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Demon Ex Machina: Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom (Kate Connor, Demon Hunter) Mass Market Paperback – November 2, 2010

25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julie Kenner is a USA Today bestselling author. She is also an attorney who lives with her husband and daughter.


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Product Details

  • Series: Kate Connor, Demon Hunter
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425237761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425237762
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,549,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When Julie was knee-high to a grasshopper (an expression that she would like it known she has never, ever used in real life) she informed her parents that she was going to be a novelist, and proceeded to write Kitty Claws, a bestselling book about a cat as Santa. (The book sold out its entire print-run of one, so lets not split hairs about that "best-selling" thing, okay?)

After that stellar start, Julie continued to dabble in the literary arts, writing short stories on yellow pads that she forced her mother to type, scribbling poems on ruled notebook paper that she forced her mother to type, making up skits and songs that she forced her mother to watch and listen to, and diving head-first into high school journalism, at which point, mom finally got a break.

In college, she continued with the journalism thing, picking that as her major and working at The Daily Texan, the student newspaper for the University of Texas. The idea that she could actually write novels and, oh, buy food too, completely eluded her.

The journalism thing cranked along nicely for about one semester. Then Julie got a job as a production assistant on a movie originally called Splatter, but which was released as Future Kill (and can still be found in Blockbuster and through Netflix), with really great Giger poster art. Julie worked her tail off, appeared as an extra, had a great time, and promptly switched her major to film.

Graduating at the ripe old age of 19, Julie chickened out and didn't move to Los Angeles to become the next Steven Spielberg. Instead, she stayed in Austin and worked as a media assistant until she decided that perhaps law school was the better way to go because, hey, a degree in film slides so seamlessly into law. (Or, more likely, grad school was inevitable and the LSAT seemed doable.) Not one to waste time, Julie took the LSAT in December, and was admitted to Baylor Law School on a full scholarship the following February. Law school and Julie got along great, and after graduation, Julie went to work as a law clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where she had a fabulous time drafting legal opinions, preparing the judge for court, and taking regular trips to New Orleans on a government per diem. During her two year stint as a clerk, the writing bug bit again, and Julie wrote a stage play that will never, ever see the light of day. Really. So don't even ask.

After her clerkship, Julie decided she could handle moving to the Big City, and she took a job with Skadden, Arps in L.A., where she worked on a variety of cases with some very smart lawyers. After a year, she moved on to smaller and smaller firms (and had a short stint as a production exec at a small film company, thus justifying all those credit hours in college). She continued to work with very smart lawyers, one of whom introduced Julie to Julie Garwood (her books, not the woman herself), and the writing bug bit again.

Though Julie had been dabbling with writing in her limited spare time, she'd lacked focus. Now, she'd found it, and she was determined to write an historical romance. You may, after reviewing Julie's book list, note that there are no historical romances on there. Let's just say that she didn't succeed at that task. Julie did, however, discover that while she has a head for contemporary nuances, the ins-and-outs of historical detail are enough to make her head explode.

The in-progress historical was promptly shelved, and Julie turned her attention to fleshing out a contemporary romance, having decided that category romance was the way to go, since with the demands of a legal job, she'd be much more likely to finish 240 manuscript pages than 400.

Finish them she did, and though she got nice feedback on the voice, the novel didn't sell. One editor, Harlequin's Brenda Chin, returned a rejection letter with a note that the hook wasn't enough of a "sexy premise."

Always up for a challenge, Julie came up with the opening line, "You need a man," which she thought had oodles of sexy premise potential. She just had to find a story to go with the line. Eventually, she did, and Nobody Does It Better, Julie's first published novel, was born. She entered the first few chapters in contests, finaled, and was ultimately judged by that same Brenda Chin, who ended up buying the manuscript. (Which is not the reason Julie thinks Brenda is a really cool person. Truly.)

By that time, Julie had realized that 400 pages were manageable after all, and she'd almost completed a paranormal romance along the lines of The Little Mermaid about a cat who is in love with her master. The Cat's Fancy sold just a few months after the original sale. Both books came out in 2000, along with a second Temptation, and Julie has had at least 3 books hit the shelves annually every since, and now has well over twenty books to her credit, crossing over a multitude of genres, most of which are represented in some way by the clever pictures in the collage at the top of this page.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a "flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations," Julie's books have hit lists as varied as USA Today, Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and Locus Magazine, all of which has made Julie a happy camper. Julie is also a two-time RITA finalist, both times for books about strong women (a superhero and a demon-hunter). There's probably some deep meaning there, and if you know what it is, feel free to drop Julie a line.

Julie was also the winner of Romantic Times' Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001, the winner of the Reviewers International Organization's award for best romantic suspense of 2004 and best paranormal of 2005, and the winner of the National Readers' Choice Award for best mainstream book of 2005. Not that she's keeping track or anything.

