Touch of a Demon ~ Diana Rowland

  • Title: Touch of a Demon 
  • Author: Diana Rowland
  • Series: Kara Gillian #5
  • Genre: UF, PNR
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  Kara Gillian is in some seriously deep trouble.

She’s used to summoning supernatural creatures from the demon realm to our world, but now the tables have been turned and she’s the one who’s been summoned. Kara is the prisoner of yet another demonic lord, but she quickly discovers that she’s far more than a mere hostage. Yet waiting for rescue has never been her style, and Kara has no intention of being a pawn in someone else’s game.

There’s intrigue to spare as she digs into the origin of the demonic lords and discovers the machinations of humans and demons alike. Kara is shocked to discover that she has her own history in the demon realm, and that the ties between her and the demonic lords Rhyzkahl and Szerain go back farther than she could have ever imagined. But treachery runs rampant among all the lords, and she’s going to have to stay sharp in order to keep from being used to further their own agendas. The lords have a secret that dates back to earth’s ancient history, and it could have devastating repercussions for both worlds.

Yet more than anything else, Kara’s abilities as a homicide detective will be put to the test—because this time the murder she has to solve is her own.

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  Of the books in the Kara Gillian series, this one is by far the best. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the story as I went along but the ending clarified my feelings.

Kara Gillian is a summoner of demons. We’re not talking about the kind of demons that steal souls and take innocents into the bowels of hell. These demons are beings that live in another world like Earth but magic is a part of life rather than an mystery shrouded in fables. In the past year, since Kara made her first successful summoning of a high level demon, life has been thrown into a whirlwind of danger, bursts of joy, twinges of uncertainty and wild passionate ride with a demonic lord. Just when she didn’t think it could get worse, Kara’s is yanked into the demon’s world and bound by more than a magic nullifying collar. With each answer rises more questions and everything Kara knows is pushed beyond all limits, shattering everything she is and far beyond anything she knows.

Kara.

Here.

Now I’m going to ramble my thoughts that I had here and there as I read the series to date. My impressions, thoughts and else that have been met by the story or left to wallow in sandpit misery. Power play is a strong element in the story and I’m not sure how I feel about it. There are elements of master, slave, punishment, glory and more that come across cleanly in parts and muddled in others.

Kara Gillian. Pah! I love strong characters. It doesn’t matter if it’s female, male, animal, alien, demon, fairies or whatever! I totally love strong characters that strive ardently in their endeavors. A lot of my friends that have read this series love Kara and think of her as an excellent, strong character. Ehh. To me, Kara is a passive character that reacts to situations and her environs rather than being proactive and aggressive. She’s a lead who isn’t very special except for two things:

1. Her strength as a summoner is unknown and greater than any expected.
2. An element of Elinor is meshed in her “essence” or soul.

She’s a cop with decent instincts and a desire to help victims and put away the bad guys. However, she can’t fight or shoot well, she’s not a techie, her social skills aren’t mentionable, she’s out of shape, she’s not information savvy or knowledgeable, does not read people well, fairly naive with a cynic’s twist and absolutely loves to run away from anything that involves feelings. I don’t care that she has sex with whoever. I can go with the low self-image and a lot of other things. Yet, there are elements I want clearer answers for. Ok. She’s been sexually abused as a child during foster care and that helped to fuck her up enough to become closed in and rebellious. It left her open to taking any affection offered. Awkward social skills but a kind heart makes her friends but she doesn’t realize when people like her and respect her as a person. Thrown on top of that is a crazy sexual relationship she has with Rhyzkahl, falling in love with bound Szerain, attracted to any male that’s good looking and diving head first into an intimate “I’m not in love with you but this is more than love” relationship with Mzatal.

Okay, steamy sex is steamy sex and who doesn’t like a good looking person? However, it is mind boggling that Kara experiences all these things but doesn’t really try to figure out why other than to accept it as something right. Forgive me if I think it’s damned weird for her to have a beyond love sexual relationship with Mzatal. That’s messed up! There’s not enough for Kara to fall in love with Szerain either but she is. If she’s learned anything, I would say she should have learned that being phenomenally attracted is not the same as love or safety. It would be nice if that comes across a little clearer.

The ending of this book saved Kara as a character for me. She FINALLY started to think and make decisions. Although, they are done based on feelings that she doesn’t have a whole lot to base anything on. I would have been okay with her dying at the end of the three blades but it’s better that she didn’t. I’m glad she had a quick run home to see all of her loved ones before going back to become strong enough to stand against those who seek to harm her or her family.

There’s not enough clues or reasons to show why Rhyzkahl is acting the way he is or the choices that he’s making. The glimpses into his mind are few and utterly vague beyond belief. I hope that gets cleared up.

I was okay with whatever would happen to Kara relationship wise. I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt somewhat betrayed when Rhyzkahl throws Kara beneath his knife. Although it wasn’t totally unexpected as a twist for me but that doesn’t mean I had to like it! I used to not care if Ryan/Szerain ends up as her love of loves, but now I don’t want it. I’d rather she finds strength in herself and choose to be alone or fall in love with someone else. Kara is not Elinor. Elinor’s ghost shouldn’t be a part of what happens to Kara or who she ends up with.

Giovanni! Need more on that guy and how he ended up dying. It sure does look like he was the one Elinor was in love with even if she lost her virginity with Rhyzkahl and also had sex with Szerain. What’s up with that? With the time period Elinor came from, it’s highly unlikely for a maiden to spread her legs for every dude.

Idris is Tessa’s kid! Woo! I figured that one out. Yay me. I hope I’m right.

Oh, Kara being a super conductor with little to no control makes me want to gag in classic eye rolling, “Really?!” Glad she’s going to study her flabby butt off and become more of a magic welding warrior princess.

I still hate the fact that her accent and style of speech is inconsistent! Every character has a voice that’s pretty clear. Like the way Zack sounds when he’s being his FED persona vs his real demonic formal speech. Jill and Tessa always talk like themselves. Everyone in the book has a style of speech be it mental or vocal. Why can’t Kara’s be consistent too?!?! It was the most consistent in book three.

It would also be nice if Kara didn’t cuss quite so much but she’s always cussing when she’s emotional and there are not that many moments when she’s not emotional.

I like the twists and interlocking webs of actions, deceits and more. First impressions don’t count high on the list of believability and the Lords’ honor system is more wacked than a sororities. Above all, my favorite characters are the other demons that make the world work. The silly games that come out in spontaneous spurts. The phase where Kara is taken away from Mzatal to heal was a really great sequence of events.

There’s a ton of potential for this world and characters. I hope it lives to be much more than my hopes! Can’t wait for the publication date for the next book to be released.

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