Halloween Hit List: Carpe Demon (& Sequels)

Since it’s Halloween week, I thought I’d spotlight some of my favorite books with monsters, vampires, and other supernatural themes. As it’s Monday, and I’ve got a slight cold (just enough to make me crabby) I thought I’d start with a lighter offering.

Julie Kenner’s Demon Hunter
books, which began with Carpe Demon are all about Kate: wife, mother, and secret demon hunter who has to balance raising a teenager, keeping her young son from her second marriage in baby clothes, helping her husband’s career, and, oh, yeah, killing demons in places like Wal-Mart and the school basement.

Along the way, she drags in a good friend, and has many adventures of both the comic and creepy sorts, with some great sale items picked up along the way.

If you’re tired of the protagonists in such books being teenagers and college students, and want to read about a horror heroine with chick-lit sensibilities, you must check these out.

Carpe Demon

 Carpe DemonCarpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom

I picked up Carpe Demon while on a lengthy visit to a local Half Price Books with my husband and brother-in-law, and read half of it while we were there, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I ordered it from Amazon.com along with its sequel.

I was hooked at first by the tag line, about how the protagonist, Kate, was something like an adult (as in grown up, not as in XXX) version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but while the whole “California girl fights demons” think does make their stories seem similar, Kate is not not at all like Buffy. For one thing, Kate has a husband, two children, one of whom is a teenager, and a minivan. As well, her demon hunting doesn’t seem to be mystical calling, as much as a choice made when she was largely choiceless.

Still, the snappy dialogue, humor-laced action sequences, and fast-paced plot made this book an enjoyable and entertaining read, and I’m currently in the middle of the sequel.

Stormqueen, and others

Darkover: First Contact (Darkover Omnibus)

Marion Zimmer Bradley

After a break during which I read some more modern novels, I went back to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series, and read all the books that had been missing from my own collection, largely thanks to the folks at Half Price Books.

I’m not going to list every title, but I am going to mention that my favorite of the second batch of books was Stormqueen, though I’m certain this had to do with the weather outside the apartment matching the weather in the book.

Small things like that influence me far too greatly.

Still, it’s a great series, especially if you really want to immerse yourself in another world.

Traitor’s Sun (and others)

Traitor's Sun: A Novel of Darkover (Darkover)

Marion Zimmer Bradley

During the months of August and September, I was under a self-imposed book-buying moratorium, while we packed the house, and moved from California to Texas. However, I was still engaged in retro-reading, and, because I hadn’t read the series in a long time, I indulged in re-reading the entire Darkover series, by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Darkover is one of my favorite fictional worlds, partly because there are so many novels in the series, and partly because the culture is believable. Rather than listing every novel in an independent entry, I offer the list (in series order, not publication order) of the novels I read before arriving in Texas.

Darkover Landfall
Two to Conquer
The Shattered Chain
Thendara House
The Spell Sword
The Forbidden Tower
Star of Danger
Winds of Darkover
Heritage of Hastur
Sharra’s Exile
Exile’s Song
The Shadow Matrix
Traitor’s Sun