Courage and Other Demons

Summary from Goodreads:

The end of the world will start in the suburbs of Denver with a faery transfer student from Ireland. If you think that’s totally ridiculous, then you understand how Maggie O’Neill feels. In all of her sixteen years, faeries were something you read about in children’s books. They didn’t actually show up on your doorstep. They didn’t kiss you and make your knees go weak and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Until Simon Brady, that is. Simon changed everything. He makes her heart race and her skin burn with excitement, but he has also changed her core beliefs about the world and made her see it as a dark and dangerous place filled with monsters that belong only in the lines of faery tales. There is no doubt in Maggie’s mind that she loves Simon, but can she see past who he is and find a place for him in her heart?

Courage and Other Demons provided the needed momentary escape in order to restore my sanity. I read this in between a very hectic week and I was glad I did. Granted, I shy away from fantasy novels because my form of escapism does not usually entail books with fantastical creatures but sometimes, for unexplainable reasons, I find myself drawn to the genre if only to give my imagination some needed workout other than, well, work.

Maggie is a  character believable enough and I understand her strong resistance to her fate.  The pull of opposing worlds — her past and her present, is enough to make her react the way she did: in anger and desolation. If I were in her position, I would probably rant and scream and be miserable all day. Maggie is a strong girl, even though she doesn’t believe that she is. Her courage is well-placed and not reckless. I admire her honesty and her natural reactions to circumstances.

I loved the parts about Ireland. It’s a country that I was always fascinated of and the book did not only give me a picturesque portrayal. It also gave me a little bit of history and folklore both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Admittedly, I had a difficult time trying to reconcile my image of fairies from those portrayed in this book. In my mind, fairies are tiny creatures with pointed ears and wings and magic want (Tinkerbell, haha!) but in this book, they appear as normal people only that they have magical powers. I appreciate the balance between reality and fantasy and how the magic/fantasy element is not overdone. Simon is a sympathetic guy and the mystery surrounding his character was one thing that kept me reading. The other supporting characters especially on the fairy side are equally interesting, especially Balor. Who is this guy? How will he orchestrate the end of the world?

I loved the action and the suspense but there were some slowing down in terms of pace in some parts. But I guess this is understandable as the author is still laying down the premise and the background of the story. Also, I have some issues about how the romance seems to overshadow the action (this is merely a matter of personal preference) but at least the author was able to inject some comic relief into some otherwise awkward situations.

Courage and Other Demons ends with me wanting more. I have a lot of unanswered questions, obviously, because this book is the first part of a series. I will be looking out for the release of the sequels because 1) I definitely want to “visit” Ireland again, if only in this book, 2) I want to see whether or not Maggie is able to kill Balor, and 3) I want to know whether Maggie and Simon will end up together.


3/5 stars.

My ebook copy was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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