reileen: (reading - books)
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Kate Connor used to be a Level Four Demon Hunter for the Vatican. Now she's a Level Four Model Housewife, juggling the demands of her teenage daughter, her toddler son, and her ambitious politician husband. She thought she long left the world of demon hunting, but the demons have other ideas, turning up in the pet food aisle of the local San Diablo Wal-Mart and crashing through Kate's kitchen window one hour before a major cocktail party. Apprehensive about her rusty skills but determined to protect her friends and family, Kate races against a high demon from hell to find a famed artifact that could potentially raise the dead - a lot of dead.

The writing style is clear and smartly written, although I thought there were times where the author spent a little too much time on minutiae. I really liked how she handled the various twists and turns of the plot, though perhaps I'm only more aware of them because I've been reading up lately on how to analyze the parts of a story's plot.

The worldbuilding is (perhaps appropriately) a little bland and generic. I tend to have little patience for parenthood-centric stories, so that aspect of this book simultaneously bored me but also fascinated me with its depiction of a "mythical norm" sort of family. There's not much to write home about the demon-hunting Forza of the Vatican or the demons themselves, either. But it's the combination of these two aspects that provides a somewhat different reading experience from the typical urban fantasy stories. Carpe Demon, I suppose, would be an example of "suburban fantasy", hah.

Carpe Demon is a solid effort, and recommended for those who want something slightly out of the ordinary from straight contemporary fiction, but not as otherworldly as some urban fantasy stories can get. Myself, though, I'm not sure whether I'll pick up the next couple of books.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-14 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pinkpolarity.livejournal.com
I tried to read that and couldn't get more than a couple of chapters into it. I really dislike the assumption that suburban, 30-something=parent-- I mean, that book is kind of urban "hen lit", and it follows the usual chick lit (20something, single, wanting to marry)-> hen lit (30s, with kids) pattern. Apparently childfree, female 30 and 40 year old protagonists don't exist. I know that's the publishing industry's fault and not this specific book's fault, but it still puts me off reading books with suburban mothers.

As for Ann Aguirre's book, I haven't read her SF but I have read her urban fantasy ("Blue Diablo"), and it had a part in it that was really, really transphobic. Apparently "tranny alley" scared her character more than all the necromancers and black magic in the book.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-14 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reileen.livejournal.com
RE: Carpe Demon

That's a totally understandable concern, and thanks for putting into words something that was actually bothering me about the book but which I didn't seem to be able to really articulate, myself. ("Hen lit"? That's an interesting term; first I've heard of it.) I did mention a little bit about how Kate's domestic life is sort of this "mythical norm" notion of a family, and it was just really generic. I was interested enough to keep reading to the end, but I'm really leaning towards just passing up on the rest of the series.

RE: Ann Aguirre's urban fantasy

Yikes! I'll stay away from that, then. To be honest, Grimspace actually also did have some problematic parts in a similar vein, such as the dead lesbian lover (Dina's girlfriend was a jumper who died on the jump that got March's ship to the place where Jax was being held) and an "exotic Negro" sort of deal who was this superbly attractive bad guy that was the head of this mercenary community that Jax and company visited. I like the world and the other characters well enough that I'm willing to give the other two books a chance, but like I mentioned in my review (...I think), I really do sort of want to know whether a jumper-pilot pair is always opposite sex paired. I'll be disappointed if she skirts the issues or states that it's always opposite sex paired, especially since we already have a somewhat major lesbian character (Dina).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-14 12:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pinkpolarity.livejournal.com
nd an "exotic Negro" sort of deal who was this superbly attractive bad guy that was the head of this mercenary community that Jax and company visited

Yeah, there's more of that in the urban fantasy too, both the exotic-attractive-guy sort and the Magical Negro sort. And it opens in Mexico, in ways that I'm not entirely sure I'm okay with-- I'm not sure whether the author is a Latina or not (she lives in Mexico, I know that much), but the character is a white American. I read it avidly one night wanting to find out what happened next, and after I was done started seeing thing after thing that really, really bothered me about the book (the whole eww-Tranny-Alley thing first among them), including that the main character is just plain unlikeable. The SF sounds interesting, but her other book bugged me enough to avoid her in general, I think.

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Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

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