Author: Kate Douglas
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The DemonSlayers (Book 1)
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
ISBN-10: 1420109995 (Kensington/Zebra)
ISBN-13: 978-1420109993 (Kensington/Zebra)
Reviewed by: Kiwi
Since time began, the Earth has served as a balance between the world of darkness that is the Abyss, and the paradise known as Eden. Now the battle between good and evil has reached a tipping point, and survival depends on one fallen demon–and the woman he cannot resist…
Quick & Dirty: A love to last a lifetime…or at least a week.
Opening Sentence: He struggled out of the darkness, confused, disoriented… recalling fire and pain and the soothing voices of men he couldn’t see.
Ok, so I will let my notable scene explain to you the generic plotline of this book, part one of a series, and I will tell you all about the main characters, for there are more than just the hero and heroine.
First our hero, Dax, the yummy fallen-demon-turned-human who has been tasked with ridding the small town of Evergreen of all its demons that have escaped from the Abyss, or what we would call Hell. Armed with some of his demon powers, in the form of a snake tattoo, Dax is anxious to serve his purpose, and possibly gain entrance into Eden, the paradise most of us would call Heaven. This not so small task seems like a precursor for the much larger one that is saving the world, and I imagine that is what must be done in the following books. But, anyway, Dax shows up on Earth and is immediately attacked by another demon, this one is wearing the body of a stone gargoyle and is tossing curses about. Dax takes one to the chest that causes him some serious issues during the rest of the book.
In comes our heroine, Eddy, who finds Dax in a garden shed being attacked by a garden gnome wielding a pitchfork. So, of course, she brings him home with her, and patches him up. Upon learning that he is in fact a once demon turned human who needs help fighting the unexplainable, she takes him to meet the one other person she trusts with this kind of thing, who is also a believer in the supernatural – her father, Ed.
Ed has long been a subscriber to the “we are not alone” theory, believing that there is a real civilization hidden inside the neighboring mountain. When a man shows up in his daughter’s life who is living proof, well he is ecstatic. However, his enthusiasm is somewhat diminished when he finds out the reason for Dax’s presence. So, he reluctantly drives the couple to the mountain to find this mystical race, The Lemurians, and anxiously awaits their call saying the mission was successful. Dax and Eddy do indeed find Lemuria in a cavern in the mountain where also exists a portal to the Abyss and Atlantis. So, upon entering the portal to Lemuria the duo is taken prisoner by some guards, and are met by none other than the high prince, Alton.
The immortal race of Lemurians have been hidden away for thousands of years, enjoying their peace and quiet. Alton, however, has been craving some action for a few centuries and jumps at the chance to aid in the completion of the demon slaying mission. Abandoning his friends, family and entire race, he breaks Dax and Eddy out of prison and goes with them back to Earth. Also accompanying Alton is his magical talking sword, which for now chooses to remain mute, but has every intention of killing Dax, for killing demons is what it was made to do. Oh, and I forgot to mention Alton’s ability to bend the memories of humans. Seriously cool when you want to keep flying statues from scaring the masses.
So, this motley crew, complete with a pit bull/poodle stray dog named Bumper and a pixie, or will o’ the wisp, named Willow, head out to complete the mission of ridding the world of all the excess evil in Evergreen. There is just a couple of small catches. One, Dax has been given only seven days in this form. Two, the curse he was hit with in the beginning is causing his snake tattoo to try to leave his body, thus taking his demon powers away while causing him a bunch load of pain. Three, that gargoyle is no regular demon and taking it down is going to be almost impossible. But try they must, and they do eventually succeed, but at what cost.
Also continuing throughout the book, is the blooming relationship between Eddy and Dax. The two quickly fall madly in love with one another, despite the limitations on their time together, both deciding that a lifetime of love may be lived in only a few days, and the memories shall be enough to leave with at the end. It’s so sad, really. But as I said, this is a romance book, and an HEA in inevitable, so read the book to see how it all shakes down.
I know I say this too often, but I really liked this book. I am just a huge fan of the genre as a whole. But really, I’d rank this up there with some of my favorites, well at least I will if I enjoy the next couple books like I did this one. The characters are fun and loveable (who wouldn’t fall in love with a pit that has a perm) the writing style and storyline makes it easy to convince yourself to just finish reading that next chapter, then you will go to bed, promise.
