Practical Demonkeeping is Christopher Moore’s first book. This book does some interesting things, and in it you can see the beginnings of Moore’s style of writing, but overall it’s a decent book at best.
There are quite a few characters in this book, which is in some ways a good thing and in some ways a bad thing. It’s good because it makes the setting of the book feel more real because there are a bunch of characters who each have their own histories who are taking part in the story. It’s bad because none of the characters are terribly deep. Throughout the book, Moore jumps from one character to another, typically at chapter breaks but occasionally within the same chapter. I had a hard time keeping track of some of the characters over the course of the book. That said, all of the characters were believable in their actions and they worked well overall, I just would have preferred more time with them so they’d be easier to distinguish.
Pine Cove California. I’m assuming it’s a fictional town, but it really doesn’t matter because it could be set almost anywhere in the world.
Travis has been traveling for years with Catch, a demon who survives by eating people. The main plot of the story deals with Travis trying to find the a relic containing an inscription of how to get rid of Catch. There are also several subplots running throughout the course of the novel. These range from a cop trying to bust a small time drug dealer to a couple trying to come to terms with their relationship. Overall the plots are well done, they just feel rushed.
It’s strange to read this book after having read some of Moore’s later novels, but it also shows how much he progressed as a writer over the course of his career. All of the hallmarks of his style are present in this book, they just aren’t quite as refined as in his later books. This isn’t a bad book, it just isn’t nearly as good as Moore’s later works. I enjoy Moore’s books and I’ll keep reading what he comes up with, but this isn’t one that I’d suggest too highly.
A very interesting premise for a book, but the writing shows that this was his first novel. Worth reading if you’re a big fan of Moore’s, otherwise, you can skip this one.