despite it's supernatural cast, completely relateable.  No child, not matter how old they are, ever wants to walk in on their mother giving their father a blowjob.  The therapy bills alone would be horrific, never mind, the push to scrub the image from your mind.  But isn't that what family is all about?

But what do you do if your human mother keeps going on about Gaia, and refuses to believe that her Devil husband is immortal?  Then there's the little issue of your demon brother in-law "falling up."  Your half brother Tolliver, who is the son of Lilith and Satan, who is not happy with your mother and just happens to be in love with your succubus roommate, who he turned because he is in love with her. Speaking of  the Succubus roommate, what if she cannot control her powers and keeps accidentally killing people? And Then there's your uncle The Alpha with a mean streak for vengeance.

Clearly, there is a lot going on with Luck of the Devil.  When it first started it was like being thrown into mosh pit.  I had no idea which way was up, or what direction I should be heading in.  Slowly, the story started to come together and I began to make sense of the plot.  The main issue in Luck of the Devil, is stopping Faith's stalker, but it took quite sometime for me to realise that this was the issue which needed to be resolved, because it was surrounded by so many incidental anecdotes.  Had these anecdotes not been so entertaining, like introducing your nephilim boyfriend to your father, who is the Devil, or having to threaten God and the Devil because they wouldn't stop playing Mario Cart, the story would have felt incredibly derailed. 

The cast of the Luck of the Devil is largely White and completely straight.  It did help that God was undeniably a man of colour.  As the Alpha we heard about God more than we actually saw him but Eimer made it clear that in terms of power influence that he was just as strong as the Morningstar and of course, having only one son, lived with far less family drama.  The scenes in which he did appear, The Alpha was just as realised as every other character and the interactions between Jesus, The Alpha and The Morningstar were absolutely hilarious.  In terms of GLBT erasure not only was it obvious, it is something that Eimer clearly did not consider inclusion for a moment.  We are told that incubi have to scare off men in an area to get access to women.  They have to work to be irritating to those who aren't attracted to them. We are then told that men fall easier than women, so why wouldn't incubi be down for a same sex, sex act if not relationship? Even in the demon world, it seems compulsory heterosexuality even when it doesn't make sense is still the rule of the day.

Luck of the Devil is undoubtedly fluff, but it's good fluff.  Any person who has ever dreaded a family gathering will be able to completely relate with poor Faith.  It's tough enough to bring home your boyfriend, let alone having to play referee, as they play ridiculous testosterone games.  There are so many reasons why this scattered plot should not have appealed to me, but the more I laughed the more it worked.  Books don't always have to follow a linear line to engage and Luck of the Devil takes the most crooked path that you can imagine but in the end, comedic nature of Eimer's writing makes it worth the leap down the rabbit hole.

Editors Note: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.