22 February 2010

Review: Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Mark of the Demon
Kara Gillian #1

Cop and conjurer of demons, she's a woman in danger of losing control—to a power that could kill....
Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning.
Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure.
But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives—and souls—of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago.
Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore.
Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head...

Kara is a police detective and a demon summoner. A serial killer, named by the press "Symbol Man" has started to kill again after three years; they call him that because he always carves a symbol in some part of the victim's body. The captain of her divison puts Kara in charge of the investigation. She sees that some kind of arcane power has been use on the victim, so she decides to summon a demon to ask questions about it, but something goes wrong, and instead of appearing the low level demon she summoned, appears Rhyzkahl. She doesn't know what kind of demon he is, but she knows that he's powerful, angry and could kill her whenever he wanted; but instead of that, they end up having sex.

The next day another victim is found, and when she goes to the morgue to see what has the medical examiner found, a visitor comes by the room. His name is Agent Ryan Kristoff from the FBI, and he has been assigned to the task force of the "Symbol Man" murders. In that first meet, Kristoff ignores Kara the best he can and later he tries to remove her from being the lead, but he's unsuccesful.

After that, everything seems to go worse. The body count increases, she still can't figure out what went wrong in the summoning, Agent Kristoff starts being suspicious of her and she has started to have very vivid dreams about Rhyzkahl, in which she finds out that he made a connection between them, so she could call him anytime she wanted. But at the end, everything has a price.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I liked the mystery of the "Symbol Man" and I never guessed who he was until it was revealed at the end. The demon dimension was something that I've never read about and I really enjoyed the very short glimpse we get of it.
I also liked how demons weren't nor good nor evil. I hope that in future novels we get to see more of that dimension.

At the beginning of this book Kara wasn't an expert summoner, so she asks for help and advice from her mentor, her aunt Tessa. I liked the relationship between the two of them, but I think Kara should have asked more questions about how she knew about Rhyzkahl or at least Tessa should have voluntered the information. Also, I don't know how in the first meeting between Kara and Rhyzkahl she could have gone from being scared and sure she was dead to feel a very strong desire for him. It looks like there's going to be a love triangle between Kara, Kristoff and
Rhyzkahl in the next book, and I want to see how is going to be played out.

This book was a fantastic beginning to a very interesting series and I would recommend it to all Urban Fantasy lovers who don't have anything against demons.

Memorable Quote:

"I am Kara Gillian," I stated clearly as I rewove the potencies, naming myself as part of the binding process. I had no intention of completing terms and releasing the bindings, but the forms still have to be followed. "I had summoned you to serve me - "
The laughter stopped me - a cold sound that cut through my words and sent a chill up my spine.
"Serve you?" The voice flowed from the crouched figure, serene and vicious. "I will rend the flesh from your bones and scatter your blood to the wind."
Oh. Shit.



Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I have this one on my list. I saw it at the store and it sounded really good. Although I have to say I haven't seen many reviews on the book. It could have been reviewed before I was really reading very many blogs. I like the sound of this from your review here. So now I AM looking forward to the book. Thanks for the great review!