Review: Demons & Lullabies by Kallysten
Born under suspiciously magical and seemingly impossible circumstances, young Jacob is the jewel in his fathers’ eyes… both his biological father, Andrew, and his dad’s vampire childe and life partner, Nicholas. Knowing Jacob’s birth is somehow related to a seemingly unending stream of demon attacks, Andrew and Nicholas face the unenviable challenge of raising a child born to be a warrior and teaching him how to choose the right paths in a human society fraught with intolerance and carelessness. Demons & Lullabies is about the journey… the journey of Andrew and Nick as a couple and as vampire sire and childe, the journey of all three as a family unit, and the journey of Jacob from a newborn baby to a young man on the cusp of an unusual adulthood laden with supernatural risk and responsibility. Demons & Lullabies is a GraveTells recommended read!
- Title: Demons & Lullabies
- Author: Kallysten
- Prominent Characters: Andrew, Nicholas, Jacob
- Recommended Reader Age: 15+
- Genre(s): paranormal romance, urban fantasy
- Sexual Content Level: moderate, some sensuality
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Andrew and Nicholas have a sweet, loving relationship, with a slight D/s twist: Andrew is Nick’s vampire sire and, while Nick doesn’t always do as he’s told, he has an innate need to make Andrew happy. Together they raise Jacob, Andrew’s biological son, conceived and born through magic and mystery. On the night of Jacob’s birth, his mother’s heart stopped beating just as he was born, then the demon sightings began… always in proximity to Jacob or the city he was born in.
The story skips through time and highlights moments from Jacob’s childhood and the relationship between his two dads as they defend unsuspecting humans against near-constant demon attacks. Initially, the story switches between Andrew’s and Nicholas’s point of view, exploring their bond and narrating Jacob’s early years from an outside perspective. Once Jacob is old enough to talk and toddle, we’re treated to some endearingly adorable and surprisingly mature thoughts and get to see his fathers from a new perspective, highlighting some of the more subtle aspects of their partnership.
As precocious and precious as Jacob is as a child, it is exciting and unexpectedly compelling to watch him grow into a sweet, strong young man with excellent judgement, a level head, and a heart of gold. Seeing him with his first love, his first demon kill, learning the hard way how to deal with judgmental peers, developing his defensive skills and protective personality… it’s all so smooth and flowing and endearing that I don’t care that the battle scenes aren’t blow-by-blow and the sex scenes tend toward sensual rather than erotic. This is a story about a boy who shouldn’t exist, his unusual family unit, and the brilliant ribbons of his life as he becomes a man. Demons and Lullabies is a life story, rich and fulfilling. Its paranormal aspects take somewhat of a backseat to the characters’ relationships and the flowing passage of time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you liked Demons & Lullabies…
If you enjoyed Demons & Lullabies for it’s flowing narrative and understated sensuality in the face of near-constant danger and the stresses of everyday life, you might also enjoy Neena Jordan’s Storms & Stars, a SciFi tale about two men who are mortal enemies stranded on an uninhabited alien planet together. They must depend on each other to survive, and their tentative friendship slowly blossoms into a deep, binding love. Their story, much like Demons & Lullabies, focuses on the men’s relationship and is not gratuitous or explicit. It is a touching novel that made me feel fulfilled and happy when it finally drew to a close.
You will also probably want to check out Kallysten’s One Last Lullaby to satisfy your craving for more Jacob-time as an adult.
While there is certainly a good amount of demon fighting and fangy love bites happening in the periphery of this story, the focus is on love and family bonds and the challenges of growing up with two dads who happen to be traditional vampires. Some of the scenes with Jacob as a child really squeezed my heart, made me feel what he was feeling. I usually don’t care for stories with kids in them, but in Demons & Lullabies it didn’t bother me at all. I was so caught up in the heart of this touching story that the lack of action and smut rarely crossed my mind. Oh there’s sex and it’s fairly steamy, but it’s not overly explicit or gratuitous; it enhances the mens’ relationship rather than defining it.
As soon as this book ended, I thought “this better be a series!” I didn’t want it to end and am looking forward to seeing Jacob grow into his adulthood fighting beside his fathers. When I said this to author Kallysten, she reassured me that there is indeed a story about Jacob’s adult journey, called One Last Lullaby. Demons & Lullabies is a captivating, enriching story and is a GraveTells recommended read!
Rating: Demons & Lullabies