Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Secret Eater by Ros Jackson

Kenssie feeds on secrets, not too unusual for a demon, even one that’s as weak as she is. But even her weak powers are beginning to fade and aside from being worrisome, it’s pretty embarrassing as well. And she knows all about that as a thrall to an embarrassment demon.

Whacky hijinks follow as she tries to find the key to get her powers back, being dragged into various machinations of her boss and her contact along the way

After finishing this book I was annoyed. Why? Because it was a novella. A novella! Whyyyyy?! Why isn’t this longer! We have demons feeding on emotions and human secrets! We have a world full of a range of weird and wonderful creatures and their politicking against each other! We have comic ineptitude! We have a screamingly funny writing style and characters I just adore! It has the secret and forbidden arcane knowledge of Nigella Express! We have an archdemon of embarrassment who does extremely well by doing dodgy dad dance moves in public and feasting on the cringing contact embarrassment! He has his minions reveal your distressing porn habits to the whole office!

How can all this wonderfully, quirky, unique awesomeness be over so soon? WHY SO SHORT?

But then, I think it needed to be without being boring or losing its shine. This is a book that was zany and whacky and fun – it isn’t deep or involved or complex. I think it would have collapsed under its own weight if it were too long, like a big sugary confection – sweet and light and tasty and fun but not intended to be substantial.

This book is one of those that’s just pure fun from edge to edge. It has a story and a world, of course, but neither take themselves too seriously. The star of this show always is the fun, the snark, the hilarious turn of phrase and the near slapstick hijinks the demons get themselves into. They’re gloriously cartoonish in their villainy and relishing in each other’s misfortune.

If you want a book full of developed and growing characters – this isn’t for you. If you want a book with a complex involved plot, this isn’t for you. If you want a book with a deep, complicated and multi-faceted world, this isn’t for you. If you want a book that analyses any issues in depth then this isn’t the book for you. In fact, even potentially deep issues are quickly glossed over.

If you want a book that’s nearly guaranteed to make you smile, that will pull out the odd giggle, that will brighten a dull moment in the waiting room or cheer you up after a long day – this is for you.

This book is brain fluff. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing but you do have to be in the mood for it.

(And yes, the cover’s absolutely dreadful – and not even remotely related to anything inside the book)

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for a review