Pros: Fantastic characters; much better policework/crime procedure than in most books!
Cons: Must go back and read the other books; a little cluttered with supers
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
Kara Gillian is a natural demon summoner, and she uses this to help her solve murders. She’s a police detective who’s ended up on an FBI task force that deals with… unusual matters. She’s attracted to her partner, Ryan, but Ryan’s angry with Kara over her relationship with the Demonic Lord Rhyzkahl. She agreed to be his summoner in return for Ryan’s life, and somehow she always seems to end up in bed with the beautiful Lord. Contrary to popular misconception, “demons” aren’t inherently evil—they’re just alien, and inherently self-serving. Meanwhile, Kara’s trying to solve a series of murders that involve a rock band, teenagers, and, well, mud. Yes, mud.
Like many of today’s paranormal reads, this one is a bit cluttered with supernaturals. Too many characters turn out to be something other than human; it leaves you wondering where the normal humans are that they supposedly have to hide themselves from. This is mostly a bit of a personal pet peeve, though, and given the popularity of such series should be taken with a grain of salt!
Secrets of the Demon is book three of the Kara Gillian series, and while it stands alone surprisingly well, I do recommend reading the books in order. There’s a strong arc-plot that would be more enjoyable if read in order.
I love the unusual take on demons and summoning, as well as magics of other types. Rowland does a fantastic job of making Rhyzkal both alien and magnetic, frightening and mesmerizing, and she makes the other demons into unusual and engaging characters in their own right. Similarly, the humans are entertaining to spend time with and I definitely cared what happened to them. I found Ryan less interesting than everyone else, which is a little unfortunate since he’s the major love interest, but I might have felt differently if I’d read through the other two books first.
The mystery is delightfully twisty-turny (sure, I’ll say that’s a word, why not?) and fun to try to anticipate and figure out. Every time I thought I had it something made me doubt myself or change my mind, which was perfect. Even better, I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at the procedural/cop elements. Sure, you kind of have to gloss over some things and jazz them up a bit to make for an exciting book, but it’s nice to see an author who doesn’t make glaringly obvious mistakes. (Since I gather Diana Rowland used to be a cop/forensic assistant, it makes sense!)
The sex definitely sizzles, the characters are engaging, the world is intriguing, and action pulled me right in. Highly recommended!