Review: “A Demon’s Sanction,” Katherine Kim

Pros: Some interesting worldbuilding and obvious talent
Cons: Needs work in a number of areas
Rating: 3 out of 5

In Katherine Kim’s A Demon’s Sanction (The Demon Guardian Trilogy Book 2) Temple Priestess May is having to defend Guardian demon Michael to other Temple personnel rather than being paranoid about him herself. The demon-living-as-a-human has been May’s Guardian for some time. The both of them have been sent on a number of missions already, some of which were quite dangerous and would usually have called for multiple teams. They suspect some of the Temple Elders want to get Michael killed so they don’t have to worry about having a demon in the Temple. An argument between May and Oliver in particular gets a bit old. It’s difficult because, as readers, we already are in Michael’s head and we know he’s a good guy, so the arguments are harder to sit through and they get old fast.

There are still spelling and grammar issues here, again of the sort that aren’t likely to be caught by an automatic spellchecker (a good editor would be handy). Its/it’s again, wrong words, missing words, etc.

Since paranormal/urban fantasy novels are full of growly, “alpha” characters, particularly when it comes to demons, it’s really nice to meet one who’s a bit bookish and sad. I’m also grateful to the author for not throwing romance into the mix between May and Michael–while I like a good romance, it’s just nice to have some variety and to see characters be partners without having to mix sex into things. Along those veins, I also adore the idea of seeing Michael as a “failure” of a demon.

One trope that made me shake my head was a lesser demon (an Imp) who practically slavishly fell at May’s feet when she gave it a silly name. It’s just a bit obvious and overdone.

Dialogue and arguments take up too much of the space in these books. I hope the author gets a better handle on the use of detail and various levels of action to round out a tale. I remain convinced, however, that there’s some definite talent on display here and that the author is worth following for that reason.

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