If you were dying, and you were asked if you wanted a risky experimental surgery to save your life, would you do it? What if the surgery involved a demon’s heart?
Publisher’s Description: I’m one of those disgruntled millennials you’ve heard about on the evening news. I’ve got a master’s degree in Art History, a mountain of student loan debt and no job to show for it.
Wait, scratch that. I track down stolen pieces of art for wealthy clients and then beat whoever stole them to within an inch of their life. Say what you will, but it puts bread on the table.
Something went wrong with this last job of mine, though. I walked in on something I wasn’t supposed to see and got murdered by witches. Yeah, real, legit witches. Never saw that one coming, did you? Neither did I, and the only reason I’m writing this is because some doctor working for an ancient secret society decided it would be a good idea to use me as a science experiment.
See, he implanted a new heart in me and saved my life, but it wasn’t just any old heart. It was a demon’s heart. Nifty, eh?
Anyhow, I’m back and better than ever, except that, now and then, the demon takes over completely and I do awful things. Lose control. But enough about that. This is a story about how I (mostly) rein in the demon’s impulsive personality and seek revenge against the coven of witches that tried to kill me. Along the way, I learn a thing or two about this secret society I’m apparently now a member of and find out that there’s a lot of shit out there that goes “bump” in the night.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers. *BEWARE*
Nervous Nellie says…
Wow. This was a great book. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I started this book, but it was non-stop action until the end. This story did not have any sex. There was plenty of violence but nothing too graphic. There was no cliffhanger.
Lucian is kind of a jerk. I won’t lie and say he’s super cool because he’s not. He’s basically a thug that “repossesses” items for the uber rich. He’s just looking for a fast buck and really doesn’t care much about the whys or wherefores. He just wants the payday.
Then the demon heart happened.
The next thing Lucian knew, he was thrown into an A-Team situation where he had the temperament of a spoiled prom queen and the power of… well… a demon.
Not sure that’s a good idea, but the witch coven that is super evil is sacrificing children to work their magic. It’s up to Lucian and his Scorpion-like team to stop their end game.
By the end of the book, I got to liking Lucian a little better. That’s good writing right there. The author took a character from slug to hero in two hundred pages. I am looking forward to the next book, Roaring Blood, as it is waiting for me in my TBR pile.
Quickly, I’d like to address the narrator. Sometimes you get really crappy narrators that can’t fit their character no matter what. Not this guy. His spin on Lucian Colt was awesome. He captured Lucian’s whiny, spoiled attitude and then helped him along his way to self-realization and becoming a better guy. Super narrator. I’ll listen to him again, no questions asked!
This is the final book in the Soul Dance Series. Shifters, Romani, and Celtic gods do battle with demons and vampires who have signed on with Hitler in order to save Earth.
I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.
Publisher’s Description: Long before Germany rounded up Romani and sent them to prison camps, the Netherlands declared them undesirables. Yara’s caravan disbanded when she was fifteen to avoid being driven out of the country. Ten years have passed, and she’s been alone for most of that time hiding in caves and abandoned buildings. It’s been a lonely life, but at least she still has one.
Stewart conceals his true identity for the best of reasons. He’s not actually Romani, even though he’s been a caravan leader for many years. In a bold and desperate move, he joins a small band of shifters and Rom to fight the Reich’s chokehold on Europe. When they’re crossing the border into the Netherlands, vampires attack.
Yara senses Romani near her cave. The stench of vampire comes through loud and clear too, along with shifters. While not nearly as bad as vampires, her people have always steered clear of them. Another type of magic plucks at her. She can’t identify it, but it draws her from her hiding place. That decision tilts her world on its axis when she comes face to face with Stewart’s raw masculinity and savage presence. She could still turn tail and run. If she stays, it doesn’t require magical ability to recognize her life will change forever.
Luna Lovebooks says…
I am almost sad that this series is ending. I was not sure at first, but it became one I greatly enjoyed. For Tarnished Journey we leave behind the vampires and Nazis (for the most part) and get into another mythos, that of the Celts. I enjoyed that aspect a little more than I did the previous novels.
I love that the author features strong women in her stories. Yara is no exception. She has had to be tough and independent since her caravan disbanded and she has been alone since she was fifteen. Meeting Stewart changes everything for her. He introduces her to a new life and reveals many secrets that have been kept from her such as where her power really comes from. I really enjoyed the romance between them. Stewart is very honest with her and genuine in expressing his love. Even though Yara fights him at first, their love had me rooting for them.
There is a lot of action in the story and many twists. Readers never know what to expect next as the characters encounter all kinds of danger. Not only do they face vampires demons and the Nazis but now god and goddesses are thrown into the mix.Every chapter the characters face a new and exciting danger.
I liked this story better than the previous installments. I give it 4 talismans!
Our reviews in this series…
I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.
Publisher’s Description: Demon summoner Kara Gillian is on the wrong side of the law, and there’s evidence to prove it. Too bad the courts don’t accept “fighting demonic forces” as justification for murder and mayhem.
Yet Kara has problems that go way beyond her legal woes. When the enemy demonic lords spur their human accomplices into high gear, master summoner Katashi aggressively pursues their goal to establish a permanent gate between Earth and the demon realm. To hell with the consequences for humanity.
The line between ally and enemy blurs as Kara gathers the remnants of her posse to prevent a devastating demonic incursion, but a shattered trust may cost them the war and put Kara behind bars. With treachery rife, and her loved ones in danger, Kara must call upon the essence of who she truly is in order to rally back from a crushing loss.
And if she can’t, the world is going straight to hell.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).
