Cop and conjurer of demons, she's a woman in danger of losing control - to a power that could kill....
"Why me? Why now?" That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives - and souls - of 13 people? And should she?
The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he's back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore. Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head.
©2009 Diana Rowland (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
No, the story was not very well written and the reading of this book made it more awkward to listen to.
The idea behind this book was the most interesting aspect of this story, but the least interesting was the character development, they seemed very one dimensional and it was very hard to understand the motivation behind most, if not all characters actions.
This is what made the book least enjoyable, the "unique" way that she decided to do different characters voices was imitated by myself and my friends for cheap laughs and it just kept me from connecting to the book in any way.
No, not unless they changed the story dramatically much like they did to True Blood I could not see anyone watching this.
This book makes me think of Eve Dallas (In Death series by JD Robb), gone paranormal. I've enjoyed the story and the narrator's performance so much that I've downloaded the whole series in the last 5 days.
The story isn't complex, but the vocabulary level is slightly above average when compared to similar others in this genre. At the same time, the "F word" is used frequently. I found that a strange but charming paradox.
I think this is my first experience with narrator, Liv Anderson, but her voice is calm and well-paced.
I would say within my top ten. This is my first book by Diana Rowland so I am really looking forward to continuing the story.
Oh wow, I'd say when Kara is attacked by the demon towards the end of the book
I really loved the part where we got to see the other realm.
Don't judge the demon by the cover
Definitely a great first book to the series. I am looking forward to the next in the line. Well worth a credit!!!!
More like a 3.5. I am conflicted about how I felt about this book. I enjoyed it for the most part. I really did. But it wasn't what I was expecting, wanting, desiring to read at the moment.
I have read/listened to Diana Rowland's White Trash Zombie books. I was hoping for something like those but with a different heroine, if you. Think about that for a moment. We all hate when an author writes the same book but with a different heroine. So my premise was all wrong to begin with.
Anyhoo, don't be looking for Angel in Kara. Are there similarities? Yes. But the Kara Gillian book was darker. There was not as much humor. Kara is not as disingenuous as our zombie gal Angel, nor is she all that worldly wise. But she knows what she is from day 1. There is no fumbling around, in humorous ways, to figure out how to deal with her situation.
I have told you what it is not. Now I will share what it is.
Kara Gillian is a cop. But she is a cop with an outside life that includes her being a summoner. She summons demons. Now, these demons will do stuff for summoners, but there are different levels of demons one can summon. If you summon a demon that is not of a mind to be summoned, you could be opening up a can of demonic worms you really don't want to open.
And Kara does just that. But Kara can't figure out why or how she did it. She didn't want to. But she did. And of course, the demon doesn't shed any light on the situation for her.
So what we have is a cop with an unwanted demon. And then next thing you know, we have a cop with serial killer on her hands. Coincidence? I think not.
So the story takes us through the machinations of the serial killer, and the machinations of a demon lord with an agenda. Kara is the focal point of both.
There are a lot of red herrings in this book. Red herrings that you can smell. That is not my favorite plot device. They did seem a bit heavy handed.
I also had some issues with Kara's initial meeting with the demon. I didn't "approve" of what happened, nor did I approve when it happened again. But it is all explained away in a PC kind of way so I decided not to get my panties in a twist.
I listened to the Audible version. The narrator is Liv Anderson. I can't remember listening to her before, but I will now seek out books she has narrated. I thought she did a wonderful job.
Say something about yourself!
Read/Listened for Fun (Audible/Paperback)
Tracking Books Read Review (Short)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 4.00
Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: I was thrilled to see that Mark of the Demon was a little bit Urban Fantasy and Mystery/Thriller! Glad I have 3 more of the series ready to go!
Overall Thoughts: I love Diana Rowland's White Trash Zombie series and have owned these forever. I was not disappointed. I really liked Kara--she was smart, interesting, quirky, and can kick butt. I loved that she was cop and has a past that makes her a better cop. The mystery was strong. I am very interested to see how things play out with Kara and all the craziness that is going on in her world. I have to say that last little bit about the naked pictures on the internet made me laugh out loud. You will just have to read it to figure out what that refers too!
Narrated By Liv Anderson / Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
Liv did an excellent job with Mark of the Demon. I have never listened to her narrate a book before but I was impressed. I will be watching for books narrated by her in the future.
Final Thought: Need to squeeze book 2 in soon!
I need more ears!
This is a fantastic read! I enjoyed this first book so much that I went ahead and bought the whole series. It's so well read by Liv Anderson, that I was instantly sucked into the world. It's gritty and dark at times, and several secondary characters die -- but that's to be expected since it deals with demon summoning as a practice of magic. I was riveted from the start!
The series revolves around a female cop who is also a secret student of demon summoning. She's the only one who senses the magic around several crime scenes, and is therefore the only one with any chance of solving the crimes. She goes up against a bad guy summoner who's trying to bring on Armageddon for the usual twisted reasons.
Our hero is not extra tough, nor does she use a handy magic wand. She does use her wits to find out who the psycho is. While occasionally summoning a demon or two to help out, she does this reluctantly since demons are strong and unpredictable and if she loses control of them she's toast.
So yeah, it's dark, but it's also funny at times and it feels fully fleshed out. Some of the demons she summons are nearly mindless beasts, while others are sexy angel like gods. There is a little romance, some sex and a great plot.
While I don't get the negative reviews, and I won't speculate on why they seem so harsh, I will say that the negatives noted seem to be based on the kinds of things that books of this type usually contain. I just wonder what these readers were expecting from a Urban Fantasy about demons.
