Saturday 26 December 2009


Lila Black is going to Hell.

Ever since the Quantum Bomb of 2015 things have been different; the dimensions have fused and suddenly our world is accessible to elves, demons, ghosts and elementals...and their worlds are open to us. Special Agent Lila Black has been different too: tortured and magic-scarred by elves, re-built by humans into a half-robot, part-AI, nuclear-fuelled walking arsenal and carrying the essence of a dead elven necromancer in her chest, sometimes she has trouble figuring out who she really is. And that's without mentioning that her boyfriend's a half-elf, half-demon international rock-star.

So a mission to Hell isn't exactly what she needs. The heart of art, of pleasure, sensuality and politics, Demonia is glorious and terrible. And, an assassination attempt, three marriage proposals and one ruined dress after her arrival, it seems Demonia might be more complicated than Lila thought...

After the Quantum Bomb, the world changed forever. Even the name changed, Earth is now known as Otopia. But more importantly, the fabric between the dimensions was torn, opening up the way to five other realities. Humans can live alongside creatures from other realms. Demons, elves, elementals, and all types of faery live amongst us in a world now deep in magic and technology.

Lila Black is a woman, but she's also a machine with an AI.

This book follows on from where the first one ended. Actually, only a few days have passed at the beginning. So, Lila is getting checked out by her psychologist and is pretty much sent on a new mission right away. This time she has to go to Demonia and pose as a scholar where she will pretend to be studying demon culture and lore, but is really sent to find out about Zal's time there.

Sounds like a mission she can handle, especially with the demon Sorcha by her side. But things don't start well. As soon as she gets there someone attempts to kill her, forcing her hand and putting her into a situation that calls too much attention to herself -- in the way of offers she doesn't want or need.

Duting her time in Hell, Lila realises that although Demonia appears to be beautiful, there's a lot more going on beneath the surface.

Selling Out is another action-packed, interesting book that expands on Lila's life, as we get a taste of her human side and the family she left behind, and she starts to understand a few truths about why she was really made/saved from death. The spirit of the elf she carries inside (Tath) becomes like an inner voice that both helps and frustrates her, and she even gets herself an imp companion.

I enjoyed venturing into another of the dimensions but have to admit that I didn't enjoy the multiple POVs as much as I thought I would. I kept hoping we'd go back to Lila.

Selling Out, November 2009, ISBN 978-057-508203-8, Gollancz Paperback

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