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Kara Gillian #2

Blood of the Demon

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The serial killer known as the Symbol Man has been dealt with, the demonic lord Rhyzkahl is no longer invading her dreams, and Detective Kara Gillian is doing her best to get her life back to normal after being kind of dead for a while.

Unfortunately, there's little about Kara's life that is ever normal or simple. As a skilled summoner of demons, she's hoping to use her arcane abilities to retrieve her aunt's essence and restore it to her body. But when Kara discovers that FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff is somehow known to the demonkind--and not in a good way--old doubts surface and new problems emerge. Moreover, her investigations into the deaths of several seemingly unrelated victims reveal disturbing links to the arcane, with unsettling similarities to her own situation.

But matters get more complicated when she discovers other links between the victims, leading her into a morass of political corruption. And it doesn't help that Rhyzkahl has asked her to be his own summoner, a commitment that could have quite a few advantages and plenty of pitfalls. Politics--whether among humans or demons--is a dangerous game with very high stakes, and Kara is learning that lesson the hard way.

369 pages, Paperback

First published February 23, 2010

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About the author

Diana Rowland

24 books2,832 followers
Diana Rowland worked as a bartender, a blackjack dealer, a pit boss, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant, which means that she's seen a lot of weird crap. She won the marksmanship award in her Police Academy class, has a black belt in Hapkido, has handled numerous dead bodies in various states of decomposition, and can't rollerblade to save her life.

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5 stars
3,254 (33%)
4 stars
4,021 (41%)
3 stars
1,898 (19%)
2 stars
329 (3%)
1 star
89 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 408 reviews
Profile Image for Alisha.
204 reviews97 followers
June 2, 2010
Unlike book 1 (Mark of the Demon), I had no doubt in my mind when it came time to assign a rating to this book. It was a solid piece of paranormal detective fiction.

Speaking of which. I give it the classification of "paranormal detective fiction," but I must say, the main mystery of the book is heavier on the "detective" part than the "paranormal" (for the most part, that is). The biggest paranormal element of the book--and the series, for that matter--comes from Kara Gillian's being a demon summoner. This means that she is exposed to lots of the preternatural, but it's something that is not known to the public at large. That said, the main mystery is very well laid out with plenty of clues and some good red herrings to keep one guessing. I didn't "figure it out" until I was quite close to the resolution...a good sign, in my view. :o)

And Ms. Rowland knows her forensics! Some of the more fascinating (albeit creepy) scenes involve the medical examiner and crew. Lots of attention is paid to accuracy and detail, and it pays off in quality.

I didn't want to alter the book description listed in the book data above, since it's the one provided by the publisher. But I have to point out that the description is not quite accurate. The main misrepresentation is the fact that Kara does not spend the book being Rhyzkahl's personal summoner: rather, she tries to decide whether she wants to be such, after Rhyzkahl makes the offer very early on in the book. And I suppose it's worth mentioning that this whole "demon" notion as portrayed in the book is not "heaven and hell" related, but rather from another dimension. Like an Otherworld of sorts. But anywho. I digress.

This (presently "most recent") installment of the series has less sensuality overall than did the first book. I'm perfectly fine with this, not because of an aversion to it (quite the contrary!), but because I felt the first book added the element rather randomly and inexplicably. The progression of the romantic element here is slower, more deft and believable. Ms. Rowland takes her time developing the relationships this time.

That all said...I still feel fairly disconnected from the character Lord Rhyzkahl. It's clear enough that there's meant to be a love triangle developing that includes him, but he's still such an unknown; and I'm not talking "Barrons-from-Fever-series" mysterious, here. ^__^ It's like the reader (and Kara, for that matter) is being told to invest in- and respond to this character, without any discernible reasoning as to why. I want to feel something for him--affinity, dislike, ambiguity, anything--but it's tough.

Overall, I really dug this book, particularly the "mystery" elements. I'd gladly recommend it to others who like UF. I get the feeling that the author is really focusing on the overall development of the series... it's clearly building up to some great stuff, and I can't wait to continue following along.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,807 reviews456 followers
January 11, 2011
Is it bad that I root for the Demon on this one?
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,907 followers
October 31, 2017
I see character development on the rise.

I mean, sure, it's fun and all to come back from the dead, deal with a co-worker's murder/suicide, get courted by one the kings of hell (or whatever PC version you want to call it since demons aren't really evil, they're just morality-challenged), or just try to live your life without having to use the arcane version of Google because the price is just too high.

