Plot Type: CH, SMR
Demon Hunting in Dixie (4/2011)
BOOK 3: Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar
As the plot advances, a few new characters stumble into the bar, including a vegetarian zombie, a piano-playing ghost, a feline harbinger of doom called the Wampus Kitty, and a young demonoid girl who needs rescuing from her horrific family clan. The charm and humor of the story rests on the quirky characters more than on the twisted plot, which includes some demons who want to recruit Hannah's demonoids in their battle to take over the world. In another related story thread, Conall still wants to find that Dahlvani-killing weapon that the demons have discovered.
One of the big surprises for Beck is the sudden appearance of her twin brother, Evan. Unfortunately, this is also one of the biggest weaknesses in the plot. We are supposed to believe that Beck and Evan knew each other as children, although no one else in Hannah has ever seen Evan before or known of his existence. Supposedly, their demon mother dropped off Beck with her father, but took baby Evan along with her on a life of drugs/murder/mayhem. How, then, did they ever meet? Why doesn't Jason (the twins' biological father) or Toby Littleton (Beck's surrogate father) know about Evan? Nothing about this part of the story makes any sense at all. Evan's adult character is under the complete control of his mother and her partner (another demon, who, in another head-scratching moment, Evan calls his father) and he is under a geis to do whatever they tell him to do. If you can ignore the roots of this improbable brother-sister relationship, the rest of the story is pretty good—much stronger on plot (and much darker) than the previous two books.
In this book we learn more about Dahlvani history and culture. Here, Conall explains it all to Beck: "The Dalvahni do not come from a planet. We reside between worlds in the Hall of Warriors...[in] another dimension...A Dalvahni warrior has no family, save his brothers...The Dalvahni do not have parents...Kehvahn made us...He is the god who created us." (p. 214) Conall also explains the history of the djegrali demons: Kehvahn's brother, "Pratt...is a trickster who released the djegrali [from behind the veil] out of mischief....The djegrali simply are. They are older than the gods, older than the first star...They are powerful and capable of great magic....If the [human] body they inhabit dies, they die also. Thus, they move from body to body, consuming them like locusts." (p. 215)
The most important bit of new information is the reason why Hannah, Alabama, attracts the djegrali and why it allows the heretofore emotionless Dalvahni to fall in love. I won't spoil things by telling you that reason because it is an integral part of the plot. Other than the implausibility of the twins' childhood, this book has the strongest plot of the series so far. This strength of plot makes the book darker and a lot less "fluffy" than the first two books. Beck is a stronger and much more mature heroine than the previous two, and Conall exhibits a nice balance between his alpha and his sensitive sides. As always, the writing is witty and frequently hilarious.
The book ends with a cliff hanger involving Evan and one of the local eccentrics, so I'm guessing that his love story will be told in the next book. Click HERE to read an excerpt of Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar.
This light and fluffy series centers around the small town of Hannah, Alabama, the site of a heavy infestation of djegrali demons. Other than these evil demons, there are two other types of supernaturals in Hannah: demonoids (demi-demons who are the offspring of human/demon matings) and Dalvahni demon hunters, who are all tall, handsome, sexy alpha types. One reason for the demonic infestation is that in demon language, Han-nah-a-lah means "the end of all things." So if you're a demon or a demon hunter searching for Han-nah-a-lah, then Hannah, Ala., is the perfect place to look.
The author explains on her web site that, "The Dalvahni are a race of immortal warriors created by the god Kehvahn to hunt and capture the djegrali, or demons, when they leak into other worlds and cause mischief....The Dalvahni know nothing but duty and the hunt. They are humorless and emotionless, except for battle rage and lust...until they come to Hannah and fall in love, and then the fun starts!"
Click HERE to go to a page on the author's web site entitled "This and That," which includes the following entries: "Ten Things to Do if You're in Hannah"; "If Brand Dalvahni, Alpha Male Demon Hunter, Kept a Diary"; and "Recipe for a Dalvahni Demon Hunter."
READALIKES: If you like funny, frothy stories about immortals from other dimensions being transported to human communities, here are a few more that you might want to try these series:
Gena Showalter's IMPERIA series (SMR—V2, S4, H4)
Annette Blair's WORKS LIKE MAGICK series (SMR—V3, S4, H4)
One night while Addy (our human heroine) is walking her dog (Dooley Ann), she is attacked and stabbed by a demon and rescued by Brand, who appears in the doorway of a portal from another dimension. Brand is an immortal demon hunter who has been tracking the demons that attacked Addy. When Brand heals Addy, he leaves some of his essence within her, thus providing her with some of his magical powers.
Just as all this is happening, one of Brand's fellow warriors (Ansgar) shows up to warn Brand against getting involved with a mortal. But it's already too late for Brand and Addy—love/lust has struck them both. At first, Addy fights against believing in the existence of demons and immortal warriors and fiery swords. In fact, she spends several chapters getting her mind around this new development in her life. The plot revolves primarily around the various romances, but it does have a few interruptions for some not-too-violent demon action. There are a few decapitations, but no graphic details.