Devil's Paw (Imp #4) by Debra Dunbar

Devil's Paw - Debra Dunbar

Having defeated her nemesis in hell, Sam is hoping to settle into a normal life (well normal of an imp living on earth anyway) by throwing her boyfriend Wyatt a birthday party.  Sam doesn't get to enjoy the good life for long because Gregory shows up with the head of yet another demon which has been drained of its energy.  The situation escalates when an angel is also found drained.  Sam is a devouring demon and therefore not only very rare but potentially a suspect.  In order to avoid being blamed for the death of an angel, Sam and Gregory must hunt down the real killer quickly.

I love the Imp series but Devil's Paw did have a problem with over description.  At times it did effect the pacing of the book.  Dunbar really went over the top describing the interior of a home which Sam was investigating and I found my eyes sliding from the page.  It's the first time that I have been forced to skim read any section of this series.   Though Sam and Gregory were working together to solve the mystery of drained and dead demons and an angel, it really didn't make sense to me that Sam continued to withhold information from Gregory.  Sam is a smart protagonist and she essentially fridged her largest weapon, by not informing Gregory,  given that the Iblis sword isn't the most reliable weapon.  Clearly this is a set up to have Sam get captured and forced into a position of asking Gregory to sever the bond.  I can see that it makes sense from a big picture scenario but felt that in context of the story, it didn't work.

In many ways, Sam has changed so much from the demon we met in A Demon Bound. Sure, Sam is not above creating interesting piercings to disturb the TSA, provoking Gregory every chance she gets, or eating raw seal, but when it really counts, Sam cares deeply about those she claims as hers.  Wyatt's sister was changed with a channgling at birth and for his birthday, Sam decides to rectify the situation by arranging to buy Nyalla, his biological sister from the elves.  Sam even advises Amber, the demon/elf hybrid to wait to have sex which is totally against her imp instincts but in the best interests of Amber.

Perhaps one of the largest indicators of how Sam has changed, is her willingness to add demons to her household when Baphomet and Raim are killed.  When Sam is captured, she struggles desperately to try and save Stab, a low level demon.   The scenes between these two are absolutely touching. In her attempt to save Stab, Sam becomes so much more than the trouble loving Imp - she becomes a hero.



Read More