Or is it?

Despite everything, Kara seems to be hanging on by her fingernails as she explores the wide world of human and demon politics. Honestly, I don't really see that much difference. It *IS* a shame that she isn't getting a few unexpected powerups other than the occasional help from her demon lover's yes men, but she's still trying to find her way. A few tidbits of skills from hell does seem to be helping her a bit.... oh wait... she's on the arc I expected. :)

Fun stuff! Demons and Detectives for the romantic win! Now if only we could get rid of that third wheel Ryan... :)

Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 28 books128k followers
January 7, 2012
I forgot this series, EEP! I downloaded them all, including the newest one, so I'll be caught up by Monday. REALLY ENJOY THIS! I think there are MANY Urban Fantasy heroines who feel forced, who are just tough because the genre says they need to be tough, and insecure because the genre SAYS they should be. I really like this main character because I believe that she just IS those things. And the demon world she's built is REALLY interesting, I think the lore is well thought-out without getting too complicated, and I'm interested to learn more and more about how it works.

The only thing I'm not crazy about is the dude Ryan, I don't see why he's a good love triangle interest, he's kind of not yummy and he gets in the way of demon lovin', so I would love to uninvite him to the party, but maybe fun stuff is in store for the future. There are some hinting secrets of future books that might make me not as Ryan-ickish. We'll see. Definitely love this series though, detective + demon summoning = winner.
Profile Image for Denisa.
1,178 reviews286 followers
January 7, 2020
The story from this book? Meh.
The overall plot though... that's a different story!

We finally get to know more about everyone (but it's definitely not enough, still). It made me curious about what comes next, so I'm sticking to this series.

Yeah, the main char has her moments of weakness .
Still, it's fun and I like it. Worth continuing.

P.S. this book is HOT! Unexpected in an UF, so yay, something new here!
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books695 followers
October 22, 2016
Woo-hoo! That was a fun ride.

This second installment of the Kara Gillian series takes things up another notch, with the growth of our title character. What I really like about the way Diana Rowland chose to move Kara’s arc forward is that she didn’t opt to make our heroine more powerful. In most urban fantasies, that’s how things go. The heroine gets more uber-awesome with every book. But here, instead of expanding Kara’s powers, Rowland expands her understanding of the world around her, filling in the readers at the same time.

After the events of the last book, Kara is still reeling from everything that happened. She died and came back to life. She has an uncertain connection to Rhyzkahl. She has questions about Ryan… and her aunt is in a coma. It’s been a few weeks and now Kara must return to work, just in time for a questionable murder-suicide involving a fellow cop. That would be bad enough on its own, but the officer’s essence has been ripped away, showing a clear link to the arcane. And he’s only the first victim.

Kara needs to figure out how to get her aunt’s spirit back in her body at the same time she needs to solve her arcane related cases. And she has to do it without her mentor helping her. What’s a girl to do except seek a little demon knowledge, right? But demons don’t work for free. Kara has to decide whether Rhyzkahl‘s price is worth paying to get the answers she needs.

The mystery here is well done. I really enjoyed watching Kara unravel it all. It has a paranormal edge, yes, but she connects most of the dots with good police work and intelligence. I like the fact that her skills as a cop are every bit as important as her skills in the arcane. It’s even more impressive when you think about what a mess her life is and all the other stressors she has working against her.

I’ll admit to being kind of lukewarm on Rhyzkahl and Ryan in book 1, but here, I am so much more intrigued by them both. Obviously, I don’t really see Rhyzkahl as a love interest, but Rowland has set these guys up to be so enigmatic and charismatic, I just want more, more, more of them both!

I appreciate that despite her summoning skills, Rowland makes Kara really feel like an every-woman kind of character. She worries about her weight. She hates going to the gym. She gets lonely. She struggles with her self-esteem. And she makes some questionable choices. But I forgive her because Rowland makes me understand the feelings that drive her actions. I really felt more invested in her this time around, and more connected to her romantic struggles.

This is a really good blend of police procedural and urban fantasy, with just enough of a romantic element to satisfy me. I am so glad I started this series.

