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Literature / Demon Road

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She's having a hell of a time

"For anyone who ever thought their parents were monsters..."

Demon Road is a trilogy of books by Irish author Derek Landy, creator of the award winning series Skulduggery Pleasant,

The series consists of Demon Road, Desolation, and American Monsters.

The story revolves around Amber, an ordinary 16 year old girl from Florida who, after a shocking encounter, discovers a dark and twisted family secret. Her parents and their friends are demons, out for her blood to fulfil a violent pact with a creature known as the Shining Demon. Forced to run for her life, Amber finds herself under the protection of Milo, a quiet, sarcastic and mysterious man driving a Dodge Charger, which seems to be alive. Tagging along for the ride is Glen, the annoying road trip companion from hell, who has come to America from Ireland after being told he has forty days to live.

Forced to flee across America on the eponymous Demon Road, the trio find themselves facing demonic and otherworldly dangers as they search for a way to stop Amber's parents; Undead serial killers, Vampires, Servants of hell and, of course, the ebony-horned and red-skinned demons that are relentlessly hunting the trio.


Demon Road contains examples of:

  • Always a Bigger Fish: Varga ends up proving to be this for Amber's parents. Taking on six demons by himself, with only Bill and Betty proving to slightly inconvenience him.
  • Back from the Dead: Glen, who during the closing of the story is revealed to not be dead, but has instead been turned into a vampire.
  • Butt-Monkey: Glen. Oh poor Glen.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: The vampires of Demon Road have a lot of the standard traits, including weaknesses to sunlight and being staked.
  • Cool Car: The Charger. Which is arguably even cooler than the Bentley from Skulduggery Pleasant
  • Deadpan Snarker: Milo, who at the beginning the story speaks to Amber and Glen entirely in this manner.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Near the beginning of the story, Amber performs a simple ritual in order to gain herself an audience with the Shining Demon, hoping he will change the terms of the deal he made with her parents. They come to an agreement, but unsurprisingly, the Shining Demon backstabs Amber with a surprise extra condition.
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    • Amber's parents themselves, along with their friends, made a deal with the Shining Demon that would grant them immortality. The condition was that they would, every sixteen years, sacrifice one of their children, eating them, and give a representative of the Shining Demon the parents' now enhanced blood.
    • When Gregory Buxton's son was dying of severe cancer, he made a deal with the Shining Demon in order to save his sons life. He was tasked with harvesting three souls a year for the Shining Demon, but Gregory Buxton was able to outwit the Shining Demon and escape, vanishing without a trace using Loophole Abuse
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: The hierarchy of the Demons is left reasonably vague, but seems to consist of a Devil-analogue called the Blood-dimmed king served by Demons like the Shining Demon, who in turn have servants like Fool and his representative. It seems that lowest in the hierarchy are humans that make deals in order to become demons themselves.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Amber backstabs The Shining Demon by giving its assistant Fool a dazed Edgar instead of Gregory Buxton, quickly taking the cure that removes the changing scar from her arm, before moving on to flat out mock and insult the Shining Demon itself, calling it out for its inability to find Gregory in over fifteen years when she did it in three weeks. Sure it didn't end well, but it was pretty awesome
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Gregory Buxton wanted to save his son from cancer, so he went to the Shining Demon and made a pitch so good the Demon didn't notice that he was leaving loopholes in the deal. Some time later, once he was sure his son was safe, Gregory Buxton was gone and became known in urban legend as the man who escaped the Shining Demon.
  • The Dreaded: Amber's Parents and Co., who prove to be well known and feared throughout the country.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Shining Demon has shades of this.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Amber begins to fear her demon side and the horrific things it does when let loose.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Amber's parents Vs. Varga.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Most of the deaths in the story, ranging from Varga to Faith to Imelda and Alistair just to name a few.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Shining Demon.
  • Hero's Classic Car: Milo's 1970 Charger (440 six-pack, 3 2-barrel carbs and 390 horses). It is actually his demonic symbiote from his days as an urban legend known as the Highway Ghost. It is not clear whether it was once simply a normal Charger.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Imelda. Killing herself in order to give Amber a chance to escape her parents.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Shining Demon constantly shines brilliantly, hence the name, but he enjoys suffering and is part of the hierarchy of Demons.
  • Mysterious Past: Milo's history is chock full of mystery. Even he doesn't know everything about his past
  • Older Than They Look: Ambers parents and their friends, who are eternally youthful thanks to their deal with the Shining Demon.
  • Our Demons Are Different: There are two kinds, demons seemingly made when a mortal human makes a Deal with the Devil and gains power from it by harvesting souls and the children of these humans, and Demons, far more mysterious entities who dwell in what may or may not be Hell and hand out a Deal with the Devil to mortals who interest them enough.


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