25 janeiro 2012

Review: Mark of the Demon (Diana Rowland)

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Publisher: Bantam (2009)
Format: Mass Market Paperback | 370 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Description (GR): "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...
"
This one should have a Goodreads shelf all to itself named "what urban fantasy should be but often isn't". No, really. I enjoyed this book a lot; it wasn't outstanding in terms of plot, world or characters (it's still only the first book, though), but overall it was pretty good on all three aspects.

Kara Gillian is a detective... and a summoner. She calls on beings from a different realms and works spells with arcane magic.

She lives a moderately normal life (for a summoner, that is) until she transfers to the violent crimes unit. A serial killer is on the loose and it looks like he knows some magic too.

This first book in the Kara Gillian series was pretty enjoyable. The author balanced mystery, paranormal elements and some romance pretty well and in the end she had an engrossing read. I was never bored. Of course there was this one character that annoyed me a bit, but overall it was good.

What was good:
- the nice mystery plot: it was much more developed than mystery plots usually are in these kinds of books and it wasn't just about the 'paranormal angle'. It was refreshing.
- good pacing: I repeat, I was never bored.
- the heroine that wasn't tough but also wasn't a whiner: she was actually quite likable.
- the mysterious paranormal hot guy who wasn't totally annoying: I adored Rhyzkahl's 'otherness'. He was a bit typical of paranormal male leads, sure, but also cool. Just... cool.
- the hot, sexy scenes that didn't take over the entire story (read: nice balance, romance didn't turn this into a paranormal romance parading as urban fantasy). Enough said.
- an interesting world (still not well developed, but as I said: first book).

What wasn't so good:
- the somewhat annoying male that will be part of a love triangle (BUT he wasn't too bad, which is good): the FBI agent was not needed really. :P
- the cookie-cuter villain: the bad guy was so boringly evil. Mwahahah evil.
- the heroine's aunt was annoying: a bit too out-there and very stereotypical of the ditzy character. I didn't like her much.

Overall: thumbs-up!