Rating: B+
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,370 reviews920 followers
November 15, 2015
The second installation in the Kara Gillian series made me just as excitable as the first. I absolutely love love love this series. Did I mention I love this series? I don’t know WHAT it is about this series but I love absolutely everything about it. This is me, reading this series:

In ‘Blood of the Demon’ Kara is investigating a series of suicides where the individuals essence wasn’t released from their body the way a normal death would; their essence appeared to have been ripped forcibly from their body and Kara can’t figure out why or who could have done this. Rhyzkahl has requested that Kara be his ‘summoner’ where she would have access to his power and knowledge, she would just be required to summon him often. Kara begins realizing that there is in fact more than meets the eye with Ryan; but he’s not being as forth coming with information as she would like him to be. Kara’s Aunt Tessa remains in a coma as a result of the Symbol Man’s last summoning with her essence seemingly lost. Without her Aunt, Kara is left to learn on her own and it’s really awesome to see her grow as a summoner in this book.

The one irritating factor I had with the book which resulted in the 4 stars (since I still really liked it) was the Ryan and Kara relationship. I have wanted Ryan and Kara to be together from the very beginning. I LOVE those two. So. This is an adult novel; however, when Kara denies the fact that Ryan likes her, when Kara gets jealous at Ryan for lame ass things, or when Ryan does something but Kara justifies it in her mind as him being ‘just a friend’, I feel as if I’ve stepped into a Young Adult novel. And trust me; if I wanted to read a YA novel type relationship I’ve got plenty of books to satisfy that. But here I am reading a nice Adult novel and I feel like I’ve stepped into the YA Twilight Zone.

The ending? Ah! It made me go all ‘OMG Excited Cat’ all over again. Anyways, bottom line. You need to read this. I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s totally awesome and… well I love it. :D
Profile Image for Carmel (Rabid Reads).
706 reviews382 followers
August 7, 2015
I enjoy a good whodunnit murder mystery, and that's precisely what BLOOD OF THE DEMON was, but with a paranormal edge. I'm still not entirely sure what's up with Ryan (although I do have a few guesses), and the Rhyzkahl thing was inevitable, so even though Kara's path is a tad predictable there's still a sizable chunk of unknowns to keep listeners engaged. Liv Anderson is definitely a narrator that I would recommend, especially when paired with Diana Rowland's writing style.
Profile Image for Katie(babs).
1,806 reviews541 followers
March 8, 2010
Diana Rowland brings us back into the world of demonology and police mystery with Blood of the Demon, the sequel to her very enjoyable Mark of the Demon featuring Beaulac, Louisiana homicide detective Kara Gillian. Kara has the power to summon demons from another realm to help her on hard to solve supernatural murder cases. Kara is recovering from being on leave after a month. She died and was brought back to life after working a very dangerous case involving a serial killer called the Symbol Man. Her dear aunt Tessa, who taught Kara to summon demons, lies in a coma, and it looks like she won’t be coming out of it anytime soon. But life goes on for Kara and that means another murder to solve. Unfortunately this case deals with the death of a police officer she knows.

Brian Roth is found dead at his house in what looks like to be suicide by his gun. This gruesome sight doesn’t sit well with Kara not because of the way Brian killed himself or the note he left where he admits to killing his wife through kinky sex play gone wrong, but his essence, known better as his soul, is gone and has been violently ripped out of his body. This means someone has the power of the arcane, the ability to summon demons and use their powers for their own needs, just like Kara can. As Kara digs deeper, more bodies start piling up with missing essences. Included is Brian’s wife Carol, who is also found murdered, her essence torn from her body. These killings are all connected in ghastly ways and it is up to Kara to stop this killer.

Kara has more than a few friends to help her as backup. There’s Special Agent Ryan Kristoff who worked with Kara before on the Symbol Man murders. Ryan knows about the arcane and what Kara is capable of. They also have established a friendship that Kara wouldn’t mind taking to the next level. But Ryan doesn’t give her any signs, so she keeps her feelings to herself. Ryan has transferred down to Beaulac along with his partner Zack Garner,who Kara fondly thinks of more as a California surfer then special agent. Zack also knows about Kara’s powers and it seems Ryan has a secret ability, but isn’t willing to share it with her.

Not only does Kara have human support, but of another, more dangerous individual. His name is Rhyzkahl, a very powerful demon lord Kara summoned by mistake on her last case. Usually when a demon lord is summoned, the one who does the summoning doesn’t survive. Rhyzkahl let Kara live and has built a connection with her. When they first met, she ended up having mind blowing sex with him, which allowed him into entering her dreams. For some reason Rhyzkahl still appears in her dreams, even though this connection was severed. Kara knows she shouldn’t turn to Rhyzkahl for help, but he’s the only one who can give her answers. Plus, she gets a thrill whenever she’s with him. Unfortunately because Kara needs his help and he knows it, he wants something in return. Rhyzkahl wants her as his summoner, which is a kind of consort. He would come to her periodically, under a certain amount of restraints to keep him under control. Kara would have a whole new world of knowledge at her fingertips and a demon lord at her disposal, who not only can help her on tough to crack cases, but also give her pleasure as an extra incentive. And since Kara is lonely and a bit vulnerable, mainly because of Ryan’s disinterest, she’s open, but with some concerns.

