Woo-hoo! That was a fun ride.
This second installment of the Kara Gillian series takes things up another notch, with the growth of our title character. What I really like about the way Diana Rowland chose to move Kara’s arc forward is that she didn’t opt to make our heroine more powerful. In most urban fantasies, that’s how things go. The heroine gets more uber-awesome with every book. But here, instead of expanding Kara’s powers, Rowland expands her understanding of the world around her, filling in the readers at the same time.
After the events of the last book, Kara is still reeling from everything that happened. She died and came back to life. She has an uncertain connection to Rhyzkahl. She has questions about Ryan… and her aunt is in a coma. It’s been a few weeks and now Kara must return to work, just in time for a questionable murder-suicide involving a fellow cop. That would be bad enough on its own, but the officer’s essence has been ripped away, showing a clear link to the arcane. And he’s only the first victim.
Kara needs to figure out how to get her aunt’s spirit back in her body at the same time she needs to solve her arcane related cases. And she has to do it without her mentor helping her. What’s a girl to do except seek a little demon knowledge, right? But demons don’t work for free. Kara has to decide whether Rhyzkahl‘s price is worth paying to get the answers she needs.
The mystery here is well done. I really enjoyed watching Kara unravel it all. It has a paranormal edge, yes, but she connects most of the dots with good police work and intelligence. I like the fact that her skills as a cop are every bit as important as her skills in the arcane. It’s even more impressive when you think about what a mess her life is and all the other stressors she has working against her.
I’ll admit to being kind of lukewarm on Rhyzkahl and Ryan in book 1, but here, I am so much more intrigued by them both. Obviously, I don’t really see Rhyzkahl as a love interest, but Rowland has set these guys up to be so enigmatic and charismatic, I just want more, more, more of them both!
I appreciate that despite her summoning skills, Rowland makes Kara really feel like an every-woman kind of character. She worries about her weight. She hates going to the gym. She gets lonely. She struggles with her self-esteem. And she makes some questionable choices. But I forgive her because Rowland makes me understand the feelings that drive her actions. I really felt more invested in her this time around, and more connected to her romantic struggles.
This is a really good blend of police procedural and urban fantasy, with just enough of a romantic element to satisfy me. I am so glad I started this series.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Blood of the Demon
by Diana Rowland
Release Date: February 23, 2010