Book Review

How Cookies & Curiosity Can Lead To Dark, Intriguing Partnerships — Taming Demons For Beginners by Annette Marie {ARC Review}

Taming Demons for Beginners by Annette MarieTitle: Taming Demons For Beginners (The Guild Codex: Demonized #1)
Author: Annette Marie
Dark Owl Fantasy
Release Date: September 13th, 2019
Standalone/Series: Series
Genre: New Adult – Urban Fantasy


My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: NEW ALL-TIME FAVORITE


Rule one: Don’t look at the demon.

When I arrived at my uncle’s house, I expected my relatives to be like me—outcast sorcerers who don’t practice magic. I was right about the sorcery, but wrong about everything else.

Rule two: Don’t listen to the demon.

My uncle chose a far deadlier power. He calls creatures of darkness into our world, binds them into service contracts, and sells them to the highest bidder. And I’m supposed to act like I don’t know how illegal and dangerous it is.

Rule three: Don’t talk to the demon.

All I had to do was keep my nose out of it. Pretend I didn’t find the summoning circle in the basement. Pretend I didn’t notice the shadowy being trapped inside it. Pretend I didn’t break the rules.

But I did, and now it’s too late.

From the author of The Guild Codex: Spellbound comes a new series that will plunge an unprepared young woman into the darkest magic of the mythic world.

Taming Demons for Beginners (#1)
Slaying Monsters for the Feeble (#2) 

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Note: I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Let me start this off by saying: I’m a difficult reader. I really am. Especially when it comes to starting a new book or series. I’m super skeptical to get started, and it usually takes me a good 100 pages or more before I even get invested in the story and characters. So even though I’ve already read SIXTEEN Annette Marie books, all of which I have rated 4 or 5 stars and well, I’m raving about her books pretty much 24/7 (sorry, not sorry), all of that doesn’t mean I’m not still skeptical every single time I start her newest release. Every single time, I do admittedly think to myself “Will this new book live up to my expectations, or will this be the first time I have to admit it’s just not my thing?” ESPECIALLY so with Taming Demons For Beginners, because it’s a spin-off from the Guild Codex: Spellbound series and I have to admit I’m usually a little iffy about spin-offs. So no, I don’t rate these books before even reading them, and no, I don’t automatically rate them all highly. Quite the opposite in fact.

That said, I dove into Taming Demons For Beginners with a lot of excitement, but also some hesitations. But frankly, all those hesitations flew out the door by the end of the first chapter. In fact, I adored this book so much, I THINK this series may just become my favorite Annette Marie series yet (okay second favorite, because Red Winter will be verrry tough to knock down the all-time favorite spot). 

So why did I adore this book so much? Let me count the ways:

Robin Page, accidental demon contractor.  Robin is a breath of fresh air in the Guild Codex series. She’s a magical history nerd, a shy bookworm who hates confrontation but loves baking and she really only got into this mess because she let her curiosity lead the way. There’s something about a girl like her becoming a demon contractor to one of the most rare demons around that floats my boat. I’m always rooting for the underdog, which Robin certainly is, but even more than that, Robin may be the most relatable heroine Annette Marie has created so far. I loved getting to know her and seeing this already somewhat familiar world through her eyes.

The worldbuilding, spin-off fabulous. One of my more annoying misconceptions about spin-offs is that there really isn’t much more to learn about the world. WROONGG! Taming Demons For Beginners still delved into this big, mythical world and managed to make this already well-written world even more epic and intriguing, and a hell of a lot darker and gorier. We especially dive more into the world of demons and demon contractors, which was so far not yet delved into too much in the Guild Codex: Spellbound series. So yes, there’s still so much out there to discover, especially the darker part of the world, and the Demonized series is here to guide us through it.

The banter, old married couple level. You want to know what really sold me on this book? The bond between Robin and the demon. It’s dark, it’s mysterious, it’s against the rules and it’s not really certain if it’ll end up okay for either party. BUT IT’S THE ABSOLUTE BEST AND I LOVE EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF THEIR PARTNERSHIP. The banter, the slow-building trust and bond growing between them. Over cookies. THEY BOND OVER COOKIES! Let that sink in for a minute in all its gloriousness. I mean, I’d be over the moon if this turns into a romance, but I’d take their partnership even if it remains a friendship. Or becomes a friendship. Because one of them is still a demon, and demons are pure evil, so they can’t have friendly feelings. Or so they say… I’m not sure about that yet 😉

Amalia, female friendships FTW. I’ve just gotta mention this because I can’t help it. When we first meet Amalia, Robin’s cousin, my alarms went off because I feared this would turn into some useless girl-on-girl hate scenario. But rest assured, all is not what it seems and Amalia and Robin warm up to each other and it’s the best.

Overall, I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book. You don’t have to have read Guild Codex: Spellbound, as the series do overlap and characters make cameos, but Taming Demons for Beginners can definitely be read separately as well. Taming Demons for Beginners is dark and creepy, yet fun and hopeful at the same time. It’s a compelling tale of two underdogs from enemy worlds forming an unlikely partnership through curiosity and cookies. Not to be missed!

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Check out Taming Demons For Beginners yourself:

Want to check out the first book in The Guild Codex: Demonized? From now until September 12, read the first five chapters of Taming Demons for Beginners for free!

Meet Robin Page: outcast sorceress, mythic history buff, unapologetic bookworm, and the last person you’d expect to command the rarest demon in the long history of summoning. Though she holds his leash, this demon can’t be controlled … but can he be tamed?

Pre-order book 1 today!

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Author bio:

Annette Marie

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Tell Me:
Does the Guild Codex series: Demonized sound like your cup of tea?
Have you already read any Annette Marie books? If so, please feel free to rave and fangirl with me!

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  1. Well, as always we had so many things in common with this AM read! I absolutely adored this book although I too went in with such conflicting thoughts. I didn’t know if she could pull off a heroine like Robin, I didn’t know if I could be entertained in the same world without my three mages or favourite druid! And yet… She did it again – why was I worried again????? Gah!

    I love your review Lindsey and can’t wait to chat about this one in more detail!

  2. I’m exactly the same with starting a new book or series. Hooray for difficult readers! Also, magical history nerd, a shy bookworm who hates confrontation? IS THIS ME? (aside from the magical part lol) This sounds like a seriously awesome book and the great start of a new series. This is going straight on my wishlist now! ♥

  3. Wow, she is really cranking out series after series, isn’t she? I’m glad to hear this one was such a great read for you. I had promised myself I was going to read my first AM read this year but really need to get moving on that since it’s already September. Where does the time go?

  4. Bonding? Over cookies? With a demon? I am SOLD. Adding to my tbr immediately.

  5. This sounds awesome! Do you have to read The Guild Codex: Spellbound first? or is this a standalone series?

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