Rhyzkahl has a plan and is very vague when answering Kara’s questions. And because of this, she becomes more indebted to him. Ryan becomes enraged when finds out how often Kara calls Rhyzkahl and how intimate they are. There’s one blazing hot demon sex scene where Rhyzkahl claims and plunders Kara. Her friendship with Ryan starts to crack. Kara wants that something more with Ryan, but he keeps her at arms length. Plus the need to summon is in her blood and it continues to build where she doesn’t want to stop. Kara is walking a fine line where she has no choice but to turn to other ways to catch this killer who consumes human souls where they may not be able to be stopped.

Blood of the Demon is an excellent page turner with a nice combination of paranormal suspense and crime fiction. Diana is very skilled at writing many twists and turns with a mystery that keeps you guessing until the very last page. So many characters in this story have secrets and Ryan has a big one. We are given bits and pieces at what he’s capable of, but nothing is certain or fully revealed in regards to him. Kara is pretty much an open book, a welcome observer for the reader. This is a woman who lives and breaths her job, but also has a very dangerous hobby that will most definitely lead to some perilous situations in the future. The way Diana ends things are thrilling and shocking. Kara can’t help herself and turns to Rhyzkahl. He manipulates things for his own enjoyment. This demon lord is a selfish one who has a bigger plan for Kara. But that plan is very much unknown. But because of Kara’s promise to Rhyzkahl, she has now been backed into a corner and he has more of a hold over her than ever before.

Many readers will be rooting for a stronger romance between Kara and Ryan, but again there’s Rhyzkahl who Kara should stay away from, but gives into her desire and needs. He’s somewhat ambiguous in his regard to her, but I do believe he cares for her. Ryan has a lot of work to do on his end to claim Kara’s heart, because at this moment Rhyzkahl is one up on him.

Diana has a great combination that appeals to many different types or readers. The way she has ended things with Blood of the Demon has me very anxious for the next release. This is one author, who has proven with her sophomore release, she isn’t a fluke and full of book win.
Profile Image for Mike Finn.
1,151 reviews31 followers
October 4, 2020
Engaging Police Procedural mystery amplified by the involvement of the demon realms and a well thought through system of magic.

'Blood Of The Demon' is the second book in Diana Rowland’s series about Kara Gillian, a Police Detective in Beaulac, Louisiana who has a talent for summoning demons. The novels are a mix of police procedural and a magic system involving summoning demons, beings from a parallel plane of existence, spiced a little bit of sexual frisson.

I read the first book. ‘Mark of the Demon’ back in 2014 and, although I enjoyed it, it didn’t light me up the way the Angel Crawford books did and it's taken me a while to get to the second book.

I thought this book was stronger than the first, mostly because there's a fairly complicated and engaging murder mystery to solve. Most of the book is straight police procedural made more complex by the involvement of demons of various kinds who Kara Gillian can't even tell anyone about.
The magic system is original and well thought through and there are hints that it will continue to evolve with the series.

The action scenes are very well done. The scene where Kara is in danger of drowning which was very vivid. The police procedural things are very down to earth and believable and the plot was complicated enough that it took quite a while to work out who had done what.

The only thing that didn't work for me was the scene where Kara has sex with the Demon Lord. It was so badly written, it made me reach for the fast forward on my audiobook. The sex wasn't gratuitous, it made sense both for the story and for the characters, but it read like amateur erotica. It was supposed to be a power exchange scene with the Demon Lord as the Dom and Kara as the willing Sub, except none of the participants, including the writer, seemed to have their hearts in it. If we'd had had the lead-up and the analysis afterwards with only a few words in between, not only would we not have mussed anything but I wouldn't have felt as if I'd wandered into a different novel for a while.
Profile Image for Ronda.
851 reviews123 followers
September 6, 2014
Another great book from Diana Rowland about Detective Kara Gillian and the mysteries of detective work and paranormal. I loved this!
Profile Image for Bunnycore.
462 reviews114 followers
July 1, 2017
The Good, The Bad, The Well

Let's begin..

