Everything I liked about the first one - interesting, clever, well written, great characters, very funny, and I really love getting the demons' points of view. As with the first one, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and I'd have no problem with my kids listening to or reading it.
I find the audio version of this series more enjoyable than the print version. This is mostly due to the wonderful performance by Simon Jones. I...sometimes give 5 stars for performance when it...maybe...isn't deserved - but in this case, it REALLY is.
Another reason is that in the print version there are multiple footnotes on nearly every page...which is not soooo bad, but having the footnotes read inline by Simon Jones is MUCH better!
We're all familiar magic and the summoning of supernatural beings, and we understand there are rules that must be followed or...bad things will happen. You've gotta use the correct words, and draw your circle and...protective magical symbols exactly right, and don't let summoned demons trick you into coming out of the circle...we get that.
What makes this series stand out (aside from brilliant writing, very interesting, clever, and funny story, etc.) is getting the point of view of the summoned beings..what are they thinking and feeling...what drives them...what determines if they do what they're ordered to do or...do something horrible to their summoner?
Amazon says this book is for "ages 10 and up" - I fully agree. I'm in my late 30s (that's the "and up" part), and I loved the whole series. Also, I plan on buying the print version for my kids this holiday season.
I loved the story, but Carolyn McCormick's voice nearly ruined it for me. When she tried to do a little girl's voice, it sounded cartoonish and it grated my nerves. It was awful. When she tried to make the characters' voices sound surprised, she over played it and startled me each time. It sounds like she should be doing children's books.
If she is the voice for the rest of these books, I'll buy the paperbacks instead.