|Demon in My View|
|Publication date||May 9, 2000|
|Published by||Delacorte Press|
| Preceded by|
In the Forests of the Night
| Followed by|
Demon in My View is a vampire novel written by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and published on May 9, 2000. Originally titled Bitter Life, it was published when the author was 16. It is the follow-up to In the Forests of the Night, which she wrote at the age of 13. The title refers Edgar Allan Poe’s poem "Alone", which appears in the beginning of the book.
Demon in My View was first published in its original artwork on May 9, 2000 then again on September 1, 2001 before being revamped to appeal to a more teenage audience on September 11, 2001, and then finally being collected in the The Den of Shadows Quartet omnibus on August 11, 2009.
The novel opens by introducing Jessica Ashley Allodola, a highly unusual teenage girl with a strange affinity for the dark world, something even she cannot fully explain. Jessica is extremely attractive and even possesses some of the physical traits of a vampire herself: flawless pale skin, a perfectly shaped body, and emerald green eyes that can disorient people with a glance. Despite her beauty Jessica finds her peers to be inexplicably afraid of her; this coupled with her antisocial personality and love of darkness has led many of them to label her a witch. Jessica escapes from the world around her by writing the events of her dreams as fiction novels -- unaware that every word is actually truth. Jessica is, in fact, the strange writer Risika encounters in Concord, a writer who the vampire remarks "writes the truth, though no one knows how she knows what she does."
In fact, Jessica's first novel, Tiger Tiger, published under the pseudonym Ash Night, is Risika's story, and it is fast becoming a bestseller. Furthermore, she has turned in her next novel, Dark Flame, to her publisher, a novel which details the life and turning of Aubrey. Unnerved by the human girl's inexplicable knowledge of the vampire world and fearing exposure, Aubrey himself volunteers to find the girl and stop her before she can publish any more secrets the vampires don't want exposed.
Unaware of this, Jessica is shocked to see new student Alex Remington, an older boy who looks exactly like her description of Aubrey Karew. She is also offput by another new student, Caryn Rashida, who cheerfully attempts to befriend her despite the fact that Jessica obviously makes her just as nervous as the rest of the student body. Rejecting Caryn and remaining warily intrigued by Alex, Jessica becomes more and more confused as Alex displays many mannerisms of the vampire from her dreams, and is shocked at the revelation that Alex knows that she is in fact Ash Night following a confrontation with Caryn at a bookstore. When Caryn's mother, who works at the bookstore, reveals that she also knows Jessica's identity, Jessica's nerves force her to withdraw.
Aubrey returns to New Mayhem confused by his feelings toward Jessica; she intrigues him more than any human before her — something which Fala is quick to point out. Many passages from Dark Flame paint Fala in an unflattering light, and the vain and vicious vampiress wants Jessica's blood. After nearly causing a fight that her dark father Jager is forced to intervene in, Aubrey decides that Fala is right and that Jessica must die for what she knows. Things complicate further, however, when Caryn Rashida is in fact Caryn Smoke, a powerful witch of the Smoke line who is trying to protect Jessica from reprisals for her writings. After a charged confrontation at a human party, Caryn allows Aubrey to feed from her rather than let him feed from a kill an innocent without intervening.
Later that night, Aubrey once more meets Jessica and again cannot kill her. Jessica continues to have troubling dreams of a vampire she has never come across in all of her dreams, a woman who despises her vampire existence and longs to be human again — a desire that is offered to be granted by a Smoke witch. The spell seems to work, though it causes Jazlyn enormous amounts of pain. Left with more questions than answers, Jessica's fragile grip on the world is completely knocked out when Caryn comes forward and reveals herself in a bid to save Jessica from Aubrey's intentions. This backfires, however, as it forces Jessica to accept her fictional world as reality and intensifies her longing to see it for herself. Piecing together clues from her novels, Jessica manages to locate New Mayhem, confirming all of her suspicions. After being threatened by Fala, a shaken Jessica challenges and confronts Aubrey, who, when handling his own emotions, realises his feelings and kisses Jessica before vanishing into the night.
