Pros: Some good humor; a decent storyline
Cons: Utterly mis-packaged; characters are rather slow on the uptake
Rating: 3 out of 5
Review copy courtesy of Penguin Group.
Kate Connor was raised by the Vatican to be part of a special force of demon-hunters—and she kicked a whole lot of butt right up until she settled down, got married, had kids, and became a soccer mom in the ‘burbs. Retirement couldn’t stay that way forever, however, and several years after her husband died and she re-married, she came out of retirement to fight the demons making their way to San Diablo. Now she’s got a teenage daughter who wants to follow in her mom’s footsteps, a rogue hunter who might have the soul of her dead husband inside of him, and a husband who’s running for public office. Can things get any hairier?
Well of course they can. Something’s drawing the demons like a magnet straight to Kate and her family, and if they don’t figure out what’s going on, fast, the granddaddy of all demons could be freed—and made entirely invincible, besides.
The cover of Julie Kenner’s book promises a hilarious romp; it’s labeled Demons are Forever: confessions of a demon-hunting soccer mom, and depicts a cartoonish school bus with a demon’s tail poking out of it. I couldn’t help thinking, ‘cool! This’ll be like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets suburbia’, which evoked thoughts of a snarky, entertaining, campy read.
Unfortunately, it’s a big ol’ case of mis-packaging. Yes, there’s humor in here. Yes, Ms. Kenner milks the situation for some of the obvious laughs. However, it is not first and foremost meant to be humor. Having expected something lively and entertaining, in fact, I almost set the book aside for being boring after the first 30 pages. I decided to give it until page 60, however, to catch my attention, and luckily by then it had begun to pick up pace.
The sad thing is, if it had been marketed primarily as a paranormal aimed at suburban wives & mothers that just happened to be written with some wit and humor, I doubt I’d have been nearly as disappointed in it. There’s a lot of angst on Kate’s part over her dead/not-dead former husband; a lot of worry over her daughter’s safety; etc. While the book is written with humor, it isn’t something you’d shelve under humor, despite the cover and sub-title.
However, even if it had been packaged accurately, I’d still have been less than gaga over it. It’s a fun story, but Kate really does spend an awfully long page count on her beginning-of-story woes. The characters are woefully slow on the uptake with regard to some of the plot twists, and some of the characters could definitely use a little bit more depth (although to Kenner’s credit, others have more depth than you might expect).
While Demons are Forever has some fun moments and is a decent read overall, I didn’t find it entirely memorable. If you’re a suburban mother who could identify more readily with Kate’s problems, and know what to expect when you pick up this book, you might enjoy it more than I did.