A society very similar to Victorian England has made a pact with a race of Demons. The outcasts of demon society are free to live amongst humans in exchange for the use of their advanced technology. But the deal has a dark side. Demons can, and do, feed from human energy, though supposedly only with the consent of the humans in question. Both governments turn a blind eye to the practice but secretly acknowledge the power differential by the employment of police officers, who have been enhanced with demon technology to give them greater strength and speed required to keep rowdy demons under control.
When the bastard daughter of a renowned courtesan is discovered to be half demon-a situation thought to be impossible-both governments want her for their own nefarious purposes. It is up to the prototype enhanced police officer and her demon father to save her from a terrible fate.
This they manage to do, all while avoiding diplomatic disaster, learning to accept themselves and each other and of course, discovering the many meanings of love.
Emma Holly is best known for her erotic romances and this story does have more than its fair share of erotic scenes, many of which do not further plot or character development. Having said that, they are for the most part, well written and varied, and not used as the only attraction between the main couple, making them welcome additions to the story-something other authors have not managed to carry off with anywhere near this level success.
I quite like steampunk when it’s done well and here the world building is excellent. So subtle that much of the mores of both societies must be inferred from background information and behaviour, yet detailed enough to make that inference easy and believable. The extracts from various texts presented as quotes at the beginning of each chapter serve both to assist with world building and to add a touch of humour to the story. I enjoyed many of these asides almost as much as the main story.
Romance, erotica, fantasy and intrigue: The Demon’s Daughter works on a number of levels. I am delighted to have discovered this book and pleased that Ms Holly has set at least two other stories in this fascinating universe.-Lynn