The Demon Race
Release date: September 18, 2018
by: Alexandria Warwick
Genre: YA fantasy
Hidalgo meets An Ember in the Ashes in this Middle Eastern-inspired YA fantasy debut.
A race across the desert.
An unimaginable prize.
It occurs once every thousand years: the Demon Race. A test of will and strength, it is a race across the Saraj, a fight for the prize of a lifetime. And it is the key to Namali Hafshar’s freedom.
When shy, seventeen-year-old Namali learns of her arranged marriage, she flees home and enters the Demon Race for the chance to change her fate. But to compete, she must cross the Saraj on a daeva, a shadow demon that desires its own reward: to infect her soul with darkness.
Namali soon learns the desert holds more dangers than meets the eye. The only person she can trust is Sameen, a kind competitor seeking his own destiny. As her affection for him grows, however, so too does the darkness in her heart.
In this race of men and demons, only one can win. But the price of winning might be more than Namali is willing to pay.
The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick comes out in three days!! I was sent this book by the author to review and because I was a part of the blog tour last month! Check out my last blog post to read all about Alexandria’s world building process!! It’s so interesting to me to read about other writers’ views on worldbuilding and other parts of the writing process, so I’m very glad I got to share it with y’all!
So this book!! I rated it 3/5 stars on Goodreads. It was a solid read, but not one of my favorites or one that specifically touched me in any way. You know those kinds of books. The beginning was dragging a bit for me, but when I was about 2/3 of the way through, I began to enjoy it a lot more! I’m not sure why… maybe something about the plot? But if you decide to read this book, just know that the ending is great, even if the beginning doesn’t click with you!
The Demon Race a fantasy novel with a Middle Eastern-like setting. What I mean by this is it takes place in the desert and in small desert towns that our main character, Namali, travels to. The setting was one of my favorite aspects of the story, because the author did an amazing job of using vivid imagery to describe these beautiful, simple villages and the desert surrounding them.
The story follows Namali who’s being forced into an arranged marriage by her father. The man she’s going to marry is a little strange, and she’s really not into this whole idea. Who would be? She’s been cooped up her whole life and never been allowed any kind of freedom of her own. So Namali decides to enter the demon race – this crazy, legendary race to reach a secret city and earn a wish from the Demon King.
Namali was just an okay character to me. I did like her character development though!! Throughout the story, she realized that she is stronger than she thought, and the race really grows her as a person. BUT she honestly didn’t have much of a personality. And sure, she was strong, but at times, the stuff that she was able to do was WAY too unrealistic. A teenage girl shouldn’t be able to beat a grown man in a fight when the man has a sword and the girl has a knife that she’s only had one lesson on how to use. Maybe that was the influence the demon she was riding had over her – maybe it gave her more power? I’m not sure, but it made me laugh instead of get excited about an action scene, which probably wasn’t what the author was going for.
I liked Sameen – the main secondary character! He was very caring and helpful – just what Namali needed to get through the race. Although I think their romance was a little too much like a YA trope, it was still nice.
My favorite part of this story clearly wasn’t the characters haha. But I LOVED the plot!! Especially how it ended with the Demon King and Mahurzda. The little plot clues were laid out very well throughout the story, and it all came together very nicely. I especially loved that end chapter!!
I loved Alexandria Warwick’s writing! It fit the tone of the story very well, and the way she described the desert was very interesting! I also liked the bits of Middle Eastern culture that she threw in, such as Namali’s veil and how she wasn’t supposed to show her face to anyone that wasn’t her husband.
Overall, The Demon Race was good, but not one of my favorites or anything! There were some good moments, and some not so good moments. But it’s also incredibly unique, which can be hard to find among YA fantasy these days!! If you like reading books with that Middle-Eastern feel, then you would definitely enjoy this! And of course, I would recommend it to all my fantasy lovers out there! Go read this book and support the sweet Alexandria Warwick!!
I hope you enjoyed my bookish babblings for today, and happy reading!!