Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Devil in the Details: A Jesse James Dawson Novel” as Want to Read:
A Devil in the Details: A Jesse James Dawson Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Devil in the Details: A Jesse James Dawson Novel

(Jesse James Dawson #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,525 ratings  ·  141 reviews
View our feature on K.A. Stewarts's "A Devil in the Details."

When it comes to demons, always read the find print.

Jesse James Dawson was an ordinary guy (well, an ordinary guy with a black belt in karate) until one day he learned his brother had made a bargain with a demon, Jesse discovered there was only one way to save his brother: put up his own soul as collateral, and f
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Roc (first published May 26th 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Devil in the Details, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
George Not likely. It's covered adequately as backstory in this one, and I don't see how there'd be more than a short story's worth of material.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,525 ratings  ·  141 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Devil in the Details: A Jesse James Dawson Novel

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:


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 demonstra
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's check them off, shall we?

No brooding mysterious supernatural drop-dead gorgeous Alpha Males.

No lead character suddenly becoming more and more powerful and gaining every goddamned supernatural superpower under the sun.

No lead character having every single person of the opposite sex (or same,whatever)they meet, falling madly and passionately in love/lust with them.

No love triangle between lead, and a brooding mysterious supernatural drop-dead gorgeous yet perhaps slightly evil Alpha Male,
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This was a good start to a new to me series. Although it does have that standard male UF feel (which is not a bad thing), there were a few things that nicely distinguish it from the others that I read and enjoy:

1. The lead--Jesse James Dawson (don't call him JJ) is pleasantly angst-free. I like angst as much as any other reader, and probably more, but it's nice when the character doesn't stoop over like a 90-year-old from the weight of sorrows on his back. I think a huge factor in this is my sec
Ranting Dragon
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: garrett

The first installment in a new urban fantasy series from Roc Books, A Devil in the Details is K. A. Stewart’s debut novel. Jesse James Dawson is just your average American samurai with a wife and child. Well, okay, maybe being a samurai isn’t exactly average, but neither is putting your soul on the line to save those who get in trouble with demons. And that’s what Jesse does as a member of a loose organization of champions—an organization whose most experi
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy quote Gomer Pyle, "surprise, surprise, surprise". I stumbled on a pretty good urban fantasy. K.A.Stewart is a female writer of whom I was unaware until I saw this book. I'm pretty much always looking for a good urban fantasy but more often than not what I find is either "just not so good" or turns out to be "PNR", that is ParaNormal Romance.

While this book definitely has a romantic edge it's simply part of the story.

So, what do we have here? This is the beginning of a series "concerni
Wry urban fantasy is not my normal fantasy subgenre, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Devil in the Details by K.A. Stewart. I can savor the supernatural (angels, demons, witches, clerics) but please pass on the paranormal (vampires, werewolves, zombies) and that's just what Jesse James Dawson did.

Check out my guest review at
Rhiannon Frater
This is definitely a promising start to a new series and I did enjoy it, but it was too easy to put down. I'm not sure why it wasn't a page turner for me until the very end got very exciting. It just lacked something I can't put my finger on. When I finished the book, it felt like I had just read the first part of a much bigger novel.

I did like that our hero was an ordinary guy except for the whole demon slayer thing and that he had a fairly normal life. In fact, his domestic dealings do seem t
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ron by: Jon Moss
Shelves: fantasy, young
Not as good as I hoped. For the first few chapters, A Devil in the Details was headed for a solid four stars. Fresh voice, hip semi-stream of consciousness patter, complex plot. But soon the cuteness got old. Too cute. The plot lived up to expectations however.

I'm not a fan of most popular YA novels. This is YA, isn't it? First the Harry Potter magicians, then the twilight vampires and werewolves (with a few zombies on the side), now demons. (Angels will assumedly follow.) Stewart handles the su
An ok start to the series. It reminded me of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, but not as good. There just seemed to be something missing so that reading it didn't seem so ho-hum, but I'm not sure what. I'll probably give it another chance when book 2 comes out, but I'll stick to getting it from the library, I don't think I liked it enough that I would want to buy it.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

Well that was unexpectedly good. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have extremely high hopes for this book. I had never heard of it before and there aren’t a huge number of ratings, but the plot looked interesting and the Kindle sample pretty decent so I gave it a try, and I’m very glad I did.

