Generally I'd do a single book review, as I just finished this one, but as it's the end of the series and I haven't reviewed the rest of the series I decided to tackle it as a whole. (Plus I missed a blog entry last week, oops!)
Welcome to the world of Morgan Kingsley, exorcist extraordinaire. It's not much different from our modern world, really, except for one specific thing: in Morgan's world, you can be possessed by demons.
In fact, demon possession is a way of life. It's fought over by people and the government much like gay rights (with religious groups on either side to boot) and the whole of society is learning to live with their new 'reality'. On this stage, Morgan is an exorcist, brought in to exorcise demons when they've overstayed their welcome in their human hosts. You can imagine she has very specific feelings about whose side she's on.
The problem is that Morgan now has a demon inside of her, and not just any demon: he's the king of them all. She doesn't want him, but she can't get rid of him, not when there's a war going on over leadership in the Demon Realm and her world will be affected by the outcome. Her life just got a lot more complicated.
With Morgan Kingsley's world, Jenna Black has done just that. She's created a believable world and very interesting characters that I loved coming back to. Specifically her side characters caught me in the first book and I found myself wishing they were the main focus. Not that Morgan herself is bad, but the side characters are also more interesting then usual.
I was also a fan of the very distinct culture created for her demons. As an anthropology major in college, I appreciate the time authors take to build cultures and here is no exception. There's the standard 'we don't understand humans' but there's also the mention of how our sexuality and gender thoughts don't quite apply when you're not used to having a physical body. So demons have no issues with homosexuality and monogamy is another sticky issue, especially if someone loves a demon and not the host, or vice versa. That along with the BDSM threads because demons aren't used to feeling the sensation of pain and therefore some delight in it a bit too much, creates a culture and a world that I would seriously pick up textbooks about in my free time, if that were an option.
My only other issue with the series is specific to the last book: The Devil's Playground. Unfortunately the series set up a giant demon war and a fight for the throne, and when it came time to play those cards it sputtered and failed. There was no war, there was no epic battle, instead it all ended with a whimper that, I swear, only lasted five pages. And the wrap up afterwards didn't end a series, it was a rushed summary that left too many open ends for me to be satisfied. In the last book specifically Morgan feels more like a looking glass to view the situation and doesn't really act, in fact, she's not even allowed to be Lugh's host for the main parts and it almost left me feeling cheated out of what should have been a much better thought out ending to an otherwise impressive series.
Even with my gripes about the ending and how carelessly it was brought to a halt, I would still recommend this series. Overall it's worth the read, specifically for the world building and the amazing characters and all the concepts that the author put forward. And I even added Jenna Black's other series to my wishlist, eager to pick up the next. I wish more care had been taken with the end, but I can't fault the entire series for it when the trip to that ending was well worth it. Oh well, that's what fanfiction and my own writer mind are for, and the pile of books sitting near my bed, waiting to be read. I'm slightly disappointed, but still very much a fan.