Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland - 4.5 stars

Book 1 in Kara Gillian

Mark of the Demon (#1) by Diana Rowland
4.5 stars

I've been meaning to read this book for the longest time. I bought it ages ago and then forgot about it. But I finally got to it and read it in about a day. It's so interesting and something I've not really read about before so I found myself enjoying the uniqueness. It was the perfect combination of a police procedure and urban fantasy.

This book is written in first person, from the view of Kara Gillian. Kara is finally a homicide detective and she gets her first case, the Symbol Man. 3 years previously, the Symbol Man killed 13 people and left their bodies covered in arcane symbols. The killer only chose victims who wouldn't be missed; drug addicts, prostitutes, etc. Kara had only been a street cop when Symbol Man was working but she did get a glimpse of something arcane on one of the bodies while she was guarding the crime scene.

Kara is a summoner. She summons demons from another sphere into this world. There are 12 different levels of demons and then you have the Demon Lords. Kara has finally graduated because she was able to summon a 12th level demon. Her Aunt Tessa is her mentor and taught her all about the arcane. Kara's parents died when she was really young and Tessa became her guardian. Kara has a tragic past that we learn about gradually. I think we will learn more.

That night, the Symbol Man hit again. Kara is given the lead on the case. While she examined the first body, she saw arcane symbols and runes hovering over the body with her othersight. The Symbol Man is definitely someone who knows the arcane.

Kara was trying to summon an 8th level demon when all of a sudden a gorgeous man lands in her circle. He's obviously a powerful demon because he easily brushes away all of her protections. He could have killed her but instead he seduces her and she has a super hot one night stand with him. We later learn that he is a Demon Lord and she is lucky to be alive.

Kara gets a little task team to work on the case. The Symbol Man is working up to something and his kills are becoming more frequent. Enter Agent Ryan Kristoff. He's from the FBI and he likes to work the weird cases. He's kind of the love interest in this story but not quite. It's obvious that he is attracted to Kara but since Kara lives such a crazy life, having boyfriends is not an easy thing. I like Ryan. Kara eventually tells him about her being a summoner and we learn that he has some of the othersight but not enough to be a summoner. I like Ryan. He's a great addition and provides some comic relief.

The ending part of the book was insanity. Seriously, there were so many twists that I was getting whiplash. I was thinking it was one thing and it turns out to be something different. It was a brilliant mystery and I love the surprises Rowland threw in there. The last chapter is pretty crazy and I can't wait to see what's coming in the next book.

Diana Rowland's website has a kind of glossary about the demons in her book to help with pronunciation if you want to check it out. The names can get pretty complicated.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

The Curse Breakers by Denise Grover Swank - 4.5 stars

Book 2 in The Curse Keepers
4.5 stars

Oy vey. This book was just as good as the first one. But it's also very different than the first one. However, the difference is not a bad thing. The writing is just as good and the plot is great. In Curse Keepers we are first introduced into the world and in Curse Breakers, we know about the world and we are seeing the consequences of the opening of the gate.

Claire and Collin are not in this book as much as the first one. I found myself missing Collin even though he's still an asshole who keeps trying to manipulate Ellie. What I love about Ellie is she has a backbone and will stand up for herself. She's doesn't let anyone push her around. She's a strong female character and I really like that.

We have a new threat in this book. Ukinim is angry at Okeus for taking his humanity. He is forced to live as a giant badger and can only appear above ground once a year. Since Okeus wants Ellie so badly, Ukinim now wants to kill Ellie and take her Manitou as revenge. About 2/3 of the way through the book, we learn why Okeus wants Ellie so badly (spoiler)*. It's such a plot twist and so freaking good. I was so shocked.

One of the main plot points is finding Ahone's mark so Ellie can claim herself. Ahone told her at the end of the last book that she could bear his mark but kindly didn't tell her what it was. The jerk. So now she has to go on a little quest to discover it. That's where we meet the new character, Dr. David Preston. David is an expert in Native Americans. He's also British. I love the English accent and you can tell he is British because of the words he uses. David and a team of other archaeologists are exploring the reappearance of the Lost Colony. I like David. He's a great guy who really cares about Ellie. He's a new love interest. I'm not sure how I feel about Ellie's relationship with him. I like David but I also like Collin. And it doesn't help that Collin's and Ellie's souls are bound together.

We also have the other threat from Marino. The creep is still after her and it's a sticky situation. It's about the Ricardo Estate and Collin refuses to tell Ellie anything. It's supposedly for her own safety. Well her safety is in jeopardy anyways so just tell her!

Tom, a cop and an old friend is really freaking annoying in this book. He has linked Ellie to all the weird things happening and she has to lie her way out of a lot of things. She ends up telling Tom about Marino and his guys that are after her but I got really annoyed with his constant appearances. Basically I want him to go away. I find his repeated inclusion a little too much. It's partly why I gave this 4.5 stars.

This book was great. I like the continuation of the plot but I also love the character development. We shall see what we have in store for the next book, The Curse Defiers.

I REALLY WANT THE NOOK BOOK. But it was published by Amazon and apparently they can't give it to Barnes and Noble. I guess I'll end up with the paperback. This is not a bad thing.

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