Carol. 's Reviews > A Devil in the Details

A Devil in the Details by K.A. Stewart
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Jun 17, 12

bookshelves: male-lead, urban-fantasy
Read on June 12, 2012


Overall, a decent UF read, but not one that hits that reading nerve center with a zing of happiness. This is a light, fluffy read, about as far from sinister as it gets. There's a house, a wife, a child; a day job at a goth shop, and a desperate need to come up with mom's birthday present before Saturday.

Here's the problem with me and urban fantasy demons:

Evil.

I believe in it.

Most fantasy books can't do it justice. I'm from Wisconsin and we have had serial killers and senators who have demonstrated greater evil than any demon in most books, including this one. This is one of those times where I just can't get into a story because I'm stuck on the underlying mechanics. It's not really Stewart's fault; I had the same problem with the demon-hunting soccer mom series.

In "A Devil," there's a neighborhood demon that hangs around the protagonist, apparently hoping to offer him a soul-snatching deal at a weak moment. He animates small animals and leaves them dead when he's departs. He plays a mean game of chess. When he's particularly vicious, he (view spoiler) Sure, his eyes flash red. But wait! Thankfully, there are other, really scary demons, one that resembles a scorpion, and one that appears like a hellhound. Sure, they try and kill the hero. They also screw with people's contracts. But that's what demons do, and there isn't much that is ominous about that set-up. Add to the fact that the hero categorizes demons as "Snot," "Scuttle" "Shirt" and "Skin," and it makes for lackluster tension-building. (I'm hearing Paul Reubens and Kristy Swanson in the background in the original Buffy). Demons should be more noir, or else stay away from them. There's so much real evil around; this almost makes light of it. Maybe that's the point? To be taken on a tiny parking lot roller coaster, given a couple up and down bumps and then brought back to baseline and go on my merry way?

I know werewolves, vampires and mermaids aren't real, which is why it is interesting to see how people integrate them into the urban setting. They are the modern folklore that speaks to the magic and the mysterious in our lives. I don't even mind demons if they are truly hellish, because it gives us a chance to confront evil. But this failed to tickle my funny or scary bone (located somewhere about C5).
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Like that stupid teacup ride...yeah? So?

Makes me grumpy to get screamus interruptus.


Carol. Richard wrote: "Like that stupid teacup ride...yeah? So?

Makes me grumpy to get screamus interruptus."


Wow, I have no idea how I missed this comment, but exactly yes, Richard.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways I miss comments all the time, Carol. I've quit complaining to the PTB about it because there's never any response.


Snarktastic Sonja I gotta say I love the comparison of serial killers and senators . . .

I also believe in Evil. I think this is one of the problems I have with UF - glamorizing things I believe are evil.

I keep reading though . . .


Carol. Agree, Sonja. It takes talent to walk that line between minimizing the seriousness and sensationalizing it. It's probably why I unconsciously avoid the angel/demon theme books.


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