Kate, the demon hunting soccer-mom, is back, juggling play dates for a toddler, her teenaged daughter, her husband and his political machinations with the complexities of hunting and killing demons.
With the demons yet again coming to San Diablo, Kate is faced a more evolved and ongoing threat as well as the fallout from her daughter finally learning the truth about Kate and her secret double life. Of course, once she understands she has a lot of questions – and Kate isn’t sure how many she can answer, especially in relation to Eric, her dead husband who apparently had a life and machinations he kept secret from her as well. A secret that got him killed – and may still have considerable bearing on what the demons are plotting today.
I said before that this series had an interesting gimmick, but that it couldn’t live on the gimmick any longer. While it is intriguing and new to have a housewife as a demon hunter, juggling her life and commitments while still trying to run her secret life killing demons, it’s a great hook but it’s not the basis for a full book series and could quickly grow tired.
And this book avoided that. We have a much more focused plot with a lot less side distractions or her mundane life being described in as much detail. It’s still there, certainly, and remains hectic but we don’t have as much page time dedicated to these tasks. Instead, we have a much more involved and winding plot. The demons are back again and up to something but there’s a definite meta developing with their plot line, something to tie in the whole series in an ongoing devious scheme that brings all of these demons to this town that Kate chose because it was safe from demons.
In addition to the demons developing more into an ongoing threat rather than one off encounters, we have considerable increased complexity with Kate telling her daughter what she does and her (and her dead husband’s) past. Not only does this free up some of the familial duties but it also adds a whole new dimension to the story with Kate’s worry about Ally wanting to join in the fighting, with her concern about the demons targeting her and Kate’s constant battle as to exactly how much she should tell her daughter
Which is, in turn, complicated by David, the freelance hunter who may or may not have Eric’s (her first husband and Ally’s father) soul inside him. This is a wonderfully complex and emotional storyline with Kate torn between the man she used to love, the man she used to hunt with and the father of her daughter, and her current husband and father of her son – who she does love, but who doesn’t know her past or about her hunting demons. It’s a wonderful, rich, nuanced conflict that adds a lot of depth to the book.
Throw in, on top of that, Kate investigating exactly what Eric was up to and we have a lot of plot here – but it’s all interwoven. She can’t investigate Eric without touching on issues of what to tell Ally and without considering the whole David/Eric issue nor without looking at the ongoing demonic scheme that is apparently involved in San Diablo and throughout the Forza. It’s really nicely done to have all of these plot lines touch each other, even though they’re approached separately.