Plot Outline:

Kernel Fleck's a lonely child. He's always been different -- he can see strange patches of light in the air around him. Other kids think he's mad. But when he manages to link some of the lights together, he creates a window into another universe, and disappears for several days. When he returns, his memory a blank, his panicked parents whisk Kernel and his younger brother, Art, away from their home, off to an isolated village, to start a new life.

One year later, Kernel is enjoying himself. Life is good. Until one day a crazy old woman summons a demon. The beast slaughters many of the children, then kidnaps one of them and retreats back to its own universe. The child it has kidnapped is Art.

Can Kernel find the courage to step through the window after the demon in a desperate attempt to rescue his brother? And if so, what wonders and terrors will he discover in the crazy, barbaric universe of the evil, twisted Demonata?!? Find you when you read "Book 2 of The Demonata -- Demon Thief".

Author Notes:

The second book in The Demonata series went on sale in the UK & Ireland on 5th December 2005. I can't remember why it seemed like a good idea to release a new book in the middle of the Christmas season bookselling madness! It was the only time we did this -- we stuck to a June and October release schedule for the rest of the series.

"Demon Thief" was set roughly 30 years before the events described in "Lord Loss" -- so Grubbs Grady wasn't in it. This confused some readers, but it became clear as we went along that there are three main characters in The Demonata and the story moves backwards and forward in time over the course of the series. Grubbs was the first, and we saw the story of book 1 through his eyes. Kernel was the second, and he took up the narrative reins in book 2. (The third was Bec, who we first met in book 4.) The advantage of having three different narrators was that any one of them could pick up the story in later books. In "The Saga of Darren Shan" readers always knew that no matter how perilous the situation, Darren would pull through and survive. He had to, since he was the person telling the tale! But here, the rules were different. If one of the main story-tellers perished, the other pair could carry on regardless. That meant that any of the three main characters could die at any stage along the line...

Although the book was a prequel to "Lord Loss", and Grubbs wasn't in it, a couple of familiar faces from the first book popped up in unexpected fashion!

We didn't learn a huge amount about demons and magic in the first book. Lots of questions went unanswered -- where do magicians get their magical powers from? What is the universe of the Demonata like? How do demons cross from their universe into ours? And if they're so powerful, why haven't they wiped out humanity?

This book answered all those questions, and a whole lot more. It also lay the seeds for what was to follow in later books. At first it might seem to tie in only very loosely with "Lord Loss" and the next couple of books, but by the time of books 5 and 6, reader were able to see how everything connected, and all the various plot-lines and ideas started to come smoothly together.

Each book in the first half of the series was meant to be read as a stand-alone novel. You could read "Demon Thief" without having read "Lord Loss" and be able to easily follow everything that happens. It was the same with books 3 and 4. As readers progressed through the series, they started to see a bigger picture emerge, and ideas and plot-lines click together. But in the beginning, each book was designed to be read and enjoyed by itself.

"Demon Thief" was actually the sixth book of "The Demonata" that I wrote. Like I said in the Book 1 notes, I didn't plan to write a series. The second book that I wrote, in 2003, was set sixteen hundred years in the past and, among other things, explained how Lord Loss developed his love of chess. That became Bec, book 4 of The Demonata. After that, I wrote two more novels (a two-part story), which became books 5 and 6. Then I decided to write another book, set between "Lord Loss" and the new novels. This ended up as book 3 of the series.

As I was writing all of those books, the overall storyline was slowly coming together inside my mind. It was a discovery process -- only by writing the books did I manage to figure out what the BIG story was. I could sense a huge, single story lurking somewhere in the tangled web of first drafts, but I couldn't see the overall puzzle. The final piece clicked into place when I had the idea for "Demon Thief". Suddenly everything became clear, and I saw how to link all the books up and make them work as a single, massive story. It meant a lot of re-writing and re-working of the books I'd already written, but that was OK -- the final result was hopefully worth such literary contortions!

It was a bit like when I came up with the idea of the Vampaneze and the War of the Scars when I was writing "The Saga of Darren Shan" -- when I wrote the first two books of "The Saga" I had no idea that I could spin out a large-scale story -- it was only when I started to plan book 3 that I realised how far I could take things. The difference here was, I'd already written the next four books in the series!

The period of my life from when I started to edit "Lord Loss" to when I came up with the idea for "Demon Thief" (approximately early 2003 to late 2004) was an exciting, chaotic and often frustrating time for me. I had lots of ideas for demon-related books, but I didn't know which book I should release after "Lord Loss" or if they would all link up and make sense. Sometimes I thought I should junk them all and move on to something different! But when I had the idea for "Demon Thief" everything fell neatly into place, and I realised that not only had I not been wasting my time for the past two years -- I'd actually created something original and multi-layered... a story which is told by three different characters... which moves backwards and forwards in time... which covers lots of ground, ideas and themes... which deals with some very complicated issues... but in which each book is as easy and exciting to read as any of my vampire books.

"Demon Thief" is one of the most enjoyable books I've ever written -- partly because I was so relieved to have finally worked out all the secrets of the universe of ideas which I'd created! It's a big, action-packed, demon-filled rollercoaster of a book, that barely slows down for even an instant. If you like reading it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it, you're in for a page-turning, heart-pounding treat!

Global Cover Variations

  • Book Cover Image Demon Thief limited edition (UK)
  • Book Cover Image Demon Thief (Ireland and UK Draft)
  • Book Cover Image Demon Thief (Taiwan)
  • Book Cover Image Demon Thief (Taiwan Full Cover)
  • Book Cover Image Demon Thief (USA)
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