Fantasy Review: ‘Servants of the Storm’ by Delilah S. Dawson

A sum that is perhaps a bit better than its parts but nowhere close to the potential it Servants of the Storminitially showed. Servants of the Storm caught me with a great premise and a strong opening. A hurricane is coming and people are bunkering down. Young Dovey and Carly are stuck at home talking on a dying cell phone assuring a worried mother that they will be fine. But when the storm finds itself at its end? Of course everything is not alright.

Fast forward a year and Dovey has spent most of the time in a medicated state after a few high profile freak-outs; including screaming incoherently at Carly’s funeral. But a chance sighting of Carly, apparently not dead, and Dovey secretly stops taking the meds and finally sees the world for what it is. This small change sends her down a rabbit hole of demons, witches, and the personification of Josephine, the very storm that changed everything.

As setups go I can find no fault. Demon’s feeding on human’s negative emotions is not a new concept but I have never seen it tied to natural disasters. It makes perfect sense after all; the hellions could feast for a few years and move on. I also found no fault in Dovey as a character. Watching her come out of fog and turning back into the person we only got a glimpse of was a delight. This was a more mature version of young adult fantasy than much of what I have sampled, her pain was real. Dovey’s confusion morphed to a certainty in a realistic manner, and people believed in her or not in ways that made sense. Some major positives here.

What lacked in this story was any kind of logic or internal consistency when it came to the supernatural elements. Anything that moves the story forward seems to be allowed, the details can be filled in (or not) later. Not overstating it here; at one point a character claims after yet another revelation that he doesn’t know all the rules but knows where they are kept (in a very large book ). So we get complex combos of incubi and demon’s, slavery by pinky bone connections, a hierarchy of demons with no structure, and ultimately, little reason to care.

This is a story that can be read and enjoyed in a hurry if one likes a strong protagonist, doesn’t mind a love triangle, and cares little about believability. It has a strong ending that I didn’t see coming, and Dawson actually made me blush a little where her protagonist goes vamp for a bit (and feel very dirty because I forgot she is a teen until a bit later). But sometimes the little details matter and this book didn’t leave me with enough to want to carry on. It did however make me curious about Dawson’s adult series so perhaps that can be considered a win.

3 Stars

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