Author: Julie Kenner
No. of Pages: 307
First Released: July 2005
Synopsis (Courtesy of Joseph-Beth Booksellers): “Lots of women put their careers aside once the kids come along. Kate Connor, for instance, hasn’t hunted a demon in ages.
That must be why she missed the one wandering through the pet food aisle of the San Diablo Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he managed to catch her attention an hour later-when he crashed into the Connor house, intent on killing her.
Now Kate has to clean up the mess in her kitchen, dispose of a dead demon, and pull together a dinner party that will get her husband elected to County Attorney-all without arousing her family’s suspicion. Worse yet, it seems the dead demon didn’t come alone…
It’s time for Kate Connor to go back to work.”
Comments and Critique: My first thought while reading this is that I miss Buffy. Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains one of my favorite television shows ever. Carpe Demon initially caught my eye because someone prefaced their description of the book by stating that it was as if Buffy had grown up and gotten married. That one sentence was enough for me, and I was not wrong.
As you can imagine when discussing a book about a retired demon hunter who now happens to be a mother, the book is meant to be what it is: light, carefree, fun and yet suspenseful. Ms. Kenner makes women everywhere thankful that we do not have to add “hunt demons” to our own to-do lists, and yet, we sympathize with Kate as she struggles to find balance in her shifting world. I personally adore how Ms. Kenner shows motherhood – the constant worry offset by doing the best we can to keep sanity at bay, the very unglamorous aspects of motherhood, and the occasional use of television as a babysitter. Mothers everywhere can relate, even if we do not have murderous demons jumping out at us when we least expect them.
There was a surprisingly strong religious note to the book. In hindsight, demons and faith tend to go together, but in my experience, most authors do not include demons and a strong faith in God together in the same book. I wonder why that is, now that I think about it, for I did not find the discussion a turn-off. For, if you understand that demons are metaphors for the world’s evils, then Ms. Kenner is just enforcing the need for faith.
Carpe Demon is a quick read, one I thoroughly enjoyed. I found myself chuckling at Kate’s plight but completely understanding her need to protect her family and friends. Mothers everywhere do the same thing each and every day, just not against high demons or hell hounds. In Kate, Ms. Kenner has a character to which most mothers can relate. I, for one, am definitely interested in reading the sequel. And if I happen to reminisce about Buffy, then so much the better!
This book fulfills another selection for the 100+ Reading Challenge, the Read ‘n Review Challenge, the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge, the Buy 1 Book and Read It Challenge, and the Women Unbound Challenge. As for the FTC, I spent my own money to acquire this one.