Audiobook Review: Deja Demon by Julie Kenner (Adult)


Between attending gala fundraisers for her husband’s political campaign, training her teenage daughter to wield a crossbow and a stiletto, pottytraining a toddler, and her increasingly complicated personal life, Kate Connor hardly has time to prepare for the impending chaos of a neighborhood Easter party that has her enslaved to dying hundreds of hard-boiled eggs.

Keeping the local kiddos in line will take all of Kate’s skills as a mother and demon hunter, just when she’ll need them the most. The High Demon Goramesh has returned to San Diablo — this time with a full-blown army of the undead and a powerful demonic ally. Once again, it’s up to Kate to save the world. Good thing she can multi-task…

I don’t usually review audiobooks because I find that my mind wanders and I miss parts, but I thought I would give it a try.

Deja Demon is the fourth book in the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series. I’ve listened to the first three books in this series, but it’s been awhile. Four years, says Goodreads. Goodreads would know, I guess. This review may contain spoilers for the first three books. There isn’t much to say about Deja Demon, or any of the books, individually because each book is pretty much the same: fluff. It’s a lighthearted look at the paranormal world with no real sense of danger. None of the characters in this series is going to die, with the possible exception of Eddie (who must be near 100). It’s as much about Kate juggling her life as a wife and mom as it is about fighting off the demons.

Basic setup of the series and backstory: Kate is a demon hunter/suburban housewife. An orphan, she was raised to be a demon hunter, but she and her first husband Eric (also a demon hunter) retired around the time they had their daughter Allie. Eric died, Kate met and married Stuart, Timmy was born. A few years passed. When Timmy was a toddler (a word that’s used A LOT), demons showed up in the town of San Diablo and Kate was forced to go back to “work.”

It was in the second or third book that Eric returned, or rather, his soul returned — in another man’s body. Allie, now a high school student, was delighted. Kate didn’t know what to think. Stuart had no idea. Timmy continued to eat Cheerios.

Here’s the thing: In Deja Demon, Kate is basically carrying on an emotional affair with Eric. It’s been building and it’s not quite that bad, but it’s pretty close, and Eric (understandably) makes it clear that he wants his family back.

Now, I already have MAJOR issues with Kate and her relationship with Stuart, specifically the way she treats him. That’s interesting to me, because I’ve never liked Stuart. This may be solely on the narrator, whose tone makes him sound condescending when he gets angry or impatient and he speaks to Kate as if she’s a child having a tantrum, when all she’s doing is lying to him at every turn. For his own good, of course. That’s all on Kate, but as he doesn’t know she’s lying to him, he has no right to act like she’s the toddler and he’s her father.

There’s a creepy dynamic.

Naturally, it would be — and is — awkward and difficult for Kate to explain the details of her life before Stuart to him, but I can’t condone the lying she’s been doing the entire series — and really, before the series began; although she wasn’t actively hunting then, she knew it was a part of her past — to cover it up either.

A good narrator can make or break an audiobook and I love Deja Demon’s narrator Laura Hicks, who does a great impression of both a whiny toddler and a whiny teenager.

On a final note, I can’t find the audio version of the next book, Demon Ex Machina, anywhere. I’ve listened to the entire series up to this point and I really don’t want to switch format. While I’d like to continue — and I think the sidestory of Allie the budding demon hunter has the most potential — I’m not sure I have the patience to actually sit down and read instead of listen to any book from this series. Unfortunately, this might be the end of the line for me.

3 stars



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