Book Review: Demon Ex Machina

Demon Ex Machina: Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom

Demon Ex Machina: Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, by Julie Kenner, is the 5th book in the series.

Kate is a busy housewife and mom, to say the least. Forced out of retirement, she has picked up her prior demon-hunting job since San Diablo has become a hub of demonic activity. Kate has also begun teaching self-defense classes and grudgingly allowing her daughter to follow in her demon-hunting footsteps. Her husband Stuart has returned. And so has her formerly dead husband Eric, who happens to have a demon inside of him. Time is running out for Eric. Kate, her family, and friends must find a way to free Eric from the evil demon without killing him (again) in the process.

Though this is a stand-alone story and past circumstances are explained well, it is helpful to have read the previous books in the series. Kate is a kick-butt heroine, who has her priorities in order. She always seems to find just enough time to slay her demons, throw an impromptu dinner party, and still have time enough for her kids. She’s a great mom, with slightly spoiled kids, and still maintains a decent relationship with her husband. Even when her former one still lingers.

This installment isn’t as action-packed as former ones. Though, there is no lack of suspense and excitement. The story revolves more around Kate’s relationships, and trying to free Eric from the demon that is bound to him. The overlying mystery in the story is complex and culminates to a climactic and satisfying ending.

I can’t praise this series enough. Kenner is a talented and proficient storyteller. Combining urban fantasy, zombie-like demons, real-life situations, and just enough humor; the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series is one of which I can’t get enough. And I love each episode no less than the previous. The series is fun and addictive. Don’t miss it.

October Spotlight for Pocket Books

Unclean Spirits

Unclean Spirits
Book One of the Black Sun’s Daughter
By M.L.N. Hanover
Available Now!!
ISBN: 9781416575979

In a world where magic walks and demons ride, you can’t always play by the rules.
Jayné Heller thinks of herself as a realist, until she discovers reality isn’t quite what she thought it was. When her uncle Eric is murdered, Jayné travels to Denver to settle his estate, only to learn that it’s all hers — and vaster than she ever imagined. And along with properties across the world and an inexhaustible fortune, Eric left her a legacy of a different kind: his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College.

Led by the ruthless Randolph Coin, the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for their own ends of power and domination. Jayné finds it difficult to believe magic and demons can even exist, let alone be responsible for the death of her uncle. But Coin sees Eric’s heir as a threat to be eliminated by any means — magical or mundane — so Jayné had better start believing in something to save her own life.

Aided in her mission by a group of unlikely companions — Aubrey, Eric’s devastatingly attractive assistant; Ex, a former Jesuit with a lethal agenda; Midian, a two-hundred-year-old man who claims to be under a curse from Randolph Coin himself; and Chogyi Jake, a self-styled Buddhist with mystical abilities — Jayné finds that her new reality is not only unexpected, but often unexplainable. And if she hopes to survive, she’ll have to learn the new rules fast — or break them completely….

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Book Review: Flashforward

Flashforward

Flashforward, by Robert J. Sawyer, is the basis for the new hit show on ABC.

In an experiment gone awry, the entire population of the world loses consciousness for two minutes and has a vision 21 years in the future. Then the world wakes up to chaos. As a result of the world-wide blackout, there were countless accidents and deaths. And it seems that scientists Lloyd and Theo from CERN are responsible. In Lloyd’s vision, he is married to a different woman than his current fiancé. And Theo didn’t have a vision at all. Which leads people to believe that he will be dead within the next 21 years. When someone steps forward to say they have information on his death, Theo begins an investigation into his own future murder.

This story is so unique, that I had no idea what to expect. The main characters are completely wrapped up in worrying about their own futures, even though that future is quite far off. Guilt about the aftermath of the Flashforward seems to be secondary to everyone involved. In a lame attempt at shifting blame, Lloyd insists that there is no free will, and that the future will happen no matter what.

It will certainly make readers think and ponder over the future and reality. Those not into physics, may gloss over at some of the long descriptions. But overall, the story is suspenseful and complex. The jump to 21 years later, at the end of the book, seemed abrupt. But the threads of the story were wrapped up. And with a few interesting twists to the story, I thoroughly enjoyed this distinctive science fiction tale.

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