Reign or Shine (Demon Princess Series #1)

Reign or Shine (Demon Princess Series #1)

4.3 42
by Michelle Rowen
     
 

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As if trying to fit in at a new school isn't stressful enough, sixteen-year-old Nikki Donovan just found out that her long-lost father is, in fact, the demon king of the Shadowlands--the world that separates and protects us from the Underworld. When she is brought there by the mysterious--and surprisingly cute--messenger Michael, she learns that her father is dying

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Overview

As if trying to fit in at a new school isn't stressful enough, sixteen-year-old Nikki Donovan just found out that her long-lost father is, in fact, the demon king of the Shadowlands--the world that separates and protects us from the Underworld. When she is brought there by the mysterious--and surprisingly cute--messenger Michael, she learns that her father is dying, and he wants her to assume the throne. To complicate matters, a war is brewing between the Shadowlands and the Underworld, her half-demon qualities are manifesting, and her growing feelings for Michael are completely forbidden. Ruling a kingdom, navigating a secret crush, and still making it home by curfew--what's a teenage demon princess to do?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Paranormal romance author Rowen's (the Immortality Bites series) charming YA debut skillfully balances a lighthearted teen voice with emotional maturity, which bodes well for this new series. Sixteen-year-old Nikki Donovan is less than pleased when a mysterious young man named Michael shows up bearing a message from her absentee father, who she learns is a dying demon king. Additionally, Nikki is her father's heir. Upon her father's death, Nikki will assume control of the Shadowlands, where her father rules the border between the demon lands and the mortal world. “That sounded like more of a gatekeeper than a king,” Nikki thinks. “[T]he thought that my father wasn't a horrible, evil demon set my mind slightly at ease. Slightly.” When Nikki balks under the sudden responsibility, she is offered a choice between mortality and fulfilling the responsibilities of her demon heritage. But as Nikki's feelings for Michael grow and as she learns more about her growing powers and her demon family, her decision becomes more difficult. Though the villains can tend toward the cartoonish, Nikki's engaging voice and several intriguing secondary characters make this a winner. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Patricia Williamson
This book uses an interesting twist on an age-old story. Nikki has moved because her mother has remarried. She is visited by a stranger who informs her that her father is the demon king of the Shadowlands. Nikki decides to investigate, only to find out that there is a war going on between the Shadowlands and Hell. She is somehow trapped in the middle of this war and her needs as a "human" teenager. She is in love with Michael, Elizabeth wants her dead, and her father would like her to assume the throne in Shadowland. She is fit to be tied. This book reminded me of the premise of Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot, only with a twist into the supernatural. An adolescent/teenager is trapped in a situation where there are many decisions to make and all of them seem bad. She must find a way to make things work as she discovers herself and the role she wants to play in the world that surrounds her. Reviewer: Patricia Williamson
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Just when Nikki Donovan is about to go to Winter Formal with the hottest guy at school, she's summoned by a creepy (but also hot) teenage messenger from the land of the demons. It turns out her father, who left her mother before Nikki was born, is the king of the Shadowlands, the dimension between the human realm and the Underworld. Now he is dying, and Nikki is next in line for the throne. While many novels and TV shows remove supernatural creatures from their traditional gothic environments, this book keeps the demons in creepy, mist-shrouded castles. Cartoonish scenes in which Nikki sprouts leather wings and pets unicorns even make the story seem like a spoof. But the real problem is that there isn't enough plot to sustain readers' interest. Instead, Nikki spends a lot of time talking and thinking about her situation: "It didn't make any sense. It couldn't be real. And if it was…if I was half demon, what did that mean? Was I evil? Would I suddenly go all dark side and want to eat souls or something?" For more complicated, less-stereotypical demons, check out Maureen Johnson's Devilish (Penguin, 2006), or A. M. Jenkins's Repossessed (HarperTeen, 2007)—or if you prefer demon-slayers, Rosemary Clement-Moore's "Maggie Quinn" series (Delacorte).—Emily R. Brown, Providence Public Library, RI
Kirkus Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Nikki's life is straight out of a fairy tale, but she's no damsel in distress. Just after her birthday, Nikki learns from an attractive stranger named Michael that she is heir to the throne of the Shadowlands, which separate the human realm from the Underworld. Nikki's father, the Demon King, is dying, and she's got very little time to decide if she'll stay in the Shadowlands forever or live as a normal teenager. Her aunt Elizabeth is ready to take over the throne and will stop at nothing to block Nikki's ascension to power. Nikki knows what everyone else wants her to do, but she ultimately wants to make her own decisions about her future, something every teenager will understand. Although she doesn't see herself as a superhero, her will to save her threatened loved ones and take control of her own life is nothing short of heroic. The doomed love story between Nikki and Michael combines with action and mystery to entertain any reader who holds a special place in her heart for strong princesses. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
“Sixteen-year-old Nikki’s life is straight out of a fairy tale, but she’s no damsel in distress. Just after her birthday, Nikki learns from an attractive stranger named Michael that she is heir to the throne of the Shadowlands, which separate the human realm from the Underworld. Nikki’s father, the Demon King, is dying, and she’s got very little time to decide if she’ll stay in the Shadowlands forever or live as a normal teenager. Her aunt Elizabeth is ready to take over the throne and will stop at nothing to block Nikki’s ascension to power. Nikki knows what everyone else wants her to do, but she ultimately wants to make her own decisions about her future, something every teenager will understand. Although she doesn’t see herself as a superhero, her will to save her threatened loved ones and take control of her own life is nothing short of heroic. The doomed love story between Nikki and Michael combines with action and mystery to entertain any reader who holds a special place in her heart for strong princesses.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Sixteen-year-old Nikki faces yet another new school and yet another (probably unhappy) marriage for her mother. Still, she is hopeful about the changes until she meets an attractive guy who appears to be stalking her. She is thoroughly spooked after he tells her that she is, in fact, a demon princess whose father, King of the Shadowlands, is ill and wishes to see her. Still, she agrees to enter the dimension that separates the human realm from the Underworld. Rowen walks an intriguing tightrope, moving Nikki between scenes of realism and fairy tale–horror within a single school day or high-school dance. And she crafts intriguing characters, including Nikki’s loving father, who morphs into a leathery horned demon with glowing red eyes at the slightest provocation, and a potential Shadow boyfriend, who serves as Nikki’s servant and protector. Readers who suspend belief will find themselves caught up in a sometimes violent, romantic, complex fantasy that, although not completely satisfying, will tide them over until the next Stephenie Meyer vampire book or Meg Cabot princess title is released.” —Booklist

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802784926
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
09/29/2009
Series:
Demon Princess Series, #1
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Michelle Rowen is the bestselling author of the Immortality Bites series, including Bitten & Smitten and Fanged & Fabulous. She lives in Ontario. Visit her website: www.michellerowen.com.

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