I just finished reading Personal Demons by Stacia Kane. I didn't get any fancy book version, just a nicely long PDF. Thought, when I picked it up, I figured I'd spent a few minutes while the pork chops grilled and read a few pages. Sixty pages later, I realized I really needed to get them off the grill before they started to burn. I think it was about 23:30 at night when I announced I wasn't going to sleep until I finished it. Not to self, don't start reading anything but Stacia Kane after 19:00 if I have work the next morning. (As usual, hopefully only minor spoilers.)

In other words, I enjoyed it a lot. She has a very easy style for reading and I found myself going through the story at a pretty good clip. She had a great flair for describing scenes and many of her characters have a really neat set of personalities. I have to admit, I love the cosmology of her demons, it is interesting without being too far off from the expected norm.

The fight scenes were pretty good, but one of them (the zombies) confused me for a while until I re-read it twice. Other than that, I could easily picture everything going on. The descriptions otherwise are what I would call light, but that actually fits very well with the style of writing. You don't plow through the setting stuff.

One of the things I did have to plow through was the accents. It is really hard to write accents and I find the cumbersome. It felt like that was the case since the cockney characters get less of a thick accent later in the book, which I think finds the right balance of accent verses readability about half-way through the story. Now, I believe that cockney is a great accent with a sense of humor and this story has that in great spades. My favorite characters, the bodyguards, are right on and I found myself laughing in some of the scenes.

There is a lot to like about the story. I mean, there were things that jumped up as being a bit irksome (and that I do myself, which is why I notice them), but every story has them. Mainly the demon's response to Fearbusters seemed a bit off. Ignoring the entire "you promised you won't work with someone else" bit of the beginning, which I thought stumbled badly, I'm not entirely sure why the demons considered Fearbusters to be competition since it didn't seem to be part of the commitment to demons things. And the rapid-fire personality change of Brian, as I saw it, as he got more involved with the plot. And to another degree, the entire Dante relationship subplot was a bit forced I thought, but then again, most urban fantasy stories seem to have it, so its almost a genre aspect more than a commentary on this specific novel.

Other than that, I really enjoyed the book. Would I read it again? Oh yeah. I actually recommended it to Fluffy because it doesn't have anything that she forbids (animals getting hurt or rape) and it has enough humor to keep her interesting. Not enough snarky people, but that's my thing more than Fluffy's. I'll grab the sequel (and a proper copy of this one) as soon as I can.

2008-03-31