Written by: Beth Woodward, CC2K Books Editor
Diana Rowland’s Touch of the Demon, the fifth book in her Kara Gillian series, contains twists and turns aplenty, as well as at least one revelation that will leave longtime fans of the series reeling. It’s arguably the strongest book in the series so far. But one plot development left me feeling a bit disappointed, and tempered my enjoyment of the book a little.
The summary, courtesy of Diana Rowland’s website:
Kara Gillian is in Seriously Deep Trouble.
She’s used to summoning supernatural creatures from the demon realm to our world, but now she’s the one who’s been summoned. Kara is the prisoner of the demonic Lord Mzatal, but quickly discovers that she’s far more than a mere hostage. He has his own plans to use Kara and keep her from Rhyzkahl-the demonic lord she is sworn to serve. However, waiting for rescue has never been Kara’s style, and she has no intention of being a pawn in someone else’s game.
Yet intrigue and treachery run rampant amongst all lords, and Kara is hard pressed to keep her wits about her. Her abilities as a homicide detective are put the the test as she seeks the truth about FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff, Rhyzkahl, and herself. But, the answers she finds only raise more questions. She soon discovers that she has her own history in the demon realm-one that goes back farther than she could have ever imagined. But that history may yet spell her doom as she’s faced with a peril beyond mortal comprehension.
The Kara Gillian series follows a 30ish police detective who summons demons in her spare time. In the first book, she accidentally summons a demonic lord named Rhyzkahl and ends up becoming his sworn summoner and friend-with-benefits. Since then, she’s been drawn deeper and deeper into demon world. As such, bringing Kara herself into the demon realm seems a natural progression.
Kara’s time in the demon realm was a little bit confusing, at first. There were a lot of new characters introduced, and I found myself missing my old favorite characters—primarily FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff, who harbors secrets of his own. But Big Important Things Happen, things that will change the way I see certain characters, and Kara herself, forever. We also get to learn a lot more about Ryan and his connection to the demon realm. This is a game-changing book for the series, and Rowland consistently delivers.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the introduction of another love interest for Kara. I have, up until this point, been very invested in the Kara/Ryan/Rhyzkahl dynamic. But what started out as a love triangle has now become, in essence, a love pentagon. This may work for some people, but it just cheapened it for me.
But this is just a minor—and very personal—quibble with what was otherwise a very strong book. If you’re a fan of the Kara Gillian series, Touch of the Demon won’t disappoint. If you haven’t read the books yet, I suggest you start at the beginning (Mark of the Demon) and work your way forward from there.