The next day, Jessica attempts to make peace with her adoptive mother, who she has an extremely rocky relationship with, and tries to find Caryn and her mother to figure out her connection to the Jazlyn from her dreams and also to the vampires around her. She is too late, however, to stop a vampire dispatched by an angry Fala from killing her adoptive mother Anne in front of a crowd with a page from Dark Flame insulting Fala stuffed into Anne's hand, bearing the warning "Stay in your place." Jessica is taken to the Smoke's home, where her dreams and a confrontation with the Smokes finally explains her past:
Jazlyn was a human woman who Siete, the first of all vampires, fell in love with. Knowing what he was, Jazlyn refused to be turned into a vampire and instead lived a happy life with her husband until his sudden and tragic death. The loss and the discovery of her pregnancy spurs her to accept Siete's offer, though she is unhappy with immortality without her husband. A Smoke witch gives her life using her powers to grant Jazlyn's wish to become mortal, and Jazlyn, to her shock, gave birth to her daughter Jessica. To her dismay, however, Jessica's years in Jazlyn's womb, fed off the blood of Jazlyn's victims and kept alive by the immortal blood of Siete, have irreparably changed her daughter; the girl shares Siete's emerald eyes and the physicalities of a vampire. Jazlyn chooses to give Jessica up for adoption in the hope that a happy home will keep her from the darkness. Jessica's blood-borne bond with Siete, however, granted her visions of the vampires of Nyeusigrube her entire life, keeping her in the darkness and granting her the dreams that would become the novels of Ash Night.
Shaken by the truth of her existence and disgusted by a confrontation with the extremely abrasive infamous vampire-hunting witch Dominique Vida, Jessica takes her life in her hands and travels to New Mayhem to find Aubrey, trying to make sense of her life and her emotions. Finding some semblance of acceptance with her life, Jessica prepares to leave — only to be confronted alone in the woods by Fala. Fala reveals her hatred for Jessica, fueled by the inflammatory, humiliating information from her past made public by Jessica's writing. Fala further reveals that she witnessed Jessica's birth and despised Jessica's mother as well for her percieved weakness and her unworthiness of Siete's blood. When Fala attacks her, Jessica viciously fights back, shaking off Fala's telepathic attacks, which only serves to make Fala angrier. Jessica manages to get hold of Aubrey's knife, a blade enchanted by witches to kill vampires, and severely injures Fala in a final bid after Fala fatally wounds her.
Aubrey, sensing Jessica's danger, fights off Dominique Vida (who had followed Jessica to New Mayhem) and confronts Fala, nearly killing her until she reveals Jessica's location. Aubrey calls Caryn for help, and the two desperately try to save Jessica's life, with Caryn even taking on Aubrey's vampiric power despite her aura being tainted with his darkness. In the end, there is only one solution — Aubrey turns Jessica into a vampire, knowing that since she fought to her death against Fala she will gain the strength of the Silver bloodline. Jessica awakens and is described by Aubrey as extremely powerful even before her first blood meal; she challenges Fala and ends the confrontation between them once and for all before leaving to feed.
In the end, after exchanging goodbyes with Caryn, Jessica and Aubrey begin their immortal lives together...though Jessica keeps all of her manuscripts and her laptop with the intention to continue writing her novels as she loves to do.
As with all of Atwater-Rhodes' novels, Demon in My View's title and story was affected by a themed poem the author chose to represent the novel; in this case, Edgar Allen Poe's famous poem "Alone", used to describe Jessica's feelings as the novel begins:
From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov'd — I lov'd alone — Then — in my childhood — in the dawn
Of a most stormy life — was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still —
From the torrent, or the fountain —
From the red cliff of the mountain —
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold —
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by —
From the thunder, and the storm —
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view —
Demon in My View continues the world established in In the Forests of the Night, beginning some months after Risika's climactic final fight against Aubrey. It is the last novel thus far that Risika, Jessica or Aubrey have made an appearance in. Until the publication of All Just Glass, Demon in My View was the only novel in the world of Nyeusigrube that was a direct sequel to the preceeding installment. Alongside continuing and finishing the stories of Jessica and Aubrey, Demon in My View was the last of the novels set directly in or around the vampire city New Mayhem.
Demon in My View also introduces the two major Witch Families in the world of Nyeusigrube, the Smoke and the Vida families. Caryn Smoke would go on to become a charter member of SingleEarth, fighting for redemption and equal treatment rights for all witches, vampires, shapeshifters and werewolves in the darker worlds. Dominique Vida will go on to be one of the main antagonists in Shattered Mirror and its sequel All Just Glass as the matriarch of one of the most powerful families of vampire hunter witches; both characters play alternately major and minor roles in the two witch-oriented novels. Demon in My View is also the first and thus far only novel to mention the existence of werewolves.
Demon in My View was generally well-received by critics, who continued in their praise of Rhodes' unusually adult prose for a teenage girl. Along earning a starred review from the School Library Journal, the novel earned the distinction of being an American Library Association Quick-Pick summer novel for young adults. Although some reviewers noted the more "teenage" feel to the novel and criticised Jessica's resemblence to the author herself, the novel was generally praised.
- "Atwater-Rhodes exercises impressive control over the complex lineages she has imagined, and she comes up with creative solutions to advance her story. Readers will drain this book in one big gulp."
"A fast-paced vampire novel with an anti-Buffy heroine and a studly vampire who aren't going to let a little thing like death stand between them."