Nervous Nellie says…
”You are going to straight up sh*t a cat sideways.” OR “Rednecks vs. Demons”
Main characters: ♥♥♥♥♥ Kara Gillian is still recovering from the horrendous devastation that happened in the last book when the Mraztur tried to create a permanent gate between worlds. She is attempting to avoid being implicated in Faroche’s murder and keep the people she loves safe. She is also trying to re-establish the bond between herself and Mzatal. Mzatal is trying to keep the plexus in the demon world from blowing apart because if the demon world collapses, so does the human world.
Other characters: ♥♥♥♥♥ Pellini is quite a focal character in this story. It’s amazing what we learn. The Qzatal are all involved in more manipulation and furthering their own agendas–uh, duh, that’s what they do; they are demons. Szerain has broken free of Ryan and appears to have left Zach to fade away into nothingness after all Zach had done for Szerain. Idris figures out his relation with Kara–which I am sure will come into play further along in the next book. Rhyzkahl (the ass) has lost his ptarl (Zach) and is now nearly powerless. He is still his devious self, but his stalkerish obsession with Kara is still at the forefront of this mind and the story. If he could just manipulate her just right… his plans would materialize.
World: ♥♥♥♥♥ The contemporary world and the demon world are very well defined. The places are described in detail. and sometimes. the pictures are so vivid in my head, it’s just like a movie. The terminology is a little daunting, but if you’ve read all of the Kara Gillian books, you are more likely to understand–plus, if you are stuck, the author provides a nice little index that can help you research this world. Kara’s arcane power, the potency of the nexus, the stabilization of the plexus that keeps both worlds from being destroyed, are all linked together. Everything has a meaning and all is wrapped up in mystery and secrets.
Story: ♥♥♥♥♥ Another betrayal. This one didn’t hurt me as much as the one a few books back, maybe because I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that no one is who they seem to be, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot predict the endings to these stories. There are a few questions answered as more information is released and more information is held back to taunt us. There is a hugely emotional scene between Mzatal and Kara (yes, I admit I cried for them and the sacrifices that they have to make) that I bookmarked because the writing was so very good. The only thing that is keeping me holding on to this series is the fact that the scene in question is so heart-wrenchingly hard to bare that Kara and Mzatal HAVE to be rewarded in the end. They just HAVE to be! Zach and Jill’s child is born, and she will be a force that the author tends to leave open-ended as to whether or not she is good or evil (Yes! Yes! I remember they are demons! *echoing words from Ivana’s warning*). Szerain appears to be manipulating Zach, though I’m not sure if it’s voluntary or not. They could have a plan they hatched out within the last 15 years. To do what? I don’t know… foil the evil demons… wait… they are demons. Crap. Well, then, Zach could be coerced by Szerain into doing what he does so his family is left in peace? Do demons even know what peace is? Mzatal and Szerain could be working together to get the Qzatal to abandon their plans. There are endless scenarios, and we could play this game all day long. There is more reference to the twelfth demon lord. Is it Zach’s child? Is it Kara? Again, game. All day long. The only hint that we may have is “The twelfth is a radical game changer…”
Overall: ♥♥♥♥♥ This was a one-sitting book. I started it and could not stop, even though I kept telling myself ‘only one more chapter’. Those of you who, like me, need to know about the ending will appreciate that there isn’t EXACTLY a cliffhanger, but the story does end so it may be picked up in the next book. There are so many schemes on top of plots, with intricate maneuvering running underneath. This series is a series that is really worth reading. It’ll have you pondering it well after you have finished with the last page and it’ll have you coming back for more because whether you like it or not, you’ll just HAVE TO know!
If you like this book…
Kate Connor is your average, everyday mom with two kids, a husband, and one very big secret … she used to be a Demon Hunter. Now retired, she’s more interested in the domestic than the demonic. So when she catches sight of a demon in Wal-Mart, she tells herself it’s some other Hunter’s problem. But when that demon attacks her in her kitchen, retirement is no longer an option…
Warner Brothers Television has optioned the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom (DHSM) series for the CW Network! To celebrate, for a limited time, you can get the first five books in Julie Kenner’s Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series for only $.99! The Trouble With Demons collection includes:
Though I am not a mom, let alone a soccer mom, I really enjoyed this series. The balancing of the mundane with the supernatural and the attempt to keep such a massive secret makes for really good storytelling. The characters are fantastic — I particularly love Laura, the clued-in best friend; Kate’s daughter, Allie; and Eddie, the adopted “grandpa” and retired demon hunter. The cast of characters in this series is really great.
This is another series I could have erroneously dismissed as “fluff,” but it’s really not. Balancing our responsibilities in life — during the good times and the bad — is something everyone can relate to, regardless of what your “demons” may be. This series not only pokes some fun at the life of a stay-at-home mom, but it also deals with divorce and remarriage, divided loyalties, death, and those slow descents into darkness. Do you protect your children from badness, or prepare them for what is inevitable? What happens when you share your darkest secrets with someone you love? How do you survive when doing the right thing brings your world down around you? These are not “fluff” questions at all.
The only thing about this series that makes me sad is that not all of the books come in an audio format. Only two of the books are available on Audible.com; I haven’t checked any of the other audiobook store sites, though. I found the first four on CD at my local library. But the first four are the only ones recorded. The narrator, Laura Hicks, does such a great job with these books that I actually prefer them in audio, to be honest. I’ve spoken to the author twice about this, and she agrees it would be great to get the rest of the books in audio. Now that she’s self-publishing the books, maybe she can chat with Audible Studios and see what can be done? <hint hint> 😉
UPDATE: All the audios have been rerecorded, are narrated by Carly Robins, and are available on Amazon. They sound AMAZING!
I’m very eager to see what this series will look like on television. I started watching I, Zombie on the CW recently and can see the DHSM series looking something like that. I think it will be a fun series to see on the screen.