Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Review - "Blood of the Demon" by Diana Rowland

BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL, MAN AND DEMON, SHE’S ABOUT TO FACE THE ONE THING SHE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SURVIVE.

Welcome to the world of Kara Gillian, a cop with a gift. Not only does she have the power of “othersight” to see what most people can’t even imagine, but she’s become the exclusive summoner of a demon lord. Or maybe it’s the other way around. The fact is, with two troublesome cases on her docket and a handsome FBI agent under her skin, Kara needs the help of sexy, insatiable Lord Rhyzkahl more than he needs her. Because these two victims, linked by suspicious coincidence, haven’t just been murdered. Something has eaten their souls.

It’s a case with roots in the arcane, but whose evil has flowered among the rich, powerful, and corrupt in Beaulac, Louisiana. And as the killings continue, Kara soon realizes how much there’s still to learn about demons, men, and things that kill in the night—and how little time she has to learn it.
Diana Rowland's supernatural crime thriller Mark of the Demon was one of the most auspicious urban fantasy debuts of 2009. Blood of the Demon does a very credible job of sustaining the momentum of the first novel delivering another taut, fast-paced story with a fine blend of police procedural, forensics and supernatural elements. The novel follows mere weeks after the events of the first book.

One of the things that makes Kara Gillian such a fascinating character and the crime solving so different is the juxtaposition of the mundane with the supernatural, a duality if you will. Kara catches some new cases as the story progresses, murder suicides and accidental deaths, but of course there is much more than the obvious involved. Kara investigates with traditional methods while researching the supernatural connections using her demon sources. Kara's summonings and interactions with demons continue to delight and are always full of surprises. I loved this interaction between Kara and FBI agent Ryan.  He has arrived at her home to observe a summoning and observes -
"You`re going to transport a demon in a U-Haul truck?"
"Well, as you pointed out, it's not like I can stuff him into the trunk of my car. Are you ready?"
And later, the incongruity of the same demon standing in her aunt's kitchen and eating popcorn is priceless. There are many such humorous moments scattered throughout the story.

FBI agents Ryan  and Zack are back with ongoing roles and Kara learns more about the mysterious Ryan and his particular abilities. Kara exhibits a lot of uncertainty and even insecurity about Ryan, unsure of their relationship, be it friends or potential lovers. This vulnerability is a nice and welcome contrast to the usual hard as nails female protagonist. And not to make it easy on Kara, the Demon Lord Rhyzkahl has plans for Kara. This is one character I would liked to have seen have a larger role this time around, but it is pretty clear the author is setting the stage for bigger things to come in future books. Each scene with Rhyzkahl leaps off the page and is fraught with either tension or sheer eroticism.

Kara's summoner abilities are explored and developed more in Blood of the Demon and she makes some truly interesting discoveries that should add some interesting twists down the line. Blood of the Demon concludes on a positive and satisfying note (no cliff-hanger) leaving the possibilities wide-open for the next Kara Gillian installment. The murder mystery component of the book is a standalone story, but if you haven't read Mark of the Demon, I encourage you to go and grab it first to appreciate the over-reaching supernatural story arc and world-building.

Blood of the Demon is a worthy successor to Mark of the Demon and fans of urban fantasy, thrillers or crime fiction should find Kara Gillian, detective and demon summoner, highly addictive. Diana Rowland has signed a new multi-book deal for more books in the series so thankfully we have many more adventures to anticipate.

AUTHOR and BOOK SHOWCASE

Blood of the Demon:
Random House/Bantam
Published: February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
ISBN #: 9780553592368
Excerpt: Chapter 1

Mark of the Demon Guest Post
Mark of the Demon Review 

Kara Gillian Demon Summoner Series:
  1. Mark of the Demon (2009)
  2. Blood of the Demon (2010)

5 comments:

  1. Perhaps we will see a Team Rhyzkahl and Team Ryan for readers?

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  2. Thanks for the review. I just finished MOTD the other day and really enjoyed it. I like her take on Demons-how they are not evil as we think they are, just power hungry beings from another realm.

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  3. I haven't even made it to the first book yet, but they both sound great. I am going to have to get to these as some point. Thanks for the review!

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  4. Great to hear that there are more of these on the way. Thanks for the review!

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  5. I would definitely give this one a 4.5 stars out of 5. Being a fan of the police procedural and the urban fantasy that might have colored my opinion, but in those aspects it really shone.

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