Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Not Kung Fu, Redneck Samurai fighting demons....

As I mentioned in my inaugural post, the next book on the reading list had to do with martial arts and demons.

A Devil in the Details by K.A. Stewart is turning out to be almost Anime in its plotting. We have Jesse James Dawson narrating about how he's adapting the code of Samurai to challenge demons to release other folks from their pacts with demons. In Kansas City. Which as someone who's actually lived in the Show Me state, I can state that my disbelief was suspended fairly high from the get go.

It started off strong, with Jesse fighting a scorpion tailed demon from sentence one. That lasts for half a chapter, and then we start getting into Jesse's personal life. Which, while interesting, has lead to a bunch of character development, more angst than Vampire Hunter D, and almost nothing going on. I'm about halfway through the book, and so far, he's made one demonic challenge that has a two week interval until the actual combat. (I will admit to amusement, since the person he's challenging the demon on behalf of plays for an unspecified Arizona baseball team as an older pitcher. Big Unit anyone?)

We've also met Jesse's wife and daughter, his best friend the blacksmith...oh and the organizer of the "Grapevine", a loose network of other Demon fighters. Two of whom have now gone missing. One of which Jesse's why saw being dragged off while looking in her scrying bowl.

Oh yes. This is something that needs mentioned. So far, the set up is much like the Buffy-verse, in that the main character, despite the fact he's challenging demons on a frequent basis, is agnostic. His wife, in full on Willow Rosenberg fashion, is a sister to the dark ones. Holy symbols seem to work, but not due to any real faith put in to them. (He does mention that his wife puts protective glyphs in his armor, but that's her faith protecting him, rather than his own.)

Like I said, halfway through, and not much really has happened in the way of plot development. It's interesting enough to hold my attention, but I keep wondering when we'll get into something happening.

For those curious what drew me to this particular book, it was the cover. Rather than a scantly clad female form on the cover, we have an overexposed picture of what appears to be a cross between Sting (from The Police) and Cloud (From Final Fantasy games) wielding a katana. There's also an author blurb from Simon R. Green, praising the book.

Ah, Simon R. Green. Were that K.A. Stewart to follow your plotting more closely. Simon's book sall start with a bit of shark jumping, followed by a pretty much non stop "How the hell can he top this?" plot line. Which is amusing, since he currently has 3 series in the same shared world. One of which, Secret Histories, is basically James Bond, only with super science, magic, and Cthulhu. His other two involve such things as what amounts to the Planescape setting from D&D 2.0, only Sigil is somehow in modern London and subways that connect to ancient hells long disconnected from the modern world.

His original series (Nightside) starts with Something from the Nightside. Secret Histories starts with The Man with the Golden Torc. And Ghostfinders starts with Ghost of a Chance. They all remain fast paced and so completely outrageous to be completely entertained.