Reign or Shine (Demon Princess #1) by Michelle Rowen
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?
I've been looking forward to reading this for a long time. The cover made it appear to be a light and cute read, but the summary and title implied something darker. This was exactly what Reign or Shine was. It was a cute book, with darker undertones that made it an overall wonderful read.
The plot was extremely original and was a refreshing change from the vampire and werewolf scene. Demons are a set of creatures I've never read about and I really liked how Rowen presented them. Faeries and unicorns were both introduced in a new way. Rowen also introduced some new creatures like Shadows and Darklings. I really liked the idea of her father being a demon king. It added so much uniqueness and excitement to the novel, and the plot twists involving the Shadowlands and who was going to rule kept me turning the pages. While at times it was a bit predictable, overall Reign or Shine was a well orchestrated and original novel that was a great beginning to what I'm sure will be a terrific series.
Nikki was a great main character. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind, or kick some serious demon butt. She was thoughtful and intuitive. Nikki was able to figure things out and stand up for herself. Her mother was another solid character, I loved how she was a romance writer. Both of Nikki's parents played large roles and her best friend did as well. Melinda wasn't your typical preppy/popular girl and she had real substance, I'm just a bit suspicious of her after the "joking" comment she made with Nikki about demons. I don't want to give anything away though!
Michael was a sweet and realistic character, and I liked how he really cared for Nikki. I'm especially interested in seeing how their relationship progresses in book 2. There are some "bad guys" in this novel, and I was really surprised once I figured out who they were!
Overall, this was a great YA debut and I'm really looking forward to seeing where things go in the sequel. If you're looking for an exciting and original series, that's both lighthearted with darker parts tied in, you'll love this book!
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
September 29, 2009/Walker BFYR/274 Pages/Young Adult/Book One
Other books in the series: Reign Check (Demon Princess #2)