The Good

we are learning more about Ryan, I mean there are still secrets but I am getting the know the FBI agent a little more. Kara is growing and well let's just say Rhyzkahl. He is just a sexy bad guy. Why not 4 or 5 stars you may ask? Well because of as much as I love these books. They start out slow and can't hold my attention for long. They turn out to be my side book. That is why. I love it but I don't 4 to 5 star love it. That is my deciding factor.

I love that Kara relies on her friends, she is smart and she tries so hard. I think that is cute, she is not used to having friends. People she can trust and rely on. I love that this book starts her off as a recluse and she is not breaking out of her shell. I think Rowland is doing an amazing job with this. I love that Kara is realizing that she may be falling for Ryan. I think that Ryan may be falling for Kara? I will buy the next book and there isn't any real reason for me to stop reading this series. So I will be moving on with Kara and the gang.

let's skip the bad shall we and move onto The Well

So the reason I am skipping The Bad Is that in my eyes there isn't anything that made me go WTF, Why? I actually enjoy Kara Gillian and I find no wrong with the exception that I turn into a squirrel when I read it and have to put it down and do other things. Well okay read other things and come back to it. I finish the books and I enjoy the plot and the characters. So no bad just the Well.........

Happy reading!
Profile Image for Rachel Joy.
421 reviews3 followers
April 18, 2017
I am totally falling in love with Ryan, and I really wish that Kara would catch up already.
Rowland is quite skilled in creating her own urban fantasy world in the swamps of southern Louisiana. I particularly enjoy the way she is taking her time with the relationship between Ryan and Kara, because what's the rush, right? We've got lots of time in the books to come to cultivate something truly meaningful and I am taking pleasure in the building up of anticipation and speculation.
I am enjoying this series so far and will continue on with the third.
Profile Image for İlkim.
1,378 reviews11 followers
March 28, 2018
Şehir dışına çıkınca bitiremedim ama seri gerçekten iyi gidiyor. Heralde sonraki kitaplarda işler hepten karışmaya başlayacak.
Profile Image for Angie.
889 reviews2 followers
April 12, 2012
Autant l'auteure prend son temps dans le 1er volume pour planter le décor, et l'ambiance, ici on rentre tout de suite dans le bain. L'univers est posé, et très bien traité. Rowland réussit à lui donner corps tout en alliant un mélange de lieux communs (absence de grande originalité dans la description des classes de "démons"), et de règles qu'elle tisse habilement avec sa griffe.

Alors que chez d'autres, les personnages sont stéréotypés, figés, et nous surprennent rarement au cours de leurs aventures, avec Kara on a une héroïne humble, simple et qui n'est pas dévorée par la vanité au point d'en devenir agaçante. Elle est en pleine formation, et par conséquent ne détient pas de pouvoirs ou connaissances absolus. D'ailleurs, elle n'hésite jamais à remettre en cause ses croyances, notamment en ce qui concerne la 1ère opinion qu'elle peut se faire sur les gens, étant piètre juge de caractère. Elle doute d'elle même, un peu trop peut être, mais ayant été pendant longtemps une solitaire, cela parait logique vu qu'elle n'avait pas grand monde pour lui renvoyer une image valorisante d'elle. Cela ne peut que la rendre aimable. Je suis conquise par sa petite personne, et déplore qu'il n'y en ait pas plus des comme elle.
Puis, son entourage aussi est agréable. On assiste à la formation de liens entre eux tout en découvrant en même temps qu'elle leur petite histoire, et plus lentement, leurs secrets. La dynamique de sa relation avec Ryan est mignonne, par contre, je n'apprécie pas encore comment elle se dévergonde avec Rhyzkahl. Jusqu'à ce que l'auteure invoque un jour une raison à ces scènes incongrues, elles me déplaisent, et ne s'inscrivent pas à mon avis dans la ligne de conduite de Kara.
[ Bien que la ressemblance soit légère, cela ne va pas sans me rappeler les rapports particuliers entre le couple Charley Davidson/Reyes de Darynda Jones, que j'apprécie beaucoup, et ne peux que recommander à ceux/celles qui ne connaissent pas encore cette série.
[book:First Grave on the Right|11357769]
Second Grave on the Left
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet ]

De même, je déplore un peu que les coupables soient si faciles à deviner. Cela m'ôte un peu une partie du fun, mais rien de trop méchant.

