In a move to take a step away from the fantastic Skulduggery Pleasant series and from children’s fiction all together, in 2015, Landy released his first ever YA novel in Demon Road.
Moving away from Ireland, Demon Road is based in the vast world of America, and as ever is grounded in the real world with a touch of magic.
This open to the series however is not the explosion that readers may have hoped for. In Demon Road Landy disappoints with a difficult main character in Amber, who is hard, at best, to like, even when she’s kicking-butt.
From the blurb;
'Amber is sixteen-years old, and she is smart but insecure. She spends the majority of her time online where she can escape her beautiful, aloof, parents and their strange friends.
But when a shock encounter reveals a family secret that scares Amber to the bone she is forced to go on the run. Amber hurtles from one threat to the next, facing killer cars, vampires, serial killers who should really be dead and red-skinned demons.
As her parents hunt her down, Ambers only chance of survival rests with fellow travellers who are not all that they seem to be.'
Although this novel ticks all the boxes for horror, humour, adventure, surprise and fear that we go in for with Landy it feels drawn out, and comes to a conclusion sooner than expected.
Desolation however brings this series back with a bang. The story continues with Amber and her partner in crime slash bodyguard Milo fleeing north after the bloody end to Demon Road.
Readers will be relived to find that Landy’s got a grasp of these characters in Desolation that was lacking before, and they’ve grown into people we can actually relate to and who we want to win.
Amber and Milo are being hunted by the Hounds of Hell, who Landy has wonderfully made into five demonic bickers, and who will stop at nothing.
'They’re only hope is the mysterious Desolation Hill, a small town with a big secret; and the only place the hounds can’t find them.
But Desolation Hill isn’t the safe haven they had hoped for. One night every year the evil that sleeps in this town spills out onto the streets, and Amber and Milo are just on time for the show.'
Desolation is fantastic throughout. Far more centred than Demon Road this story has a feeling of solidity that was missing from the previous novel, and introduces some more of Landy’s trademark nightmarish creatures, and his perceptive humour.
Partnered together the two books make an addictive whole leaving the reader wanting more.
We Give The Demon Road Trilogy Four Stars
ISBN – 978-0-00-814081-6 Cover price (hard back) - £14.99
ISBN – 978-0-00815698-5 Cover price (hard back) - £14.99