Book Rec: Taming Demons for Beginners

For the past year, reading has been kind of hit and miss for me. My Kindle is a graveyard of half-finished books, many of them books I was really looking forward to, but they just didn’t work for me for whatever reason (spoiler: global pandemic).

Usually, if I can carve out time to read a book straight through, I’ll make it to the end, but if I have to stop for any reason, the book becomes dead to me, even if I was enjoying it up until that point.

Don’t ask me how my brain works, it’s a mystery.

So when I find a book that pulls me to the end through a pause, it’s a bit of a miracle right now. And when I find a series that does it… well, the light from heaven shines down and angels sing.

Taming Demons for Beginners (The Guild Codex: Demonized Book 1) by Annette Marie Cover

This week, that book was Taming Demons for Beginners by Annette Marie. I’m a little late to the party on this one because it came out in 2019, but I glommed the whole four-book series SO! FAST!

And when I did have to put it down, I picked it right back up the next day. It’s compulsively readable in the best possible way (aka not because of cliffhangers, etc).

Set in a world where magic is common but secret, a grieving young woman discovers her uncle is into illegal demon summoning. Unfortunately for her, the demon is imprisoned in a magic circle in the library, but books, so she ends up spending time there because the draw of books is stronger than the fear of demons.

And then she starts taking to him.

And feeding him cookies.

And realizing maybe he’s not the mindless beast she’s been led to believe.

The book is a delight from start to finish. It’s available in Kindle Unlimited, so if you have a subscription, you can try it for free. If not, I recommend reading a sample before purchase, as per usual, because books are subjective. This was exactly what my brain needed this week, but that might not be true for you. :)

The next three books, Slaying Monsters for the Feeble, Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped, and Delivering Evil for Experts are also available in KU, and I recommend them all.

Happy reading!

17 thoughts on “Book Rec: Taming Demons for Beginners”

  1. Thanks for the book rec. Talk about late to the party… I’m finally reading the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster-Bujold. It’s excellent, but I feel very late in reading it.

    1. I’ve been meaning to read that series, too! I somehow missed it growing up or maybe I read it and forgot because I’m so bad at remembering books. Either way, it’s on my towering TBR pile. :)

    2. I always assumed I would never read Vorkosigan because a 17-book series was too intimidating, but then in grad school my book club read “Warrior’s Apprentice” and I was hooked. This was a few years back, and I have come to the conclusion that no one in science fiction writes characters better than Bujold. I cannot recommend “Cordelia’s Honor” (i.e. Shards of Honor/Barrayar in the eBook editions) highly enough as a starting point. I’ve re-read “Memory” once a year for the last few years, and I think “Civil Campaign” might be my favorite book of all time (although Polaris Rising is up there!). Bujold is a master at looking at technologies proposed in science fiction and going, okay, but how would this affect actual humans and the way they live their lives?

  2. Ooh! I’ve read some of Annette Marie’s Spellbound part of the Guild Codex, but wasn’t all that into it, so I didn’t look any further into her writing… This one, though, sounds a lot more my speed, thanks for the rec!

    1. This series is set in the same world. I read the first Spellbound book a while ago then kind of petered out on book two, but now that I’ve read the Demonized series, I’m trying it again. I’m liking it more as I go, but I prefer Demonized. :)

  3. Not in either of my library’s ebook collections, nor is the ebook available through Apple Books (though the audiobook is). Finally tracked down a sample through Kindle. Thanks for the rec! I am currently re-reading the Veronica Speedwell series since the latest one dropped. I got that rec from you as well and love the series.

    1. Yeah, I think the ebook is only available on Kindle because of the exclusivity clause of KU. The print book and audiobook are available a little more widely, though, I think. My library has the audiobooks, but I haven’t listened to them.

  4. I loved the original Guild Codex series (Spellbound) and I’m looking forward into diving into Demonized. In addition to just being a really good storyteller, I think Annette Marie has a great grasp of pacing. I’m never bored or tempted to put her books down.

  5. Loved Demonized better than Spellbound as well despite both having cool characters. Actually I started with her Steel & Stone series which was really good. And there is the Red Winter trilogy which has Japanese mythology which was amazing.
    Right now I am back to re-reading books, Ada is calling since I read that Loch POV but she deserves some time, so the Easter weekend is all set :-)

  6. I seem to suffer from the same malady lately, not sure why – start a book, get distracted, and it sits half-finished until I remember it’s there, and maybe not finished even then. I think it reflects the state of my mind, unfocused or unhinged maybe. So my bookshelf and kindle must resemble yours.

    Thank you for the recommendation of Taming Demons. It sounds like just what I’m in the mood for (if I can’t get another one of your books, that is! :)) I’ll find a copy forthwith.

  7. Nice, i shall check this out. I have been looking for a fast and easy read right now. A few weeks ago I reread the Grace Draven Series Fallen Empire which is great, but the third one is still way off in the future :-(

  8. Thank you for the recommendation. This is the reason I haven’t slept the past two nights.
    I realized I had the first book of the first series too so I’m now four books into that as well. I do like the series but did like the demon one better so far. Haven’t gotten to the point where the timelines on the two merge yet. I assume they do at some point soon. It will be interesting to see how that demon mage plot line resolves itself since it was left hanging.

  9. Thanks for the rec & got two sleepless nights reading the whole series. I don’t have KU and my library doesn’t have it so I bought all 4 on Kindle.

  10. I was seriously jonesing for some new reading material and this is a great recommendation! I’m almost through book 3 now and SO EXCITED that there are more series after I finish this one! Thanks!

  11. Thank you so much for this recommendation! I’ve devoured the whole series over a span of 3 days. I’d love to read more stories like that.

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