Cette série, qui ne laissait rien présager de bon de prime abord, me plait de plus en plus, et c'est avec un grand plaisir que je la poursuis dans l'attente de révélations très croustillantes.
Profile Image for Meigan.
1,107 reviews67 followers
September 9, 2015
Any reservations I had about not continuing on with this series are out the window. All of the misgivings I had with the first book in the series were totally forgiven with this book.

Kara Gillian is back to work after a month long LOA from her "death". She now has 2 homicides to work on, which (again!) both have arcane ties. Her aunt is still in a coma, and she needs to figure out how to get her essence back. Rhyzkahl is also back with a proposition for Kara.

This book had a more natural humor. My complaint with the previous book was that it felt forced and corny. Not so with this one. I loved the demon Kehlirik. He was hilarious with his excitement to ride in a U-Haul truck and use the telephone. Using "human" things will give him status and bragging rights in his realm. And I liked his new addiction to "pahpcahn". I actually giggled at that one. I also like that Ryan was back to brooding. He was no longer a giggling school girl, but he now has a layer of mystery. He has powers, one of which the reader gets to see, and I am anxious to see just how deep his powers go.

Another thing I love is the dynamic of Kara and Rhyzkahl's relationship. As a powerful demon lord, he has slaughtered people before without hesitation and without remorse, as demons don't really have human feelings. Kara has had sex with him and has on numerous occasions treated him like a person, swatting at his hand and whatnot. The danger lies in treating him like an average joe, because even Kara doesn't know what will provoke a demon lord to resort to killing. I really like the danger involved, it adds something exciting to the relationship.

I will definitely be moving on to book 3. This is the second in the Kara Gillian series, the first was Mark of the Demon. So far, there are 5 books available in the series with a 6th coming soon. I read somewhere (authors website maybe?) that this series will last through 8 or 9 installments. I look forward to reading them all.
Profile Image for Diane.
1,137 reviews32 followers
December 5, 2013
I wanted more Rhyzkal and more arcane demon action in general. It dragged a little with all the police procedural and I found it a little confusing when things were revealed. As a matter of fact, I'd say this isn't purely Urban Fantasy, but also Paranormal Mystery. Anyways, the first book was great, I like Kara, and I want to see what happens with Rhyz.
Profile Image for Regina.
625 reviews386 followers
April 11, 2014
I am having a lot of fun with this series. The characters are well written and wonderfully developed. The world is interesting and there is decent sexual tension. Oh, and the characters are not cookie cutter. I am mixed as to wishing I had started this series earlier and being thankful I have it to read right now. By the way, the audio is well done.
Profile Image for Melinda.
1,859 reviews18 followers
October 8, 2017
I am quite enjoying this series. Lots of police procedural detail, good plot lines and mystery, nice mix of paranormal, good world building and interesting characters. Lets see where book 3 takes us...
Profile Image for Lola.
67 reviews41 followers
February 22, 2010
Another case draws Kara Gillian in involving Brian, a narcotics detective, his supposed suicide and his wife. A second murder tells her there is more involved as both cases have their 'essences' consumed. Kara has the gift othersight and the ability to summon demons only a few knows. I liked the UF aspect and how the author knows her stuff without too many plot-holes, but draws more questions with so many things hinted but unanswered. There are definitely more we need to learn about, especially involving the next book.

I enjoyed reading from Kara's POV so far, she's a nice mix of being internally vulnerable and keeping up her tough image. Sometimes, I think she's frustrating, bitchy and just a tad immature when it comes to technicalities and selfishness. Kara is straddles the line of a good bitchy attitude and an annoying bitch. On the other hand, I like how she navigates through investigations, demons and just her general friendships and relationships. She's human and this shows when she struggles with the line between demons and humans. And the attraction with more-than-he-actually-seems FBI agent Ryan and the demon Lord Rhyzkahl. I'm glad that the relationship with Ryan progressed to friendship and maybe just a little more. I really loved him here. Ryan has skeletons in his closets and Kara won't push but there is something going on with him. Between them, Kara always manage to ruin a moment with her mouth and retaliates in an immature way always thinking, "why do I care about his approval/thoughts?" I have to admit, I do hate her sometimes when its moments like these and how she acts. It's frustrating.

