California Demon by Julie Kenner: B

From the back cover:
Welcome to San Diablo—the perfect place to raise a couple of kids and a lot of Hell, especially if you’re Kate Connor, retired demon hunter. Now, after fourteen years as a suburban housewife, raising two kids, and supporting her husband’s political ambitions, she’s rejoined the workforce… well, secretly, at least. Between fending off demon attacks, trying to figure out why the mysterious new teacher at the high school seems so strangely familiar, and keeping a watchful eye on her daughter’s growing infatuation with a surfer dude, Kate is the busiest—and most dangerous—soccer mom on the block.

This was a marked improvement over the first book in the series. The book started slowly, with most of the first half dealing with errands and other family issues and the demon stuff feeling like an afterthought. The action eventually picked up, but the plot never transcended its exceedingly flimsy state. However, this time it actually brought up all sorts of things that affected Kate personally, so I didn’t mind all that much.

Kate was still a rather bland protagonist, but I liked the major personal dilemma she had to face in this book, and also the interactions she had with her daughter. The introduction of rogue demon hunter, David Long, brought a lot to the story, and I also appreciated the continuity regarding the failing marriage of Kate’s best friend.

These books are still totally fluff, but they’re sometimes surprisingly thoughtful regarding how Kate’s first marriage still continues to cast its shadow over her life. I am now officially interested to see what happens next.

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