I was finally able to wrap up Carpe Demon: Adventures Of A Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner this morning.
The verdict? Pretty good.
Kate Connor looks like your typical suburban housewife. She left behind her job, got married and is now a stay-at-home mom to her two kids. However Kate is anything but typical. That job she left behind was with the Vatican. She used to hunt demons for a living.
Her first husband was also a Hunter and they retired to San Diablo, California thinking it would be demon-free (the mission in town has a ton of religious relics). They have a baby girl they name Allie. Then the husband dies. Years later, Kate marries husband #2, a lawyer with political ambitions, Stuart. Allie is 14 and 2-year-old Timmy has arrived on the scene.
Kate's life is hectic. Allie is getting ready to start high school, Timmy is running her ragged, and Stuart keeps announcing impromptu dinner party plans. So it's not wonder that Kate misses the demon standing in the pet food aisle of the San Diablo Wal-Mart.
When Kate calls her former teacher, a priest, for help, he informs her there are no available non-retired Hunters to send. Kate's just going to have to handle the problem on her own. Out of shape, having let her demon hunting skills slide, Kate then learns that not only is San Diablo not demon free - it's been invaded by the biggest, baddest demon of all.
Sure no problem.
I liked this story a lot. It's quite imaginative, and while I'm not a stay-at-home mom (or mother period for that matter) I found it very funny in parts. It's a bit slow in places, but the last half picks up considerably and Kenner writes interesting characters.
My only problem with the story is the lack of exploration into Kate's past. You don't even find out how or why her first husband died. Also, Kate was an orphan raised by the Vatican. Sounds terribly interesting right? Well too bad, because Kenner doesn't explore this at all.
The good news is that the ending is very open-ended. Sure the conflict is resolved, but one gets the impression that it might not stay resolved indefinitely. Kenner turning this book into a series seems a likely possibility - but we'll see if it happens.
All in all, quite fun.