What topic could be more appropriate for a leisurely Sunday afternoon blog than a little demon slaying? Well, it just so happens that I recently finished two free reads on just that topic, “Carpe Demon” and the short “The Demon You Know,” both by Julie Kenner, so in terms of perfect fodder for my blog, I’m in luck!
“Carpe Demon” is the introductory book in the “Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom” series. At the beginning of the novel, our heroine, Kate Connor, is a “retired” demon-hunter who is also the mother to both a teenager and a toddler. When she suddenly finds herself under attack by the forces of evil, Kate must make adjustments that leave her juggling her “perfect” life as wife and mother along with returning to her devil-demolishing ways.
Although enjoying the fast-paced readability and humor of this book, about halfway through the book, I found myself groaning at the predictability as I assumed that I’d guessed a major point in the plot that would be part of the “big reveal” at the end. Then, I groaned even louder when I was three-quarters of the way through the book before the heroine, predictably, began to suspect the same. And then, as I neared the end of the book, I fell in love with Kenner’s style when I realized that she’d thrown the reader a curveball – the plot that was so predictable was entirely a diversionary tactic and the book ended with a fast-paced, surprising ending.
I love the characters in this novel, and as the mother of a toddler and an infant found her to be highly relatable. I suspect mothers of teenagers would find her just as relatable as well, so I think the age gap between Kate’s children really spreads out the audience of these books. Not to say that if you’re not a “soccer mom” yourself you won’t enjoy these books, but if you are, I think you’ll find yourself really immersed in the fictional world Kenner has created.
This is a series I could definitely see myself returning to at some point in the future.
“The Demon You Know” is a short story in the same series. As another glimpse into the life of Kate Connor and her family, it was an enjoyable read, but it doesn’t really have enough “meat on the bones” to really bring readers into the series, I feel. You’ll need to already know and love the characters in this short to enjoy it. But if you’re reading the “Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom” and have somehow managed to miss this short, you should definitely get it right now.
At the time of this blog post, both “Carpe Demon” and “The Demon You Know” are still available for free on Kindle, as is the first book of another series by Kenner, “Aphrodite’s Kiss” of the Protectors Superhero Series.
Kenner is a New York Times and USA Today Bestseller.
As I have previously mentioned in my blog, although a lot of the free books available to “purchase” on Amazon are independent writers (and this is a great way to find new talent), there are also a number of opportunities to pick up books by bestselling authors, so those who prefer tried and true authors aren’t completely out of luck in looking for free reads.