Monday, October 11, 2010

Review: Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Book: Mark of the Demon (Diana Rowland)
Stand-Alone or Series: Series - Kara Gillian #1

Pages: 370
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Preview on Google Books
Description (From Goodreads):
Cop and conjurer of demons, she's a woman in danger of losing control—to a power that could kill....

Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives—and souls—of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore.

Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head...
Mark of the Demon is an extremely ambitious debut. Rowland setup an intriguing storyline that keeps you guessing until the last page. The main character, Kara is also a rather unique heroine. She is equal parts demon summoner and cop - which gives her an interesting take on things. Because of Kara's occupation the reader is given a first hand look at the Police business, which I found incredibly interesting. The only problem with this is that it tended to slow the book down. While the idea of the book was wonderful, the plot line was chunky at times, which is never a good thing.

While the plot was sometimes chunky and the pacing was a little out of whack, I honestly enjoyed the characters. Like I said before, Kara is a demon summoning cop - how awesome is that? She is tough and determined, but also lonely. Because she is a summoner, she has kept her relationships at a distance. That is until, Ryan Kristoff shows up. Ryan is a FED that is assigned to Kara's symbol man case and he quickly knocks down her barriers. At first he and Kara butt heads but they soon develop a friendship. With Ryan, Kara can finally let someone in and she becomes dependent on this friendship and finds herself craving his attentions.

Then there is Rhyzkahl; a demon lord. Early on in the book, Rhyzkahl comes through one of Kara's portals when she is trying to summon a lower level demon. He quickly takes an.... interest in her and kind of begins stalking her. He appears within her dreams throughout the book urging her to "call him to her". Kara is understandably frighted of him - he is one of the most powerful Demon Lords, and she refuses to do what he asks. Rhyzkahl claims that he is merely infatuated with her, but she knows that he must have ulterior motives. 

Rhyzkahl is a fabulous character. He is terrifying, addicting and infatuating. He is made out to be extremely gorgeous and powerful - it is easy to see why Kara is attracted to him. I am not saying that she should go play house with him, but he is definitely a great character; I found myself eagerly anticipating his scenes. Hopefully we will see more from him in the next book. 

While I enjoyed aspects of this book, there were a lot of problems with the pacing. Hopefully Rowland will work out the kinks for the next installment. The storyline and characters have such great potential, I am eager to see where Rowland takes them next.

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