On Demon Wings: Experiment in Terror #5

On Demon Wings: Experiment in Terror #5 - 4 STARS Feeling a bout of shame, I looked down at my hands. The scratches seeped clear fluid. It didn't even faze me anymore. I was becoming someone else and there was nothing anyone could do about it.For a while, whenever I read the title of this series, my brain automatically plays hokey background organ music with perfectly timed lightning flashes. I think I stopped doing that around the 3rd book and started taking the horror aspect of this series a little more seriously. This time, it's U2's Running to Standstill playing in the background (yeah, it's about a heroin addict, but still):And so she woke upWoke up from where she wasLying stillSaid I gotta do something About where we're goingShe runs through the streetsWith her eyes painted redUnder black belly of cloud in the rainIn through a doorway she brings meWhite gold and pearls stolen from the seaShe is ragingAnd the storm blows up in her eyesWe love this series for a variety of reasons. Personally, I love it for Perry and the unique and successful mesh of horror and contemporary romance written in an edgy fashion. Which may also be why the same group who might have fallen head over heels with Lying Season may not be as taken with On Demon Wings.I'm half and half. I really liked this, but the things that niggled, I couldn't let go. And yet I couldn't keep it out of my favorites shelf.The story kicks off six weeks after Seattle and the focus has shifted from the Dex-Perry dysfunction dynamic to the Perry Palomino Goes to Crazyville Variety Show. Which is a very welcome change of pace for me considering the heavy, syrupy angst of LS. While ODW reads very much like wall to wall horror than camp, I find myself missing that cover-your-eyes, keep-the-lights-on knee jerk reaction to what Perry's experiencing. Instead, I was heartbroken from Perry's sorrow and despair: a woman who didn't have that much confidence in herself to begin with, trying to pick the pieces that Seattle left of her, while also dealing with demon possessions.That's how hard I ship this girl (can you ship just one person?).To be clear, there was no Perry Pity Party here. If anything it was her indomitable will to survive and live past "Everything Seattle" that yanked my melodramatic heartstrings. It could've gotten all out angst-fest round 2 but thankfully, Ada balanced out these moments with her no nonsense wisdom and her evident love and loyalty to her sister. Their sibling dynamic eased the minimal Dex-Perry moments.I love how stark Dex and Perry's evolution has been throughout the series, though I am liking the direction Perry's character is slowly discovering herself into better. Dex lost a lot of his gregarious charm, though that could easily be explained by his absence in a great chunk of this book. In what little I've seen of him here, he seems to have ante'd up in the drama department. He did have some great moments in this one (and they were really good), though I couldn't post them as most are spoilers. I was, however, disappointed with Maximus' character. Maybe I was expecting a little bit more malevolence and malice in his motivations than what was revealed here. The story started to become a little predictable 25% in though the snappy dialogue and creative plot reveals totally made up for it. I'm also a little miffed on how Perry's "issues" climaxed in such a traditional PNR way (considering all the sh*t she had to deal with too): an ill-fit in a series I've come to regard as forward and fresh. The fangirl in me was weeping with joy but that small feminist corner in my brain shed a tear. Okay, maybe just half a tear.Part of me wanted him to stay where he was. Part of me could have used his strong arms around me. No wonder it was so easy for an entity to come and divide me, I never really knew who I was to begin with.I usually lose some interest in a series after it reached its emotional zenith (which I believe was Lying Season) but ODW upped the ante by some big reveals about the bigger picture, pushing Perry's limits and expanding old and existing characters' dynamics that can only mean more sleepless nights for me.