by Stacia Kane, fantasy (2008)
Juno, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-8095-7255-7
Personal Demons is Stacia Kane's first book in a planned urban fantasy series. Stacia Kane also writes ebooks under the name December Quinn, by the way.
Meet our heroine Dr Megan Chase, a shrink who is good at what she does because she's psychic and can do that Counselor Deanna Troi thing. She's also the host of an agony aunt radio show called Personal Demons where her signature line is "How can I slay your personal demon?" Don't laugh - poor Megan also finds that line too cheesy for words and it's all her producer's idea. As you can probably predict, things are about to become more interesting than Megan would've liked when spooky folks start taking her "Dr Demon Slayer" tag literally and poor Megan starts seeing - hallucinating? - most disturbing things in broad daylight.
Meet our hero, Greyson Dante. With his Jaguar and tall, dark, dangerous appearance as well as his name, I don't think he can be any more obvious if he comes with a neon sign over his head that says, "I am a demon with a huge penis!" He tells her that he has a mysterious client for her and, oh, some demons are not amused about her demon-slaying shtick and they are coming to get her. Isn't that fun? On top of that, her producer has signed her up for a "One Week In Life" thing which has a tabloid reporter following her every move. This reporter is going to dig up some things from her past, which makes the whole party even more lively.
Poor Megan tries to explain to Greyson, who claims to be on her side, that everything is a silly misunderstanding and she's not really a demon slayer. Unfortunately, the demons are like, "Who are you trying to fool, bitch? Bring in the zombies!" and they are not changing their mind anytime soon, heh.
From demonic bodyguards with accents that seem uncannily like Cockney at times to how sometimes shrinks are literally the tools of demons, Personal Demons is so much fun from start to finish. This story has plenty of playful tongue-in-cheek humor that doesn't derail the story into irreverence nicely balanced with some effective moments of scares, thus making it a most readable one. Megan is a nice heroine because she's realistically tough in a situation that she is out of depths in and she is a pretty smart one as well. As for Greyson, apart from being a walking cliché of the romantic urban fantasy hero, I don't know much about him and his motivation. I'd say that he is the weakest link in this story because everything about him is clichéd while the rest of the story is actually a nice inventive change from the usual werewolves and vampires formula.
Romance, by the way, is not the focus of this story and while Greyson and Megan do have sex in this story, their relationship stays mainly in the background. The mystery behind the demons' relationship with Megan is more important than the romance here, so if you are looking for a romance first and foremost, you are going to be disappointed with this one.
But not me - I'm not disappointed, not at all. Personal Demons is a nice change from the usual tales of vampires and werewolves running around shrieking about mates and soulmates. It is also a fun-filled read that I find so enjoyable from the first page to last.
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