Julie writes a range of stories including erotic romance, sexy contemporaries, young adult novels, suspense, paranormal mommy lit, and urban fantasy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
It has been three weeks since Kate Connor learned about the demon dwelling within the new body of her late husband, Eric Crowe. Kate is trying to focus on how to terminate the demon without killing Eric - again. You see, Kate is a Demon-Hunter. Married to her Hunter partner, Eric, until his first death, Kate finished grieving and now has a new family. This means Kate is torn between her late husband and her current husband, Stuart.

Stuart Connor is up-to-date on Kate's secret life as a Demon-Hunter. He has even stop running for county attorney and begun renovating old homes to resale. In his spare time, Stuart helps care for their toddler son. At night, Stuart trains to fight demons with Kate and their fourteen-year-old daughter, Allie Crowe. After all, Stuart has a family to protect.

Even though Kate has learned about the bound demon, Odayne, Eric has still been keeping vital secrets. He must break down and reveal how Odayne got within him if Kate has any hope of saving Eric's soul. There is not much time left either, because Odayne has become strong enough to start taking temporary control of Eric. To make matters worse, Odayne's ancient demon-lover shows up to help the demon merge and become one with Eric.

Life in San Diablo has always been interesting, but lately it has become ... well, Hell.

***** FIVE STARS! Author Julie Kenner is famous for creating intriguing characters, pitting them against overwhelming odds, and then tossing in more than just a few pot holes along the road to cause chaos. This is the fifth book in the series and the story has yet to slow down or begin to bore. New readers will not find themselves totally lost; however, they may be confused a time or two. No matter. I have no doubt that they will be fascinated and rush out to pick up all the previous titles. This is an outstanding series that continues to be a winner! *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tina Pavlik VINE VOICE on December 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
"All of the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom stories have been cute. It is fun to imagine tying to live like a normal mom with the "little" complication of hunting and killing demons on the side. This one is still cute but I am starting to tire of the conflicting feelings Kate has trying to love the two very different men in her life. I'm ready for her first husband Eric to move on and for Kate to recognize that she needs to acknowledge that she has moved on too or lose Stuart and her current family. I want Eric to move on but not to die. In this story to rid the world of the demon, Kate may have to make the ultimate sacrifice and kill Eric. It is a terrible decision to have to make. At the same time, Allie is learning to defend herself, throw knives, and fight demons but she'll never be old enough or ready to lose her father to demon possession. This is an impossible complication and a devastating situation to have to deal with. What if Kate does have to kill Eric, can she live with that and can Allie? If you have enjoyed the other books in this series, you will not want to miss the latest episode. If you have not read this series yet, I highly recommend you start with the first book!" - Steph B.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ashber on February 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to say that Julie Kenner is a great writer. Her book is tight, well paced and it keeps you on pins and needs the entire time.


On that note, I have to say that I was disappointed with the ending and that characters. If I was a mother, with a toddler, I would not allow my husband who has already walked out of the family once due to that monsters are real, walk out again and take my toddler with him. For a Demon slayer, Kate a wuss when it comes to her man.
While I can see her husband running out once out of panic, twice is not acceptable. Time to bust out the divorce papers.
While there was the "happy ending" how happy is it?
My feelings on this series are up in the air. I will read the next in the series but if Kate's husband doesn't grow a pair, I wont be buying the rest of the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SciFiChick VINE VOICE on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Kate is a busy housewife and mom, to say the least. Forced out of retirement, she has picked up her prior demon-hunting job since San Diablo has become a hub of demonic activity. Kate has also begun teaching self-defense classes and grudgingly allowing her daughter to follow in her demon-hunting footsteps. Her husband Stuart has returned. And so has her formerly dead husband Eric, who happens to have a demon inside of him. Time is running out for Eric. Kate, her family, and friends must find a way to free Eric from the evil demon without killing him (again) in the process.

Though this is a stand-alone story and past circumstances are explained well, it is helpful to have read the previous books in the series. Kate is a kick-butt heroine, who has her priorities in order. She always seems to find just enough time to slay her demons, throw an impromptu dinner party, and still have time enough for her kids. She's a great mom, with slightly spoiled kids, and still maintains a decent relationship with her husband. Even when her former one still lingers.

This installment isn't as action-packed as former ones. Though, there is no lack of suspense and excitement. The story revolves more around Kate's relationships, and trying to free Eric from the demon that is bound to him. The overlying mystery in the story is complex and culminates to a climactic and satisfying ending.

I can't praise this series enough. Kenner is a talented and proficient storyteller. Combining urban fantasy, zombie-like demons, real-life situations, and just enough humor; the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series is one of which I can't get enough. And I love each episode no less than the previous. The series is fun and addictive. Don't miss it.
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