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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 September 2016
I like urban fantasy and was quite looking forward to this tale of a police officer who could raise demons. Unfortunately I wasn't as engaged as I would have liked to be and I shall not be looking for others in this series.

I felt that the real world in which Kara is a police officer didn't really meld together with the supernatural. The key to this is that I didn't really understand why she was calling demons in the first place. The author seems to realise that it is a weakness in the book because she does address this - the only answer she seems to be able to give is that they call them because they can. The idea seems to be to master the rituals and call stronger and stronger demons in order to gain some sort of status in the demon calling society. Without a real purpose I found this aspect of the book to be unexciting.

The plot itself is fine although I found the love interest and the demon dreams a bit unconvincing. I also thought that there was quite a lot of foul language for no apparent reason.

All in all not one for me
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on 18 June 2012
Mark of the Demon is basically Anita Blake in a different form and skin, the similarities are everywhere...and while a readable book, it fails by making itself a skin lift of a far more developed series. Both of the main characters are deemed tough, and sarcastic women with supernatural elements to their life, both work roles in law enforcement, and both novels are even set in the same town, and Kara's ability of summoning demons is strikingly similar to that of Animating in Anita Blake.

The book is readable, it has that going for it, but there are elements throughout that simply don't work or feel out of place. I'll keep spoilers light, but the main antagonist/love interest (in parts) feels incredibly out of place within the world the author has created. He's deemed an angel and described as if he is some floaty, chiseled anime character, and it neither works, nor is as sexy as the author seems to think it is. The author also has a tendency to have the main character swear every now and again, and it just feels out of place and corny, especially in the sexual situations early on.

The main case of the book is developed nicely though and you can tell that the author has spent some time in law enforcement, descriptions of the case files and autopsies are well done and are some of the stronger aspect's of the novel. All in all an average book, good enough for me to pick up the sequel? Probably not, but you might feel differently after reading it yourself.
3 people found this helpful
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on 9 August 2010
Mark of the Demon is the first in the Kara Gillian series from Diana Rowland. Kara is a small town detective who has just been promoted. She's also a summoner, able to pull demons through from their plane of existence with arcane energy. 3 years ago as a beat cop, she caught sight of traces of the arcane on a victim of the Symbol Man. Ever since she's been curious about it, but the murders stopped shortly after. Now they're starting again and now a detective, Kara can get close to the bodies and see if the arcane is connected to this victim, and possibly all the past ones as well. But it's her first homicide case and she's got a lot of heat on her, from her superiors and from those who don't think she's qualified for the job. FBI agent Ryan Kristoff doesn't make it any easier, constantly on her heels trying to figure out what she knows and how she's figured out so much having never been on the original cases.

But the murders aren't all Kara has to worry about. The same night of the first of the new killings, she some how messed up a summoning. Instead of pulling through a lower level demon to give her advice, she managed to pull through a Demon Lord. Who could kill her with ease. Instead he seduces her, and continues to plague her dreams and thoughts when she needs to focus on the case.

I loved this book. I got hooked very early on and it didn't let go. It's a great mix of police procedural and paranormal. Kara is smart, down to earth, tough, vulnerable, lonely and very likable. She's not described as beautiful, she talks about having to really work to keep herself in shape - and that she doesn't do it enough. She's very real and I love how she tries at once to protect herself, and yet shows her vulnerability as well. Kara's history, a messed up teen who did her share of drugs and got clean, was something I liked as well. She shows she's far from perfect, but she works hard for what she wants now. She knows how to work people, and that things don't always work out as they should.

I couldn't figure out who the bad guy was until the reveal, which I very much enjoyed. It took so many twists, I kept thinking, like Kara (though not always agreeing with her), that I had it figured out when *bang* something else happened and it was all upside down again. It's tightly plotted, tense, very sexy at times, dark, twisted and brilliant. My stomach churned at some of the descriptions of the bodies, not something I normally flinch too much at. The author doesn't pull any punches! I liked the world building, with the small town setting, and how the demon world works. Different levels of demons, different prices to pay for summoning. How honer is everything to them and while they're self serving, they're not really evil.

There is a romantic sub plot running through the book, though you'd be forgiven for thinking it bigger than it actually is with the way things heat up early on, and very fast. But it does remain in the back ground, adding to the book without dominating anything. I loved the balance of that sub plot, the police side, and the way the paranormal blended in as well. They worked very well together to create a story I really struggled to put down. FBI man Kristoff and demon Lord Rhyzkahl were both great secondary characters. Both mysterious and clearly hiding ulterior motives, though obviously very different ones, it was fun and tense watching Kara deal with them both. How she handled them, how they played off her and there was a nice contrast between the two, the human and the very not.