There's a big sacrifice Kara does for Ryan, but even what she did pretty much pushes for people wanting Rhyzkahl and Kara together. It just got really complicated. Fans for Rhyzkahl would be happy. Me, I'm rooting for Ryan. Even Kara knows Rhyzkahl has an agenda going on involving something big and her. I guess the book moved things along and complicated more. The dynamics changed, everything for Kara's situation. There are some scenes that are just unbelievable and should have been focused on but were glossed over. Jill's involvement, a spoilerish one with the plot and two more. As for the supernatural part of the story, we definitely advance with more questions and knowledge on demon (which slightly scares me) and learn about Kara's world. Ms. Rowland knows her stuff; the world-building is fantastics. Summoning demons, the contracts, connections, powers, etc. More on suspense and action all together makes it great. Rowland knows when to leave hints, just enough action that doesn't exhaust the characters and readers, makes us wonder more on relationships and secrets. She also squeezed in time for characters to build (although I think Kara has yet to grow - only a bit in this book) with each other. I really liked the pace of the story without lingering or overloading too much.

Overall, I enjoyed the book but certain factors and Kara's immature bitchiness appearing at times made me rate it a 4 stars.
Profile Image for Wicked Lil Pixie (Natasha).
272 reviews60 followers
March 7, 2010
Blood of the Demon, the second book in the Kara Gillian series, follows Kara a Homicide Detective who also happens to be a Demon Summoner. This time around, Kara is still trying to find her Aunt Tessa’s missing “essence” which she “lost” in book one (Mark of the Demon). She is also trying to come to terms with dying & being saved by Demon Lord Rhyzkahl as well as her attraction to him which has been manifesting in her dreams. There is also something arcane going on in the town of Beaulac, Louisiana that is not only killing people but ripping their essence forcefully out of their bodies. Add to that, the reappearance of FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff and Kara’s got her hands full.

Blood of the Demon is remarkably MUCH faster paced than Mark of the Demon was & I found that I liked it a lot better than the first book. It’s like both Diana Rowland & the character of Kara are coming into their own, together. The story arc’s keep you wondering what’s about to happen next & truly keep you guessing.

The sexual tension between Kara & Ryan, the sex scene between Kara & Rhyzkahl is enough to make a reader burst into a cold sweat. I don’t know who I want Kara to end up with, but we know there is something not quite “right” with Ryan. There’s something developing there but we don’t learn enough to make a fair judgement. We do know the Demons do not like Ryan for some reason, can’t wait to find out what it is.

Diana Rowland’s writing has only gotten better in Blood of the Demon, making this book one of my favorites of 2010. Blood of the Demon is an incredibly plotted police procedural steeped in the arcane, urban fantasy at it’s best! Rowland has outdid herself! If you want to read a gritty dark urban fantasy with a kick ass heroine, run out & pick up Blood of the Demon.
Profile Image for Kira.
1,232 reviews132 followers
December 2, 2015
I didn’t like this as much as Mark of the Demon. So much of the story focused on the love triangle. And I hate love triangles. Although the characters are adults, the romance has a childish YA feel. Kara is smart but acts like such a dumbass around men. She does stupid crap like run into the arms of one guy when the other pisses her off. Most of Kara’s thoughts focus on how she feels about the men, and frankly I don’t give a shit. I’d rather know more about the mystery or the world building.

The men in the love triangle aren’t too interesting. Ryan the Fed is fairly nice. He’s wicked boring. He doesn’t have much going for him in the way of personality. He’s not funny or witty. The conversations with him of which there are many are dull. Ryan can be an ass sometimes. He gets pissed when Kara doesn’t include him on everything in her life although it’s totally cool for him to keep secrets. He’s the jealous type. There is nothing I hate more than jealousy. It makes Ryan come off as immature.

Then there’s Rhyzkahl. He’s sexy and a bad boy. He didn’t seem as mysterious. In Mark of the Demon it was hard to tell if he was using her or if he really liked her. This time it mainly seemed like he wanted something from her. His possessive “you’re mine” attitude was irritating. They aren’t close enough for him to be acting like that and have it be endearing.

Not much was learned in terms of world building. At the beginning of the last book, Kara was a loner because no one could know about her connection to the arcane. Now she has a whole group of people who are aware of that side of her life and accepting of it, which is too farfetched IMO. The mystery involving the murders was okay. It was bit convoluted. It all made sense, but by the end I just didn’t care.
Profile Image for Grace.
254 reviews71 followers
May 13, 2011
You know, it just feels like Rowland slacked off on this one. The murder-mystery bit's well sketched out, and I guess the demony bits are still fine, but what rubbed me the wrong way here was characterization.

