Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian #2) by Diana Rowland
Welcome to the world of Kara Gillian, a cop with a gift. Not only does she have the power of “othersight” to see what most people can’t even imagine, but she’s become the exclusive summoner of a demon lord. Or maybe it’s the other way around. The fact is, with two troublesome cases on her docket and a handsome FBI agent under her skin, Kara needs the help of sexy, insatiable Lord Rhyzkahl more than he needs her. Because these two victims, linked by suspicious coincidence, haven’t just been murdered. Something has eaten their souls.
It’s a case with roots in the arcane, but whose evil has flowered among the rich, powerful, and corrupt in Beaulac, Louisiana. And as the killings continue, Kara soon realizes how much there’s still to learn about demons, men, and things that kill in the night and how little time she has to learn it.
This book was very well-written. I absolutely love the world that Rowland has created — it’s intuitive and easy to understand, yet still quite creative. Her characters all pop, and she does an excellent job of conveying each of their motivations.
I’d like to use this review to discuss the writing of actions scenes, because I think Rowland does a particularly good job, and I personally find them to be a bit of a struggle. One of the challenges of having consistently good action scenes is finding the right balance of detail: too much detail and you lose the sense of urgency and reduce your suspense; too little detail and you lose the clarity required to keep your reader engaged and focused. I’ve noticed a lot of authors in the urban fantasy genre struggle with this balance, at least from my perspective as a reader.
Rowland has found a good balance, in my opinion. Admittedly, her books aren’t action-packed, so it’s not like she’s flaunting the action by any means. But every time I’ve had the pleasure of experience one of her more “action-y” (yes, I know it’s not a word) scenes, I’ve been quite impressed. She clearly, and more importantly, concisely articulates the course of events, doesn’t get too repetitive in her sentence structure, and has just enough detail to remind you that you’re still inside of Kara’s world, not outside of it. She definitely has the right balance.
One thing that is key in Rowland’s ability to do this is her clear comfort level with all of her characters, even the periphery ones we don’t really ever get to know very well. It’s clear that Rowland has spent some time (on paper or otherwise) with each and every one of her characters, and she knows how they will react — nothing feels forced about any of their reactions or emotions. This ease of understanding of the characters makes it very simple for the reader to understand what’s going on — there’s nothing too complicated (I mean, yes, the plot can be complicated, but not the action — they’re very different) or distracting, and I don’t find myself as a reader wandering off on stray lines of thought because a character did something or strange.
I mentioned the world in my opening paragraph, and Rowland’s world truly is cleverly designed. I like this rather more unique take on demons. In a way, it reminds me a bit of Jenna Black’s Morgan Kingsley series, but there are plenty enough significant differences to make this series stand all on its own. I won’t belabor the point because this blog sometimes approaches sounding like a broken record.
All in all, very nicely written. I look forward to finding the time for book #3.
Posted on June 21, 2014, in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal and tagged book reviews, demon lord, demons, diana rowland, fantasy, kara gillian, mark of the demon, paranormal, supernatural, urban fantasy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.