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Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom (Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – October 31, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
What would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer got married, moved to the suburbs and became a stay-at-home mom? She'd be a lot like Kate Connor, once a demon/vampire/zombie killer and now "a glorified chauffeur for drill-team practice and Gymboree play dates" in San Diablo, Calif., that's what. But in Kenner's sprightly, fast-paced ode to kick-ass housewives, Kate finds herself battling evil once again. First a demon tries to kill Kate while she's making rigatoni for an important dinner party that her sweet second husband, Stuart, has scheduled—at the last possible minute—to butter up potential allies in his run for county attorney. Kate dispatches the demon handily enough, but she learns that Goramesh, one of the terrible High Demons, has come to town looking for something. Where's he hiding and what does he want? Can she defeat him without exposing her past to Stuart—and without putting two-year-old Timmy in day care? Though Kenner starts off her story by dropping so many brand names the book reads like a how-to manual for product placement, she settles down to the action soon enough, and readers will find spunky Kate hard not to root for in spheres both domestic and demonic. Film rights sold to 1942 Pictures and Warner Brothers. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A blend of sophistication and wit that has you laughing out loud!" - Charlaine Harris
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This starts well, as the heroine, stay-at-home mom Kate, tries to juggle her two kids, her aspiring-politican-husband's impromptu dinner party, her best friend (Laura - who turns out to be pretty awesome!), and murderous demons who have reentered her life after a 14-yr absence. Her family and friends do not know about her past as a Demon Hunter. This whole opening section is a lot of fun. As the book goes on past that, it does drag a bit in the middle before picking up the pace again in the 2nd half.
My favorite things: that opening section, Laura the kick-ass best friend, Kate's relationship with her teenage daughter Allie, and of course the generally snappy writing.
The heroine, Kate... I'm a little ambivalent about. I can't quite put my finger on why. It could be something about the depiction of her being emotionally torn between her old life and her current one, but I think it has more to do with her parenting style and complete lack of feminist consciousness. It's not entirely fair of me to factor that into my review, but it is what it is. There were a few times when Kate would make or think some sort of weird, off-hand, non-plot-related gendered comment such as "My 2 yr old son will never ever wear makeup ever!", and it would kick me out of the story. And with all due respect to stay-at-home mothers everywhere (and political wives, too), Kate is really over-the-top in her unquestioned commitment to Donna-Reed-like appearances.
Also, because the demon-hunting world here is rooted so firmly in Roman Catholicism, there is a little too much religion for me. I'm not a religious person at all, but I'm usually willing to take it with a grain of salt when reading books that have demons and vampires and whatnot in them. However, in this book, because Kate's a former hunter and therefore a self-proclaimed Believer, she's involved in her community church and all that. And the demonic mythology isn't even all that well-developed, actually, so the author could have gone a different route.
Lastly, although this is set in California, that setting wasn't really a "character". That is, it felt like it could have taken place in Anytown, U.S.A. I'm hoping that the second book will fix that. I mean, it's even called 'California Demon'! I will definitely be reading it soon.
I cannot say this was a hidden treasure. Like most of us I did read through some of the critiques and many said it was funny and though even by the tittle that it certainly could be. By the half way mark I was trying to find what was so funny about the book. Yes, there were plenty of sarcastic comments from the main character and plenty of times the 4th wall broken by the writer telling us so, again by the character. Perhaps these things went over my head because I am not a mom and never had a household that I needed to get out the door. Well unless you want to count my x-husband that never wanted to get up and there was nothing pleasant or funny about those mornings.
I did enjoy the mystery and certainly did not expect the end. For that I would add half a star but not enough to give the book four.
As for the characters themselves I did not feel that much depth to them. Teenagers were teenagers, and toddlers were just what you would expect and even her husband seeking political appointment giving her short notice for dinners and cocktail parties. A lot of surface but not much depth. I cannot even say I truly felt connected to any of the characters. For me these are very important points that make a great story.
I did enjoy the book but I do not see myself buying anymore in the series.
This is the first of the series and was electronically published in 2012 the actual book was published much earlier as in 2005. While it does not predate Buffy it does many of the books of the same type that have come since. Additionally this author writes under several names.
This is a setup book for the series and like many it doesn't necessarily stand alone well. I think the author writes well and has produced a humorous (though admittedly dark humor) book. You may want to think through if you want to commit to the series before embarking on this book. While I enjoyed the book there are several other series that I will read first before I come back and finish this one.
Over halfway through the book, it most definitely keeps my attention and has me either giggling or laughing out loud. A very enjoyable read, thus far. Although I'm certain I'll finish the book tonight, I decided to go ahead and give it a rating right now and write this review, it's been that fun of a read. Even if Julie Kenner tanked the ending, and I have absolutely no doubt she won't, this book deserves a high rating for the fun and humor factor. Really enjoying this book!
Most recent customer reviews
I was fascinated by the title and blurb. Adventures of a demon-hunting soccer mom? Sounded good to me. And it was.Read more