Sarwat's book hasn't gotten too much press outside the UK. I have no friggin' idea why though, because it is awesome. This was, seriously, some fantastic YA urban fantasy that I think would easily appeal to adults. Sure, Billi is only 15 - but she has had to grow up really fast and it has made her more mature than some of the adult characters I read! (*cough* Faythe *cough*)
Billi is fighting the good-fight against the demonic forces - and it comes with casualties. There are angels, vampires, wolf-men and evil-spirits - it's like a seriously compact episode of Supernatural. It is fantastic to read - and has a few OMG! twists that you will never see coming.
There's a whole lot of biblical action - in fact, there is a whole lot of biblical references too. But what Sarwat does, which I found unusual in this new age of angelic!YA - was to include a lot of Muslim and Jewish myths and beliefs. Billi is also half-Indian, half-white - giving her a unique perspective on her role in the Templars.
Billi's "ethnic" background was just one of the many things that made this book so very "London-y". Sarwat Chadda recreates the city to a T - its multi-ethnic population just one of many things he got right! If you haven't been to London, you will visit it when you read The Devil's Kiss - and those of you who have, you'll love his references to tube lines, misty weather and dodgy characters!
So, while I thought the verse and setting were great, I did have some trouble connecting with major secondary characters. Billi was great - by the end of the book I really felt like I understood her. But her friends and family that she felt so strongly about? Well, they just didn't do it for me. It lessened the impact of some of the big scenes, and unfortunately made me bring this book down a star.
I have great hopes for the next book, The Dark Goddess, and can't wait to start it!
Bottom line? Kick-ass YA Urban Fantasy that will appeal to both adults and teens. The Devil's Kiss will keep you on your toes, wondering what the next page will bring!