Wednesday, September 13, 2006

California Demon, by Julie Kenner

(pb; 2006)

From the back cover:

“What's a mother to do, when there are only so many hours in the day, and the fate of the world is in her hands?

“Kate Connor was a retired demon hunter. Now, after fourteen years of busting her tail as a suburban housewife, raising two kids, and supporting her husband's political ambitions, she's rejoined the workforce – and except for a few minions of evil, no one has a clue. She tries hard to keep her home and work lives separate – a good idea when your job involves random slaughter.

“Between fending off demon attacks, trying to figure out why the mysterious new teacher at the high school seems so strangely familiar, and keeping a watchful eye on her daughter's growing infatuation with a surfer dude, Kate is the busiest – and most dangerous – soccer mom on the block...”

Review:

Goramesh, a High Demon who escaped from Tartarus (Hell's worst pit-prison), is still around and stirring up trouble for the citizens of San Diablo, California. A few months have passed since Carpe Demon, and Kate has resumed her job as Demon Hunter, while keeping her Hunter activities a secret from her increasingly suspicious family.

Goramesh and his minions want an ancient tome (called the Malevolenaumachia Demonica) that Kate discovered while battling a supernatural nasty. The important-sounding Latin title translates into Demon's Malicious Struggle, and lets demons on this mortal plain free other demons, imprisoned in Tartarus. Of course, Kate, aided by select friends, must stop them.

As in Carpe Demon, many – this time, not all – of the plot twists are predictable, the quips are amusing, and the action and the plot fly fast. Also, there's plenty of minor relationship complications and warm fuzziness to offset the mild gore and Kate's (literally) hellacious encounters.

Entertaining, breeze-through read. Again, it's well-rendered fluff, which will undoubtedly spawn another sequel, given the series's financial success, and the plot and character elements contained therein.

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