I’ll start with the most recent book, Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner. It’s the first book of the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series. I don’t actually remember any soccer games, but yep, Kate Connor is definitely a soccer mom in the sense that Clinton used the phrase.
I can’t remember if it was Michelle Sagara West or Tanya Huff who said it, but either way, I agree with her that the best way to sum up this series is to imagine that Buffy the Vampire Slayer grew up, got married, and had kids, but didn’t tell her family anything about her past. Kate works for the Vatican instead of the Watcher’s Council, has an Alimentatore rather than a Watcher, and isn’t the Chosen One—there are supposed to be many demon hunters. Unfortunately, the youth of today aren’t as easy to recruit, according to the Church, and an old demon hunter is usually a dead demon hunter.
Kate and her partner, Eric, had retired and moved to a place they identified as having very little demon activity. They had a child, and after Eric died (we don’t learn how in this volume), Kate remarried. Stuart Connor is an attorney with political ambition. Remember how Sabrina had so much trouble pretending to be a normal executive’s wife in Bewitched? Take it up several notches, and you know where some of the book’s humor comes from. The novel is definitely a nice departure from the paranormal romances that have a lot more romance than action, although I have yet to figure out why Kate would ever have settled for Stuart. And yes, I’d have to say she settled.1Of course, so did Sabrina.
I’ve put the next two books, California Demon and Demons are Forever, on my wish list. I’m looking forward to finding out how Kenner develops the characters, and whether Kate starts filling her kids’ water bottles with holy water (I would). I’m not a big enough fan to put the rest of her books on the pile, but I haven’t ruled it out yet.