“I’m a demon from the world of Abyss. It exists in a dimension apart from yours, but I was sent here by people from another world, one called Eden that’s in yet another dimension. The two worlds never touch, never interact. They exist, complete yet apart, entirely dependent on the balance that holds them apart as much as it connects them.”
“So what does that make Earth?”
He stared at his cup of coffee a moment, picturing the three worlds as he imagined them. “Earth is the fulcrum,” he said, raising his eyes to study her reaction. “Eden on the one side is a world of light filled with people who are inherently good. Abyss, on the other, is a world of darkness, a land of fire and ice populated by creatures who personify evil. Earth is in the center, holding them apart, keeping them in perpetual balance…or, at least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. The way it’s always worked in the past.”
Her brows knotted over her dark eyes and she looked confused, but at least she was still listening. Dax ran his fingers through Bumper’s curly coat. The dog was a hard muscled, frilly contradiction-she had a powerful body with strong jaws, yet she was covered in a curly blond coat that made her look utterly ridiculous. Dax couldn’t imagine anyone creating an animal like Bumper on purpose, yet somehow the combination worked.
Sort of like Earth. “Your world is mostly populated by a mixture of different kinds of humans-some who will always try to do the right thing as well as those who are set on doing something evil. The best of you and the worst of you are balanced by the vast majority who are sort of like this dog of yours, a blend of both good and bad, beautiful and ugly.” He laughed. “Smart and stupid. Somehow, it all works and, on the whole, humans get along and live their lives.”
She snorted. He grinned at her. “Well, most of the time, anyway.”
Shaking her head, she set her cup down. “I beg to differ with you, but people don’t get along that well. There are wars going on all over the world, people are starving and dying, we have to worry about terrorists blowing things up, and…”
“I know. That’s why I’m here. Evil has grown too powerful on your world. Demonkind is gaining a foothold. Balance has reached a tipping point. It’s slipping over to the side of darkness. The people of Eden recognized the danger, but they’re incapable of fighting. Their nature doesn’t allow it. They can, however, hire fallen demons to fight their battles.”
She ignored his reference to himself and instead asked the one question Dax didn’t want to answer.
“What happens if the balance slips too far?”
He didn’t want to think about that. Couldn’t allow himself to consider failure. Bumper raised her head, stared beyond Dax, and growled. Dax looked down at the dog, but he spoke to Eddy. “Then the demons of Abyss take over. Earth will fall to darkness and demons will rule. Eventually, even Eden will be overrun.”
“Dax? I think you need to turn around.”
He snapped his head up at the quaver in her voice and caught Eddy’s terrified gaze. He spun around on the couch and his feet hit the floor just as the stone owl by the fireplace stretched its gray wings and clicked its sharp beak, as if testing to make sure things worked.
Willow shot up from the bookcase so fast she left a trail of blue sparkles in the air behind her. Dax leapt to his feet, pulled in the energy Willow sent him and pointed both hands at the owl, fingertips spread wide.
Fire burst from his fingers in long, twin spikes of pure power. He caught the owl as it prepared to take flight, trapped the creature in a blazing sphere of heat and light and blew it right through the wire screen and into the fireplace.
Eddy screamed. The creature screamed louder, sounding eerily like the garden gnome Eddy had flattened. The cry cut off the moment the flaming owl hit the back of the firebox and shattered. A dark wisp, stinking of sulfur, coalesced in front of the broken pieces, but before it could race up the flue to freedom, Dax called on Willow’s power once again.
This time a blast of icy air caught the amorphous mass of darkness, freezing it before it could make its escape. It hovered a moment, quivering in midair, then fell to the hearth and shattered into a thousand tiny pieces of black ice.
Dax hit the ice with a burst of flame. The pieces sizzled and disappeared in puffs of steam.
He took a deep breath and turned away from the mess. Eddy sat on the end of the couch, with Bumper caught in her shaking arms. Both of them gaped, wide-eyed, at the fireplace. Before Dax could assure Eddy that everything was all right, at least for now, she raised her head and stared at him.
“Okay.” Her voice cracked and she took a deep breath. “I take back what I said. You won’t need to point to Willow for proof. I promise to believe anything you tell me. Explain, please, what the hell just happened?”
The DemonSlayers Series:
FTC Advisory: Kensington/Zebra provided me with a copy of DemonFire. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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