Jesse James Dawson (what a name, huh?) is a champion, someone who puts his own soul up as collateral to free people who have for one reason or another made a pact with a demon. Definitely a little different
Snarktastic Sonja
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok - this one is really 4.5 stars. Not *quite* 5.

This one was a rare gem to me. It hit all the right buttons. It has a loving relationship - no triangles, no "will they or won't they" or "when the heck are they gonna get around to it"s. It exists. It is a given. It has relationships beyond "the" relationship. There is a young daughter. There are 2 bosses. There is a brother. Lots of room for love to abound here.

There is ONE sex scene. And, it is MY kind of sex scene. The closed door kind. :D

Blood Rose Books
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In her debut novel K.A. Stewart bring us into the world of Demon contracts for a Human's Soul and the Champions of the world who fight to get them back. Enter an ultimate battle of Good vs Evil.

Jesse James Dawson is a Champion, he helps those individuals who have sold their souls to a demon, for a wish. However, there is always a cost to save another person's soul. A battle to the death, with a set of rules of course. Each time Jesse fights a demon his own soul is on the line, and he has everyth
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The humor in etched into the little preview and the start of the book was a nice hook to snag my interest. All in all, I really like the characters that make up the story but the lack of applicable knowledge about 'samurai' philosophies, fighting, armor and weapons was a total turn off. These elements are the core pieces that make up more than a third of this book and that made the reading a bit painful at times.

Not a lot happens in A Devil in the Details. You get a good look at Jesse James Daw
Every once in awhile a story comes along that has a male lead character that changes your prospective of the Fantasy genre and into trying something new for a change. This, to me, is that story. I still prefer female leads, but this story is so very unique, that it surprised me how well I liked it, and will definitely look forward to the next release, A Shot In The Dark, once it is released in July 2011.

Our lead character is named Jesse James Dawson. Yes, Jesse James. His father had a thing for
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uf, 2011
Sometimes when you add books to your TBR list you aren't really sure about them, but they look interesting so you figure why not add them. Then days, weeks, or even months go by and you see a title and you wonder why you added it, but then you are at the bookstore or library and you see it there so you grab it, not really expecting much. That is what happened with me and this book. As I started to read it I even thought it would be one that I wouldn't be able to finish, but soon after the second ...more
I liked this one a lot. It felt like a very well-established world that we were just invited into, it just had a different tone than a lot of urban fantasy books. Part of that is because it was set in the real world, in Kansas City, Missouri, the Show Me State. It also came from the author's choices in establishing Jesse as a somewhat more mature man, not a young kid just starting out. He's around thirty, married and madly in love with his wife, Mira, a powerful magic user as well, and they have ...more
This book had the potential to be something really great and I was a little frustrated that it didn't fully deliver on it's promise. It was still a decent and well written read though.

Jesse is one of a dwindling group of warriors that can be hired to fight demons to save the soul of the client from being taken. So if you do a deal with a demon and change your mind, Jesse can fight the demon in your place and hopefully win your soul back. Jesse is a good hero because he is flawed, funny, and for
2.5 stars. Nice action, intriguing story - but some things just didn't click for me. The fact that Jesse didn't know Esteban despite having attended Miguel's wedding. The fact that Jesse was all about honor and the rules - but God forbid, if Axel the Demon insisted on adhering to them; it proved that Jesse wasn't honorable, but a simple hypocrite. The way he kept repeating that Mira would kill him. The fact that he kept moaning and whining about how bad his life style was for his family - either ...more
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
It's refreshing to see a hero who is an unashamedly noble man. Jesse follows bushido, has a wife and a daughter, no dark tragic history, no half demon heritage, no nuthin awful. He's not a Gary Stu or a paladin by any means, just a good imperfect guy who is trying to do the right thing.

Sometimes I feel as though the author is trying a little too hard to be funny, and perhaps because of the hero's nobility there isn't as much emotional or moral complexity as there might be in some UF, but these t
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a great debut for me. The story began with the protagonist fighting with a crab and then it expounded to fit this world wherein warriors fight demons for people's souls. The biggest draw was the main character who's funny & heroic in the proper amount for the reader to enjoy the story.

Looking forward to the sequel & especially Axel! 4 & half stars as it won't allow me to show it starwise.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018, own
Ever since his brother got himself in trouble making a bargain with a demon and Jesse had to wager his own soul in a deadly duel with the demon in question to get him out of it, he's been working as a champion: Putting his soul on the line, over and over, to help others who have foolishly entered into bargains with demons. There are only a couple of handfuls of champions operating all over the world, keeping in touch through a loose organization aided by the marvels of the internet - and now sev ...more
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru
I found myself enjoying this very much. It starts off with action, lulls in a few spots, but has enough action to keep me satisfied.

