Damoren by Seth Skorkowsky (Valducan #1)

I guess I am becoming more willing to give unknown, small books a go and so far I’m not regretting it at all. Then again, Michael loved this and our taste is fairly similar with fun, action packed stuff, so I guess I should have known. (To my family; if you find my mummified body under a collapsed pile of books, Michael is to blame.)

When you hear ‘holy weapon’ you most likely imagine it as this one single item that is so special that no other can ever reach its level and only the chosen one can even think of using it.
In this series that’s not true at all, whatsoever. There is a whole organisation (called Valducan) with holy weapon wielding people, who go wherever they are needed to take care of demons that terrorise humanity.
Our hero, Matt was raised by a retired Valducan knight after his whole family having been slaughtered by demons, Matt himself having been infected by a demon. After the death of his master he inherited Damoren, the holy gun/sword and now he is even being recruited into Valducan, as their knights keep dying in horrible ways.

Not sure how many people have read Darren Shan’s Demonata, a horror series with gruesome stuff for… kids. I used to be absolutely obsessed with it, it was a genuinely fantastic series. It also had a secret organisation to stop demons and in many ways this felt like a spiritual successor of a more adult kind.
From the get go that was a good thing in my mind, not gonna lie. But I guess that tells everyone that this is horror. It’s nasty, it’s bloody, people will inevitably die and monsters will come. At the same time, this is less of the Stephen King kind, more like gruesome fantasy and to me that works. I genuinely prefer it that way. Somehow that feels more exciting and less about being shocking.

And boy, it was exciting. As upsetting as it could be, there was so much action and the different characters had so many different skills. Somehow it really felt like this world could offer even more, so much adventure and I am convinced that it is not going to be used up for some time now.
I’m not saying the author will definitely turn it into one more gigantic urban fantasy series (long live Harry Dresden), but it absolutely has the potential for it. The skill is there, the cool, the great characters you can get attached to, it just needs time, work to elaborate more, to write more stories.

Would it be absolutely wrong to call a story charming with so much horrible things happening to people? Then what should I say? It has some kind of a charm that made me interested. That made me connect to it, that made me want MORE. I usually say if I will read the rest of the series at the very end of my reviews, but… dude, be honest, I am reading the rest of this so much, it’s unfunny.
I’m also happy to see that the author is actually working on it. Books are coming out, it’s not stuck, I will have more. What does it say about me that I’m happy about that.

Another funny thing about this series is that Matt, the protagonist is dropped into a whole new situation with complete strangers. They are already a well-formed group with connections and attachments, but Matt is completely new, which to me is interesting, as we see tragedies from the point of view of someone only semi-attached to the rest. He can not hope to feel as much for the others as anyone else, because he is the new guy.
That was a smart decision. We connect to Matt’s point of view as we know just as little about the others. Of course we care, we are humans, but somehow we are still a bit outside of it at the same time. It was great, as it didn’t make me feel like we were being pushed to feel things. The author didn’t assume we were instantly 100% in love because we knew a character’s name.
I find this is something that can be done so wrong; expecting the reader to feel gigantic feelings just because we were told we should be feeling that. How I hate that. Here, though, it was great. Not sure how much of it was deliberate. Maybe it was just an idea. But it was good.

In private I joked with Michael about how the guys in this book would be cool as Japanese dating sim game characters. All different types, all cool, I would find it hilarious. Which adds even more to the potential of this becoming big. I have no idea how books become the super big hits, but man, this would deserve it. It would work well, people could relate, a movie would be super fun. Everything. I guess I will have to push one more series on my friends for gift giving holidays. Because I am that friend. I AM THAT FRIEND. (With me it’s either hand made stuff or books almost always, deal with it.)

I loved it, over 9000 stars, great stuff. I do recommend it, I will get the other books, I would sell my soul for the new one at this point.

Good night and I hope I’m sticking to my guns about this one!

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