Monday, November 23, 2009

Deja Demon and Demon Ex Machina

I found the first one of this series by Julie Kenner, Carpe Demon, as an audiobook at the library, and listened to the second, California Demon, and the third, Demons are Forever, that way, too. Then the library ran out of funds and I was left at the end of the third one wondering if the act of necromancy performed by the protagonist, a "demon-hunting soccer mom" named Kate, was going to pay.

A year later, I bought the next two in paperback to find out. First I read Deja Demon, and it still wasn't clear. The person Kate brings back from the dead is her first husband Eric, who turns out to be infected with a demon even in his borrowed body. Finally Kate's husband and best friend are in on the secret of her demon-whacking activities, but Kate still hasn't learned to be entirely open with her daughter about dad's demon infection. This is all funnier than I'm making it sound. Let me give you a sample:
"The truth. Now there's a funny concept. Once upon a time, I thought truth was an easy thing. The sky is blue--true. The moon is made of green cheese--false. Evil walks among us--true. Dead husbands don't return to their wives and children in the bodies of other men. That one--surprise, surprise--turned out to be false."

Like any superhero, Kate has to train and do research, and she also has to agonize about whether saving the world is worth exposing her kids to danger:
"I'd always told myself I wanted my kids to have a normal life. So why was I suddenly cultivating my teenage daughter's desire to get out there and fight the good fight? Was I being a good mom, factoring in my child's wants and desires while still trying to keep some semblance of control to keep her safe? Or was I being selfish, reveling in her desire to be like me and wanting to increase the bonds that tied us together?"

Kate needs the help of her daughter and husband in the fifth book in the series, Demon Ex Machina, in which a lot of things are tied up, including what happened to Kate's nemesis Nadia and what happens to the demon inside of her first husband (her second husband has a very satisfying role to play in its vanquishing). The research is livened up by some accurate information Kate's daughter Allie gets from an online gaming site, and her by-now habitual agonizing over her kids is given a touch of humor by a face-off with a demon inhabiting the body of a toddler (Kate is undone, she says, by her "maternal hormones" but first hubby does the job for her), and then by bits of mother-daughter humor like this one, which rings true to my ears:
"Allie and Mindy came barreling inside, backpacks flying as they tossed them onto the kitchen table. Then they both fell into chairs and demanded ice cream.
'Hello? Do I look like our personal serving wench?'
'A little,' Allie said.
'Around the eyes,' Mindy added."

But I still don't know if necromancy pays in this series or not! I mean, so far it has, because there hasn't been any earthshaking negative effect from Kate's use of the "Lazarus bones" to bring her first husband back to life (in the heat of a demon battle). But as to what he's going to do with the rest of that life, we don't know yet. Obviously there's going to be a sixth in the series. And I'm going to be hunting it down when it comes out. Surely this little piece of fictional fluff isn't going to disprove my grand theory...or will it?


Lenore said...

I read Julie's THE GIVENCY CODE and thought it was really cute. Thanks for stopping by my blog. My kittehs send their greetings!

Jodie said...

And what will you do if it does? Dun, dun dun ;)

Jeanne said...

Lenore, You have the best kitteh photos I've seen on the interwebs! They are just adorable.

Jodie, I guess in true Gilbert and Sullivan fashion I'll have to change the name to Necromancy Hardly Ever Pays.

kittiesx3 said...

Uh oh, them's fighting words. My kitties are good for a cuteness contest!

More books to try to find, hurrah! Jeanne, I do love that your blog shows me books that never even made a blip on my radar.

Jeanne said...

Elizabeth, didn't mean to slight your kitties! Mine are pretty cute too.