Shifters and Demons: The New Black?

July 21, 2008 at 5:00 am (General)

By Teresa D’Amario

It’s funny that Michelle and I chose similar topics for Friday and Monday. I’ve had mine written a while, ready to go and chuckled a bit when I saw hers. But I’m going to bring up a new idea about shifting, her new idea not withstanding. I think we’re both looking at shifters from a wider perspective now that we are here on this blog. That can only mean good things for you the reader.

It seems to me, shapeshifting is normally (Michelle’s blog not withstanding) considered an animalistic trait, something where creatures resembling humans shift into creatures resembling animals, either fictional (such as dragons) or non fictional (such as wolves or tigers). But is that all there is to shapeshifting?

Enter the Demon. Recently, by chance, I read two demon books in a row. First, Larissa Ione’s Pleasure Unbound, for which I give Five golden stars, and Kresley Cole’s Dark Desires After Dusk, which also earned five golden stars.

In each of these books there were creatures who shifted from one shape to another. The cause of the shift depended on the book, but most often was brought on by intense emotion, the same way many of our own, more traditional, shifters are.

In Larissa’s book, the demon shifts into the something he finds in the thoughts inside the mate’s head – though it may or may not be something she finds sexually attractive. In Kresley’s book, there are multiple shifting creatures. The Valkyrie who’s high emotions cause her eyes to change color and her fingers to meld into claws. A frightening prospect if you are her mate, I’m sure. The demon – well, let’s just leave that as a surprise for all of you who haven’t read it, since this is Kreseley’s second demon story. (Yes, I’m behind the times and somehow missed the first one – got some catching up to do I guess.)

In both of these fantastic series, there are other shifting creatures – including one of our favorites, the werewolves. Once I had the notion we were looking at a fox shifter in Kresley’s, but no additional mention was made – must have been my imagination searching for shifters everywhere.

The differences in the two subgenre’s are what you might call minimal. Ok, it’s true. We love our animalistic, hot, sensuality of the animal shifter. We love the power, the strength, and raw nature. Their instincts, so unencumbered by society remind us of our own protectiveness for those we love, and we are fascinated with their ability to stand up for what’s right, or what’s theirs.

Are the demons so different from our own shifters? Ok, so the authors don’t necessarily have raw animal power to draw from, but they definitely have some super uber alpha aggressiveness to work with. Never would I think horns were sexy until I read Kresley’s. Ok, still not sure about the horns, but the rest was kewl.

But if you thought creating a book trailer for a wolf shifter or tiger shifter was tough, imagine working with demons and valkyrie. That’s gotta bite. (In more ways than one). In neither case could I find a book trailer for their series. At least none that I could find. Now I don’t blame them one bit, because if you can’t get a trailer to do your book justice, why do one at all? I did find this awesome and fun video that you may also enjoy which stars Kresley Cole.

About a year ago I heard demons and shifters were the new vampire – the new little black dress, so to speak. It’s what people wanted. I’ve had friends say they wouldn’t read a romance with demons in it, because demons are real. It’s an important view to have, and I can understand the concept, but in our minds, demons are not something we have a full understanding of what is, or what isn’t. Few of us truly believe in a completely developed demon culture hidden right before our eyes. That’s what, for me, makes these pure fiction, and makes them exciting. It’s a great “what if…” question.

So have you tried the “New Black” lately? Have you tried the traditional shapeshifters, or even the new shifters, the demons? Shout it out to the SSR, tell us what you think!


Shameless promotion – don’t forget to check out Tigress by the Tail, available now at

Also – I’m guestblogging today at Writeminded, so come on out and join us! We’re going to have alot of fun!


  1. Michele Hauf said,

    I just finished Kresley’s demon book, and it was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. My first demon book, though. So now I’m venturing into more demons to see what’s out there.
    I think any person who shifts or alters their appearance or form is a shapeshifter.

  2. teresadamario said,

    If you liked Kresley’s book, you’ll love Larissa’s. Hers has a darker, more complicated feel, but you’ll love it. Christine Warren also has a demon society in her books as well, as does Jacquelyn Frank. Jenna Black has a new Urban Fantasy out with demons too. I’m sure there are others out there I’m leaving out that are awesome.

  3. Teresa D'Amario said,

    I forgot to mention Jaci Burton too. She also has a demon series that’s pretty darned awesome!

  4. rainedelight said,

    Hi there,

    I am waitingm y copy of Larissa’s book (I should get it tomorrow) and have Kresley’s first book in the series on the TBR pile. I love Jaci Burton’s Demon Series. Very, Very Good.

    Have you read CL Wilson’s fantasy series? Her 1st two books were phenominal and her final 2 are out in Sept. 08 and 2008 respectively. Very good shifters.

    I love demon shifters. :)If told right, very different than traditional shifters.

    Makes a nice change.

    Raine D.

  5. Savanna Kougar said,

    I haven’t read a demon shifter yet, but I used to think, while watching Buffy and Angel, and Charmed, how cool it could be as a new culture.
    I have written a wip where the hero has horns, but that’s because of his particular bull-like race.

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