A lot of the characters turn into two-dimensional plot points. Their behaviours and moods don't seem particularly organic, and sometimes their dialogue looks like this:

Guy: "[Pop culture reference that will be outdated in far less than a decade]"
Girl: internal thought about boys worthy of "Sweet Valley High
Other guy: [Mysterious shifty look]

Have you ever seen a play put on by seventh graders, where they've just learned about blocking? It goes like this:

[CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP to downstage left] "The name of our town's Grover's Corners, New Hampshire." [CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP to center stage] "Just over the line from Massachusetts." [CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP...]

That's what happens for a lot of this book. So between the awkward stage-management and the out-of-the-blue pop culture references (which were NOT character traits in the first book), this just felt off. Really off. It's certainly put me off reading the third, as I suspect the relationship stuff will just get more high school, and people won't ask the questions they should be asking because it's inconvenient for the plot, and I will throw my Kindle in disgust. And I don't want to do that. I like my Kindle.
Profile Image for Boundless Book Reviews.
2,242 reviews65 followers
May 29, 2016
When I find a series that I really love, it’s hard not to chew through it. I have to stop myself from devouring the entire thing in just a week or two, so naturally after I finished Mark of the Demon, I went directly to the second book in the series Blood of the Demon.

In this story Kara finds a fellow officer dead from an apparent suicide; but not all is as it appears, his essence is missing. That one mystery starts a slew of other murders and mysteries, all stemming around the mysterious creature that is somehow draining essence from their victims. Once again Kara teams up with her FBI agent Ryan, who she is so completely attracted to. I was screaming at the story, KISS him already! UGGG. I am really hopping those two get it together!

Kara’s life is never that simple, her Aunt is still in a coma, and her essence is in the void. Kara seeks help once again from Lord Rhyzkahl; but the demon lord has his own agenda, and wants Kara for his own!

Blood of the Demon was full of heartbreak, mystery, and action. Kara is one of those characters that get under your skin, and you can do nothing but love her. I want her to succeed in everything she does, and I want her to find her happiness, and yes, I want that happiness to be with Ryan! LOL....Sara


December 3, 2015
I really do like this series, but I can't decide if I like the main character, Kara. She's socially awkward, slightly emotionally immature but realistic on many other levels. She lacks confidence and shouldn't. Her debatable love interest, on the other hand, irritates me. It makes absolutely no sense for adults to pretend like they are not interested in someone, especially if you are someone like Ryan who is good looking, smart, and successful. His confliction and inner turmoil concerning the main character is unbelievable and seems quite melodramatic to be frank. I get that the author is attempting to draw out the chase, but it's annoying to read. There is absolutely nothing organic about the conversations between them.

Kudos though to Rowland for drawing me in nonetheless with her extremely well thought out and thoroughly researched detective sections of the novel.
Profile Image for SANDRA.
334 reviews33 followers
April 25, 2012
Absolutely wow!! I really liked this book more than I did the last! DR really sucked me in in this one. I'm happy I Continued with the story. :)

This 2nd book continues where the other left off. and you get more details in the life of Kara Gillian, demon summoner/detective. You get a better glimpse of the demon world and are introduced to other different kind of "demons". Also the relationship of Ryan and Kara gets a lot more steamier, that is where I kinda got irked, I just wanted them to just tell each other what they felt but i got my small dose at the end. Poor Kara did go through a lot emotionally in this one. :( I did not see who was going to be the essence sucker until almost the end, and in my book that is a fabulous book.. Also we get to see another hot steamy scene between Kara and Rhyzkahl, which I mean it was yummy!! lol :)

Will be going to get the third one.. Can't wait..
Profile Image for Inara.
538 reviews200 followers
July 23, 2010
The Kara Gillian series is officially now one of my favorite series!

An exciting plot, a likeable heroine, a demon Lord to die for, a second future love-interest, humor (I loved the umbrella defense scene) so what´s not to like here? Kara struggles with her tattered self-confidence, her traumatic experience and doesn´t always make very wise decisions what makes her a very believable and likeable heroine in my opinion. Her partner special agent Ryan Kristoff has secrets of his own and I´m very curious about him I admit but honestly – at the moment I like bad demon Lord Rhyzkahl with his own agenda regarding Kara much more. So there´s no doubt for me: Team Rhyzkahl of course...

I´m eagerly anticipating the next book in this series "Secrets of the Demon" which is due in January 2011!
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