Overall, a really great read! Hard to put down, great characters, particularly Kara who is one of the most down to earth realistic protagonists I think I've read. Tight plot, plenty of surprises, a setting that just added to the overall atmosphere and an intense conclusion all made for a very enjoyable read. Loved it, would highly recommend it and having already read the second book (loved it even more than this), I'm very much looking forward to the third!
5 people found this helpful
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on 9 May 2012
First of all, this is the first book I have enjoyed since the Kate Daniels series, which should come as a strong recommendation to those familiar with her work.

This books is a paranormal crime thriller, and it is excellent. The writing is smooth, and the editing tight. The plot is good with no obvious flaws. I found the character and plot to be highly engaging, this book is a page turner. The one star review criticized the fact its paranormal, criticized a sex scene and the fact that the main character is obsessed with the case. I want to allay any fears you may have, these comments are basically unfounded. The detective is big into the case because she's a cop, and obsessive. the sex scene was well done, not over the top and appropriate.

In summary, this book is excellent. There is just enough magic and supernatural to make it interesting, although not too much. Its a very well written book, and most people with a gram of patience will enjoy it. It may not be packed with action or magic, but it is engaging, well written and the plot keeps things moving at a good pace. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have just today purchased the next book. Check out Ilona andrews also. its along similar lines but with more action and magic.
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on 15 February 2013
I've been looking for some new reading materials for a while now and when browsing Amazon for some good books, I stumbled across 'Mark of the Demon' from Diana Rowland. After visiting this author's website and reading her short biography I was itchy to read her book.
I'm a fan of urban fantasy and my bookcase is filled with many authors, but it's still nice to get to know some new authors. I'm pleased to tell that Diane Rowland has made it to the top of my favourite authors.

In 'Mark of the Demon', the main character Kara Gillian is a Homicide Detective with the ability to summon demons. Not the evil demons of christianity, but creatures from another realm that she can summon to ours. This ability comes in handy, especially when there's a killer on the loose named the Symbol man. The victims are brutally murdered and Kara finds traces of Aracane energy, that refers to the demonkin. So it's up to her to find out who the killer is and put a stop to the murders.

Spoiler alert!!!
The story is written with a lot of interesting dialogues and funny scenes that would remind me of myself. When summoning, something goes wrong and she encounters a powerful demon, Rhyzkahl that has the features of some hot adonis. Instead of killing her on the spot, he seduces her and you can guess what happens next. At first I was afraid this would be another one of those books where there is sex every twenty pages or so with the main character falling in love with the hot preternatural guy. But thankfully, this is not the case. Kara is a realistic woman with doubts like all of us and doesn't fall so easily for the demon's charms. There are a few attempts to seduce her, but if you're looking for mindblowing sex scenes, you won't find them here. BUT that's no reason to put this book away. The scenes with Kara and Rhyzkahl are sensual and make you wonder what will happen. That and the intriguing story line with interesting characters sweep you away and keep you chained to the book whether you like it or not. (I read it in three days (it would have been two if I didn't have classes and some paper to work on).

So in conclusion: 'Mark of the demon' is a story with a lot of suspense, humour, sensuality, action and enough horror to mark it as a great urban fantasy book.
I'm already busy reading the sequel: 'Blood of the demon' and I just know I'll buy the others as well... It's going be hard on me to put this away to focus on my studies^^
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on 24 June 2016
I'm more of a paranormal romance type of girl than urban fantasy. I liked this but I missed the romance. It's kinda an essential part of a story for me.

I'm not sure if I'll be continuing the series yet.
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on 5 August 2014
I bought this book just to try while waiting for another book to come out. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down and bought the rest of the series and read them up to date and waiting for the next book. Would recommend to anyone who likes the genre.
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on 22 April 2013
I do like a well written paranormal fantasy, and this delivers. A great cast of characters, with solid back stories, and a plot that keeps you interested plus a bit of romance. If you like Meljean Brook, Jeaniene Frost and similar, you'll almost certainly like this.
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on 12 February 2013
This is an easy and quick read for those times when you have a couple of hours to fill. It's a little bit formulaic. I didn't get invested in either of the romanitc leads.
One person found this helpful
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on 18 August 2015
Really enjoying these books
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