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Monday, December 13, 2010


Author: Kate Douglas
Plot Type: SMR
Ratings: V4, S4, H2
Publisher and Titles: Zebra
     Demonfire (2010)
     Hellfire (2010)
     Starfire (4-2011)

     Douglas is best known for her erotic series WOLF TALES 1-11. Now, she brings us a soul-mate romance series that includes an alien race and a major demon war.  

     Set in northern California and Arizona, the series follows two plot lines. In the first, demons are pouring through various portals and vortexes, led by the evil demon king and intent on doing terrible (if undescribed) things. The second plot line involves the land of Lemuria (an Atlantis twin), whose citizens relocated to the depths of Mount Shasta (but on a different plane of existence) after their original land space sank into the sea.  

     In Demonfire, Dax (a reformed demon), Edwina (called Eddya human newspaper reporter), and Eddy's father (a true believer in both Lemuria and demons) are forced to fight for their lives against the demon invasion.

     In Hellfire, two supporting characters from the previous book take center stage: Alton (an outcast Lemurian royal) and Ginny (Eddy's seemingly human best friend). Alton becomes strongly connected with the Lemurian plot line, when he discovers information about some terrible things that his father (head of the Lemurian council) has done, and which Alton must avenge. This plot line takes a feminist turn in Hellfire that will play out in Starfire, where the lead characters are Selyn (a descendant of a Lemurian female warrior) and Dawson (a human veterinarian friend of Ginny and Alton and a supporting character in Hellfire).

     In each book, the main couple meets, mates, and goes on to the next battle.  They, of course, have many second thoughts and misgivings along the way, but the romances proceed down a very familiar SMR road.  I wish I could like this series more, but I have a problem with the amount of repetition: physical descriptions, emotions, and just plain information are repeated endlessly, in a manner similar to Stephenie Meyer's constant repetition of Edward's physical description every time that he is in a scene. (Just hearing the phrase "marble chest" still makes me shudder!)  How many times do you have to present the reader with a fact or a description or a feeling?  We get it, already!  An additional problem is that the characters could use some fleshing out; they're a bit shallow. And some of the situations are faintly ludicrous.  At one point in Hellfire, for example, Ginny refuses to give up her 911 operator's job, even though she is the only one in the entire world who can wield the Darkfire crystal sword to thwart the demon invasion that will destroy us all. Here's how Ginny sees it: 

          "I know this battle is important, but I can't quit my job.  I've been   
           there for seven years.  I'm good at what I do." (p. 186)

Let's see...minimum wage job versus demon domination.  Let's get our priorities straight, Ginny!  One last thing:  It's hard to understand why these demons never fight with or harm any humans. All they seem to do is attack the main and supporting charactersover and over again.  In the first book, the demons possess inanimate objects, and in the second book they possess small (and a few large) animalsbut only one drunken human and only temporarily.  Douglas never makes clear just what these particular demons have in mind for the long term and why they pose such an extreme danger to humankind.

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