Deja Demon by Julie Kenner: B-

From the back cover:
Between attending gala fund-raisers for her husband’s political campaign, training her teenage daughter to wield a crossbow and a stiletto, potty-training a toddler, and her increasingly complex personal life, Kate hardly has time to prepare for the impending chaos: a neighborhood Easter party that has her buried in eggs.

Keeping the local kiddos in line will take all of Kate’s skills as a mother and Demon Hunter, just when she’ll need them the most. An old enemy has descended upon San Diablo—along with a full-blown army of the undead and a powerful demonic ally. Once again, it’s up to Kate to save the world. Good thing she can multitask!

Before I get into the content of my review, I’d like to compose a brief note to the author.

Dear Julie –
You (and, apparently, your editors) seem to be laboring under a misconception about the meaning of a certain word. “Eviscerate” means to disembowel or remove internal organs. An inanimate object cannot be eviscerated. When you write, therefore, that a wall of red flames eviscerated everything in its path (specifically mentioning pedestals) and that our heroine “escaped even as the demons and their lair were eviscerated,” I am going to have to call foul.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news; I hope you’re not too gutted.

P. S. When a scene occurs outside, silence cannot fill the room.

Anyways, because I was unaccountably eager for this fourth installment in the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series, I was the first patron in the reserve queue for it at my local library. The shame! These books really aren’t very good, and I’ve come to realize each of them follows the same formula.

1. A demon minion attacks Kate in her backyard and demands information on something its master needs for his big “king of the world!” ritual. This can be some bones, a ring, or a sword. Up until this point, the good guys will never have heard of this thing. The demons never seem to realize that maybe they should keep their plans to themselves.

2. Some scattered investigation into the threat will ensue but take a backseat to Kate’s domestic concerns. These will involve a dinner party.

3. The word “kiddo” will be used a distracting number of times. Mostly by Kate, but she seems to infect others with it; even priests aren’t immune. Kiddo count in this book: 12.

4. Kate will angst about keeping secrets from her husband. This will not prevent them from making out repeatedly.

5. Someone Kate cares about (usually her teenage daughter) will be kidnapped by the demons.

Deja Demon offers some variety in the details, but adheres to this same basic framework. By the halfway point, I’m thinking, “Okay, that’s it. I am not going to read these anymore.” But then something I’ve been wanting to happen finally does, and it weakens my resolve by being kind of awesome. It’s just too bad said event is preceded by 300 pages of stuff I feel like I’ve read before. Perhaps a more appropriate title for this book would’ve been Déjà Vu.

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  1. […] In my review of the previous volume in the Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series, I outlined a formula that Julie Kenner seems to […]

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