I am 100% in love with Jesse James Dawson. He is a different type of hero than what I am used to reading in UF and PNR in that he already has a family, so there's not that true romance element there, but it's obvious he loves his family and adores his wife. Also, he's 100% human and doesn't seem to have any special abilities whatsoever. He can fight, obviously, but
I'll start of by saying I rather enjoyed reading this book, the concept for the story is very good and I liked the way the characters interacted.

Now, the bad part, my rating figures more along the angle that while a fantasy novel the main character is just too out there for my liking I can't picture him as someone believable. We have an early 30 something, teenage thug turned philosophical American Samurai wannabe, who has his own Japanese meditation garden, and wields Katana's made by one of h
Hey, this was a promising start to a new series! The main character is Jesse, a martial artist who is a "Champion", one of a few people who fights demons of behalf of individuals who regret the loss of their soul after they've sold it to the devil. He discovered this world previously after his brother comes to him for help, having sold his own soul to save his child.

Pretty strong action story about Jesse's latest client and the mysterious disappearance and probable death of two other Champions,
Kari Chapman
This book has a lot of promise to it. It features a smart-ass white knight who fights to help those around him, even if they don't necessarily deserve - I kept thinking back to early Harry Dresden while reading this.

Jesse was a young punk who turned his life around when he got involved in martial arts. Now he tries to follow the way of the Samurai and fights to help people break contracts they've made with demons.

I really wanted to like this story, but despite the good protagonist and interesti
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It was light, refreshing and entertaining (for once the main protagonist is actually married and has a daughter and the interaction between the family members was very nice to read). I've already read all four books in the series and I'm looking forward to the next one.
The main protagonist is very likable character. I'd say he is a cross between Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher's series and Niko from Cal Leandros series by Rob Thruman (not a copy of course but in many
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jesse is a blade for hire if the person hiring is sincere that he/she made a highly stupid mistake by selling their soul to a demon to acquire something they desire. Jesse's job is to fight it out with the demon to get said soul returned. He also has a job at a funky clothing shop that has a loose enough schedule for Jesse to train and fight as needed.

I love Jesse's wife and daughter. They both put up with a lot with the secrecy and Jesse's missions with alacrity and hugs. Mira is a witch and o
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great, fun book! Loved the main character - he's like a cross between Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt and the boys from Supernatural, with a side of Samurai thrown in. :)

There were a couple nit-picky things for me in terms of pacing, but it's an entertainng read all around. Great characters! I'm really excited for the second book in the series, because the first one leaves you with the impression that you've only seen the tip of the iceberg. Can't wait to pick it up!
Write Me A World
Nayan Patel
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read for me which had been on my backburner for a really long time.

Keeping this review short, what I liked was the author's style of not taking a dashing young protagonist and instead going with a middle aged committed father who is still trying to make sense of the world around him.

There is a lot of action and intrigue with really interesting characters (read: Axel). The author has kept world building to a minimum here which I felt was deliberate.

Really looking forward to read
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1)
  • The Long Way Down (Daniel Faust, #1)
  • Nightlife (Cal Leandros #1)
  • Conspiracies (Repairman Jack, #3)
  • Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #1)
  • Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones, #1)
  • Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1)
  • Dead To Me (Simon Canderous, #1)
  • Hunted (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #6)
  • Evil Dark (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation, #2)
  • All the Rage (Repairman Jack, #4)
  • Dead Things (Eric Carter #1)
  • Hosts (Repairman Jack, #5)
  • Child of Fire (Twenty Palaces, #1)
  • Something from the Nightside (Nightside, #1)
  • The President's Vampire (Nathaniel Cade, #2)
  • Sun Warrior (Tales of a New World, #2)
  • Taken (Alex Verus, #3)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

Jesse James Dawson (5 books)
  • A Shot in the Dark (Jesse James Dawson, #2)
  • A Wolf at the Door (Jesse James Dawson, #3)
  • A Snake in the Grass (Jesse James Dawson, #4)
  • A Line in the Sand

Related Articles

Space operas, magic, destiny, dystopia, aliens: There's a bit of something for everyone in 2020's latest offerings in science fiction and fantasy...
85 likes · 21 comments