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Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom    by Julie Kenner order for
Carpe Demon
by Julie Kenner
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Kate Connor is just your average stay-at-home mom. She has a toddler to clean up after, a teenager to pack off to her first day of high school, a dinner party to throw together at the spur of the moment, and a demon's corpse to dispose of. That's right ... a demon. It seems Kate's past has finally caught up to her.

Retired for fourteen years from the Forza (a secret demon-hunting organization run from inside the Vatican), Kate is more than a little out of demon-fighting shape. Instead of keeping up her rigorous training, she's spent all her time concentrating on her children and her second husband's political aspirations. But when a demon comes crashing through the kitchen window intent on killing her, a terrifying message is delivered. Kate knows her days of diaper changing and carpooling are about to get a whole lot more complicated. Throw in the fact that no one in her family knows about her past and she's beginning to wonder whether her husband's biggest political supporter may be a demon himself, and Kate really has her work cut out for her.

From the very first page, Julie Kenner plunges readers into Kate's life with no-holds barred honesty and as much realism as one can expect from a demon hunting soccer mom. The descriptions of Kate's stay-at-home days are wonderfully grounded in reality. Without the fantasy aspects, Carpe Demon would read like the amazing adventures of your next-door neighbor. After finishing the book, I can't help but feel that Kate's domestic struggles often upstaged some of her demonic encounters. And yet, women everywhere brave toddlers, teenagers and demanding husbands on a daily basis without having to worry about demons rampaging through their streets.

Often laugh-out-loud funny, yet with genuine tender moments and lots of appeal for the action fan, Carpe Demon is a real treat. I'm eagerly anticipating the sequel, California Demon, which is slated for June, 2006.

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