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Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian) Mass Market Paperback – June 23, 2009
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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“Mark of the Demon is a nifty combination of police procedural and urban fantasy. Not too many detectives summon demons in their basement for the fun of it, but Kara Gillian is not your average law enforcement officer. In the course of Rowland’s first book, Kara learns a lot about demons, her past, and above all, herself.”—Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author of From Dead to Worse
“Rowland spins a tale that is riveting, suspenseful, and deliciously sexy. With a unique take on demons, and with one of the most terrifying serial killers ever, Mark of the Demon will keep you up late at night turning pages.”—Jenna Black, author of Speak of the Devil
“Mark of the Demon is a fascinating mixture of a hard-boiled police procedural and gritty yet other-worldly urban fantasy. Diana Rowland’s professional background as a both street cop and forensic assistant not only shows through but gives the book a realism sadly lacking in all too many urban fantasy “crime” novels.”—L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Saga of Recluce
About the Author
Diana Rowland has lived her entire life below the Mason-Dixon line, uses "y'all" for second-person-plural, and otherwise has no southern accent (in her opinion.) She attended college at Georgia Tech where she earned a BS in Applied Mathematics, and after graduation forgot everything about higher math as quickly as possible.
She has worked as a bartender, a blackjack dealer, a pit boss, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant, which means that she’s seen more than her share of what humans can do to each other and to themselves. She won the marksmanship award in her Police Academy class, has a black belt in Hapkido, has handled numerous dead bodies in various states of decomposition, and can’t rollerblade to save her life.
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1. Demons should be self-serving and I really got the feel that these other planer demons were. :-)
2. Kara, the leading protagonist, is likable.
3. There were 2 explicit scenes, but romance was not the focus of this novel.
4. There were cool descriptions of the murdered victim's bodies.
5. Just enough unanswered questions to feel like the novel was complete unto itself, but left you wanting to read the next book.
6. Kara is a demon summoner - way cool! The process was described in enough detail to keep me glued to the pages. I have a preference with books with demons.
My top reasons you won't enjoy this book:
1. Gosh, if the FBI are this goofy and gullible we need to petition the President to do a massive fire and rehire!
2. The Scooby mystery had an "Old Man Jenkins" reveal at the end. Really, there weren't really any real clues leading up to the reveal of the mysterious evil doer identity.
3. There was a lot of procedural police sluething that was laborious for me.
4. This is my biggest complaint: There were several unbelievable moments. For example: Kara has this big secret that she is a demon summoner - a secret she has kept from everyone and the world for many years. She practically tells the FBI agent as soon as she meets him and also a murder suspect that she just met. Why would she do that? I understand that it moves the plot, but I wish she wrestled a bit with her conscious before she blabbed.
5. This is a minor complaint about the classification of UF books these days... she works in a pretty small town, but this is still "urban"?
6. Supporting characters live to serve Kara. Her aunt meets this criteria in every way.
7. There wasn't enough fantasy for me in this Urban Fantasy book.
8. I wish the "symbol" was described with more detail.
9. I shied away from this book for a long time because the cover looked like a paranormal romance. This is not a "paranormal romance" novel.
Overall, I felt this was a slightly above average book for a book 1 in a series. It didn't rock my world, but I will give her book 2 a second chance, since I am forgiving of book 1's. The detective element was too prominent for my tastes. If I had to compare it to another series, I would compare it to the Kittredge "Nocturne City" series. So if you love those, you might love this one.
What I love most about this author is that she puts sarcastic humor into real life situations (ex: main character driving to her destination only to have it start pouring rain right as she is about to exit her car...and a humorous tirade began). Diana Rowland makes characters real and very full of life - because yes: even they can have a bad day, pull out a tub of ice cream, and eat it all in one sitting while we get to read their inner justifications. She's not verbose about it though. Her sarcasm and jokes are quick witted and she quickly continues on with the plot.
She also uses good visual imagery; character relationships are dynamic and believable; she has good grammar; throws in a few new vocab words here and there, but overall she keeps it simple and real. And, well, the fantasy is fantastic...and rather addictive.
Kara Gillian is our protagonist and is presented as an intelligent demon summoner/rookie police detective with a snarky attitude and enough insecurity to make her seem human. Occasionally her insecurities get the better of her, but as far as character development goes these books hit the nail on the head. In this book you see her from the beginning where she has to start carving out a reputation for herself in the world. She's not a saint and makes mistakes and generally relies on her Aunt Tessa for guidance. You get a relatively small cast of central characters to work with (most are first introduced to Kara in this book as new acquaintances) but there's obviously so much more beneath the surface that each conversation seems to carry more weight somehow.
I wouldn't call the book dry by any means or even meandering. Kara is new to both demon summoning and detective work (in a small fictional southern town) so we get to learn more about both worlds as we go along with her. And her snark keeps things entertaining.
The mechanics of demon summoning are vague at best so you have to take the story as it comes without overthinking it, otherwise you'll be fairly disappointed. We are talking about summoning demons after all.
Most recent customer reviews
This book has been on my TBR pile for quite a while. The author was the keynote speaker at a luncheon my writer's group hosted last year and I...Read more