(Kara Gillian, #7

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.

I missed Diana Rowland's writing - she puts genuinely laugh-out-loud funny lines in the middle of top-notch, nail biting action scenes. She does the unusual twist of taking a character you once liked and making you despise them the next book (or vice versa). This isn't a perfect book, but it's close to five star rating.

I dig Kara - she's great to friends, loyal, fair, doesn't pick on people for their differences, has a fun sense of humor and realistic self-esteem. On the negative side, she gets too cocky in the face of an enemy and irritates me with taking too much joy fawning when she gets the power - brings my opinion of her down. I didn't like a change in this book with her powers either, hope she returns to normal next book. To me that was a huge part of the main character - and since it's first person POV, if she can't do it anymore, *I* can't experience the uniqueness anymore either.

Surprising betrayal about a family member, but at least I never cared much about that person anyway. Mzatal blended into the background, barely there, and I'm over that. Really I thought the scene where he and Kara decided what he must do for the sake of saving the worlds was the worst written scene in the book - rang false, making them both seem one dimensional.

Rowland likes to get one attached to a potential relationship bubble and then pop it with a sudden jab of a freakishly sharp and huge needle the next book over. Since I go a year between reading these, I can emotionally disconnect a little but I can't imagine reading these books and getting that slap in the face book-back to book-back. You may need a swipe or two of shipping anesthesia.

But toss the previous demon lord intrigues aside, they're old news, I adored Pellini. He tugged on my heartstrings with his awkwardness, loyalty, and just....cute, unassuming charm. I never jumped on the other demon lord bandwagon anyway (it was oddly clinical), although I'm not saying that's over, for it certainly isn't for Kara. Not saying it's over in the books but my loyalties are stirred and shaken.

Ryan is sadly rarely around. Zack may end up less unlikeable than he actually was. There's a twist in the end, could go all sorts of directions.

As always lots of twist and turns - old things twisted to make surprises, new things popping up to bring forth further complication. The book progresses the story but I can see parts that were a little bit filler as well, for there's little progression in the main story arc. We instead get subtle bumps to existing players.

That said, Rowland's writing style is such fun that her words addict me. Kara's internal monologue is cleverly amusing. Some plot regression flaws aside, loved revisiting Kara's world and can't wait to revisit it again.

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