Sins of the Demon
Sometimes it’s the broad sweeping elements that make a story memorable, and sometimes it’s the smaller things. I appreciate both—I can enjoy a well thought out plot arc or the description of a character’s facial expressions. It’s the uniqueness of the detail that draws me in. Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian series is sprinkled with the small details that I adore, and it makes these books some of my favorites on the market.
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“The homicide beat in Louisiana isn’t just terrifying, it’s demonic. Detective Kara Gillian of the supernatural task force has the ability to summon demons to her aid, but she herself is pledged to serve a demonic lord. And now, people who’ve hurt Kara in the past are dropping dead for no apparent reason. To clear her name and save both the demon and human worlds, she’s in a race against the clock and in a battle for her life that just may take her to hell and back.”
Rowland’s Kara Gillian novels have consistently impressed me by excelling at many of the elements that are often seen in isolation but that make a great novel when taken together. For instance, this series has a simple but always dynamic plot arc. Gillian is bound to a demon lord, and this circumstance has earned her many enemies. The escalation of that situation has been playing out through the novels, and this book ends with a pretty drastic event. The plot is neither overly complex nor scraped down to its bare bones. It has just enough tangled threads to keep readers interested without snarling things up to the point of confusion.
I also like the setting, as I think that paranormal novels set in the South have a certain flavor to them that differentiates them from the rest of the pack. Rowland doesn’t go overboard with the descriptions, but she also doesn’t make the scenes so generic that they could be set anywhere in the country. It’s just enough to allow readers some freedom of visualization while making it clear that, yes, this story is firmly rooted in Louisiana.
My favorite part of this novel (and the series as a whole) is the way the author creates the demons. In this series, demons are merely beings from another plane of existence that have certain magical powers and can be summoned into our world. They demand payment for services rendered, though, and the fun part is that each demon has something unexpected that they enjoy from our world. One demon seen in past novels likes popcorn and will bargain for a jar of unpopped kernels to take home with him. Rowland also slips in other unusual details, like the aforementioned demon being vegetarian, or a small childlike demon in this book that has slit pupils and pointy teeth to go with a wickedly mischievous disposition. These demons are by no means cute and cuddly, and they often cause mayhem, but just as often they make me giggle a little.
I think this series has been unfortunately ignored in favor of other, better publicized series, and that’s a shame. Rowland certainly ranks with the best of them, and she’s an author whose books I look forward to with great anticipation. Sins of the Demonhas humor, action and great storytelling, and it features a likeable and witty heroine who kicks a lot of butt along the way. Pick up this series if you haven’t already!
This review appeared on Owlcat Mountain on January 31, 2012.