Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian Series #2)

Blood of the Demon - Diana Rowland Kara Gillian has a new case - there are more bodies piling up and while they seem to have natural causes (or common murder causes, anyway) there’s something more about the bodies. They’re completely ripped of all their essence, all their life force unnaturally torn away - and its getting worse. She’s again faced with investigating the murders as a police detective, but also using her arcane abilities and somehow passing that under the mortal authorities’ radar.Worse, she has so few people to turn to, so little sources of information. Her aunt is in a coma and the only one who can tell her what is happening - stop the killer and bring her aunt back - is Lord Rhyzkhal, the sexy and powerful demon lord. Who, in turn, has his own agenda. He wants Kara to be his summoner, to give him a toe-hold in the world. And even a taste of his knowledge gives Kara abilities and knowledge far beyond what she had before.But even with all these complications it gets harder when other strange demonic creatures push themselves into her reality - and Ryan, her friend, confidant and FBI agent seems to be keeping more secrets than she realised.To start with something I love about this series - we have more excellent class commentary. While the last book showed us expertly how easily and quickly the poor are neglected and forgotten by law enforcement, here we saw the other side of the coin. The rich expecting kids gloves and gentle treatment. The power of being rich and influential and connected is showed again and again in this book. The power and ease of being a corrupted judge, of looking after one’s own, of protecting your own little clique and circle are repeatedly referenced. At the same time the point is strongly made that the same levels of drug abuse, domestic violence et al all happen in these wealthy subdivisions as in poorer areas, but they’re much better covered up. But, again it is done without lecturing or infodumping.Kara Gillian is still a fascinating character. She is intelligent, has powerful amounts of common sense. She has a temper but it flares when appropriate and not completely unrealistically and foolishly. She is driven and drives the story, she’s overwhelmed by the sheer amount she has to deal with, but she does deal with it. I don’t think I’ve found many protagonists in this genre who are as human as Kara Gillian. As real - and as lacking in tropes that make me want to throw my e-reader down in disgust. One problem that has creeped in is a continuation of her discomfort over sleeping with Rhyzkhal which is coupled with Ryan’s disgust over her assignation with the demon - and her desperation for his approval. On the one hand I can see why Kara would seek friendship and approval since she has been alone a long time and very few people know about the Arcane - but at the same time her desperation for his approval and his judgment are more than a little skeevy making. Especially when she then decides to get revenge on Ryan’s judgmental attitude - by having sex with Rhyzkhal and feeling bad about it. I also don’t like her condescension and assumption of plastic surgery to most of the attractive women she meets, it’s a little, well, catty and again related to sexual shaming.Read More