REVIEW: California Demon by Julie Kenner
Dear Ms. Kenner,
I love Carpe Demon, last year’s prequel to California Demon, so I was ready when this one went on sale. Though it took the Waldenbooks clerk a couple of minutes to find where her co-workers had shelved it, I was able to go home happy. My credit card balance will haunt me in a few weeks with all the purchases I’ve made this month but I’ll worry about that tomorrow. ;)
In last years Carpe Demon, Kate Connor is a retired 4th level Demon Hunter when a sudden demon infestation and attempt to take over the world (or just SoCal) takes place. Reluctantly Kate heads back into the fray and saves the world. Now she’s been doing demon hunting duty for a few months. One of the places she routinely checks is a local retirement community since demons love to take over human bodies at the moment of death (you know all those miraculous medical miracles in the media? Most are actually demon infestations) and where’s a better place to find dying humans than there?
While chaperoning a field trip of senior citizens to her daughter’s school,
she discovers a new demon. Kate quickly takes care of him but afterwards, she discovers what he was after at the school. A book, which in the right demon hands and with the right sacrificial victims, will unleash two bad ass demons from their millennial imprisonment in hell. Well, %$#@!
Once again it’s up to Kate, along with retired demon hunter Eddie, her priest Father Ben, and her neighbor Laura, to head off disaster and keep the world safe. But who is the head demon and when will events which are already in motion culminate? Who is the new teacher at her teenage daughter’s school who reminds Kate so much of her murdered first husband? Will Kate’s second husband ever be home again while he campaigns for the local DA office? And where is her toddler’s sippy cup and Boo Bear?
I enjoy this fast paced series with evil demons galore. You’ve done a good job with the world building, quoting Backyardigans lyrics, and detailing the typical mother-teenage daughter tensions. Kate does use a lot of sarcastic humor at the beginning of the book which gradually levels off to a more manageable amount. While the books are told in first person, you show, through the facial expressions, comments and other actions, the thoughts and feelings of the secondary characters. As Publishers Weekly says, imagine Buffy grown, married and with a teenager and toddler while living in suburbia. I figured out where the final showdown would take place but you kept me guessing about a few other things.
A note to readers:the focus of these books is more the paranormal and Kate’s relationship with her family as a whole than romance. I do like the relationship between Kate and her daughter, Allie. It feels like you’ve been in the “Mom, please don’t embarrass me in front of my friends or the cute guy I have a crush on” trenches already. I like the open way the book ended and can’t wait to see how Allie reacts to Kate’s explanations. B for you.