REVIEW: Deja Demon by Julie Kenner
Warning: series spoilers are sure to abound here.
Dear Ms. Kenner,
One reason I keep eagerly looking forward to new books in this series is that even though Kate has snarky humor and moments of hilarious screwball behavior, there are grounding moments such as when it begins to hit home for Allie that demon hunting and the fight against evil never ends. When Kate recalls the losses she and Eric suffered when they were young and the price that has to be paid to keep everyone they love safe. That in the end, Kate has to be a little Dirty Harry-ish to keep the forces of scum under control. Yeah, there’s deep stuff here and it ain’t just the buried dead.
Once again, this is a great title and not only because it fits with the ‘take off’ theme of existing titles but because it describes a bit of what goes on here. Sure, sure, in the end the basic plot of Kate vs the demon world hasn’t changed. We know that the hordes of hell will descend on San Diablo, California. We know Kate will have to discover what the hordes are after, where they’re going to make their move and then she’ll have to kick some demon butt. Thank goodness her resources are growing as Allie gains in Hunter experience and confidence, Eddie occasionally decides to come out of retirement and David has now arrived in town. And poor Kate is still trying to keep all of this from San Diablo in general and her second husband in particular.
There’s a lot to recap from the previous books and you do that well. Even though I’ve read them all, with the year interval between them, I do tend to forget some of the picky details.
Kate’s still having minor troubles with Allie but mostly these are 1) the normal teenage desire to spread her wings and the start of becoming her own person added to 2) the coolness of what her mother does. Allie does have her own unique way of helping – using Kabit as a flying missile with claws. The efforts that Stuart and Kate make to integrate Stuart into a parental role with Allie are realistic. As well, Allie’s moments of rebellion in regard to David make sense.
Laura is a saint and who wouldn’t want to come over to Kate’s house for the calm, sane conversation about zombies and the need to ginsu knife them into tiny little pieces? That Halloween hand bit was hysterical. I keep thinking that Laura has to eventually take out a demon at some point. Or will she just stick to internet research and neighborhood committee work?
I totally agree with Timmy about Frosted Flakes. Tigers rule. Timmy is either destined to be a great Hunter in his own time or in for a lifetime of intense psychotherapy.
Stuart – poor Stuart is finally catching on that something is wrong in his household and naturally leaps to what would, in any normal family, be the real reason, that his marriage is in trouble and that it’s possibly due to his rigorous campaign schedule. He has no idea but boy, he gets with the program when it’s really needed. I can understand Kate’s reasoning in not telling him earlier (even though as Laura says, the delay caused a lot of problems) because she wants him to love her for who she is instead of seeing her as nothing but a demon hunter.
I’m also glad to see Eddie actually doing a hand’s turn here.
The priests are great. Father Corletti’s conversations are like hugs across the miles and it’s obvious the man is dedicated to his work. Father Ben has a great sense of humor and offers Kate sound, practical advice.
I see that Kate’s moved up to a level five Demon Hunter with Forza Scura. Whoo-hoo! How many more to go for her?
What’s with the gypsies and the possibility that someone in Forza handed over the Lazarus Bones? This whole bit began to head into deus ex machina territory, ie that there are these watchers out there following the hunters. Or are they? Were they just after Kate? I began to have visions of “Highlander” for a minute. Here Kate and Co. have been looking for what they needed and suddenly – voila! – there it was along with some cryptic math components? It was just too convenient. Ditto with the ‘real’ zombies. You’re changing Rules here.
Once again, I could tell where the final showdown was going to be. There were just too many clues when it was first described though the cryptic bits and pieces of the prophecy were well scattered throughout the story. But when you killed off a certain character, I almost cried.
Are the gypsies going to become the cleanup crew in San Diablo? If so, they’ve got their work cut out for them cleaning up the final showdown.
This series isn’t getting stagnant. You keep shaking up the relationships: Allie is growing into her role as a future hunter, Timmy is getting vocal (“Dead de-mon! Dead de-mon! Dead, de-de-mon!”), there’s going to be a battle to work out the familial relationships, the very nature of David still needs to be defined, oh lots of stuff. It’s for sure that life is never going to be normal around the Connor household and I can’t wait for the next book in the series. B