I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to more books in the series.
P.S. I've noted a troubling trend in reviews where people are using the word "heroin" when they mean "heroine." I don't want to be the spelling police, but come on people -- those are two very different words!
After reading the white trash zombie series I expected a lot more from this book but Diana Rowland didn't cut it for me.
The story was painfully tedious and dull because of the main character acting as if she was oh so tough and intelligent and I don't know why but it bothered me a lot... And I can't recall if in the white trash zombie series she used "fuck" so much but it sounded just right and funny and in this book it was a torture because she used it too much and it sounded off... I don't know if it was because of the character or the narrator but either way it was exhausting.
I wanted to return this book almost at the beginning of it but I pull my will to finish it, since I don't like to leave a book unfinished, but thank goodness it doesn't have a cliffhanger or anything because that way I don't have to buy the next one...
S. A. Williams
This title has been on my TBR list for an incredibly long time. The audiobook came up for sale and I was all over it. It’s an Urban Fantasy with a kick ass chick, I mean hello, she summons demons and she’s a cop! And there isn’t a vampire to be found in the entire book! Score! Definitely my type of book!
The one thing I really liked about this story was the mythology created. The Demons that Kara summons aren’t evil; they are from another plane of existence. They are neither good nor bad; they are just utterly self-serving, and rely on a strict honor system in their culture. Their honor is everything to them. So once a summoner; which is what Kara is, agree to terms with a demon, the demon will abide by those terms, simply because their honor holds them to it. It was a pretty interesting concept. Kara summons the demons in order to glean information, and basically uses them to better learn her craft. Again, she isn’t evil, and neither are the demons. It’s all in the summoner and what the terms agreed upon.
Kara has a summoning go disastrously wrong and winds up with a far deadlier creature she has to contend with, Rhyzkahl. Who instead of slaughtering her where she stands, decides seduction is the name of the game. This coincides with an old serial killer starting up again and Kara is given the case, her first murder case. She is in a race to track down the Symbol man before he kills again. On top of being saddled with a FBI agent who she is completely attracted to, while he thinks she is a compete idiot. Oh, and did I mention Rhyzkal is now visiting her dreams? Stress doesn’t even begin to cover Kara’s world.
I finished the audiobook in a 2-day period. I kept guessing this is the killer, then nope he would get killed. It was loaded with surprises all the way to the end. I was so thrilled I wasn’t able to guess! The stories are always blown when I can figure them out, so happy this wasn’t the case. I will note that this is a bit on the horror side for me with all those grizzly details, but not enough that I wasn’t able to enjoy the story.
Mark of the Demon is an excellent start to this series and I am so pleased that I finally jumped into it. I have been missing out! I can’t wait to dive into the next book, Blood of the Demon....Sara
"Too sleazy but with a glimmer of a story"
I have just listened to the 6th book in the series having been though a period where I have the opportunity to simply keep listening straight through. Interestingly this is a book series that gets better towards the end of the series - some authors start off strong and the story fades but this is the opposite. The series starts off cheesy, each book in the beginning of the series has just enough of a story to persuade me to try the next one. My opinion of the first book:
Too smutty and sleazy: Given the relatively small size of the book too much of it is taken up with erotic scenes where moving the story along would be more entertaining. I just ended up scrubbing through to the next scene - boring! If nothing else this book reveals that men are not nearly shallow enough.
The writing is entertaining, the interplay between the characters is funny, there is good scene description. The irony is that fantasy authors tend to have decent scene description which is good but science fiction authors - where the story takes place in the far future and/or different worlds where scene setting is more important often don't bother. Lazy buggers.
The book is not boring, I know that doesn't sound like much but if you want to invest money/credits on books the last thing you want is a story that simply drags on and on where the writer can not engage the reader. This author does at least that.
The narrator reads slowly and clearly, this is a good thing but I ended up listening to this book at x3 speed. She also manages to give each character enough of a unique voice that story comes alive.
I gave this book two stars over all, it has a glimmer of a kernel of a story to it, which is why I kept going through the series. The last two/three books in the series are worth reading, readers can skip though the first lot of novels without loosing much since you get caught up in each novel anyway.
I have read all of this series and I am a huge fan, I was well chuffed to see that it was now in audio format, the premise is what grabbed me at first a conjurer of demons a cop who does not really relate to everyday life, she prefers the company and challenge of summoning demons.
Gruesome ritualistic murders, an enigmatic FBI agent who does not add up and a very ancient demon you can see from the off set this series is going to be a corker, though I will say it now I am biased.
It's police procedural, mixed with an insidious evil, likeable characters including the manipulative powerful demon that you can't quite trust, it's multi-layered with a convoluted plot that sprinkles clues along the way that takes on to future plots.
Get it if you like your urban fantasy dark and gritty, and a series that just gets better and better with each book.
"Awesomely well written, a great enjoyable read"
Very much so, I enjoy such books and Diana Rowland has a rare gift like few others, only authors like Ann Rice, Chris Fieldwater, especially his new up and coming book Eternally in Love. sensual, sexy and O my why a book, Kim Woods is another great author in the class of Diana Rowland, Truly a great book to listen to.
very much the lady detective Kara and the way she became entwined in the story.
She is a great narrater and has a sensual voice, and carries the story extremely well
Passions of the demon
A great read, I have only recently discovered this authors books and am the process of adding all her novels to over 370 plus audio books in my collection.
"Great story! A strong female cop and sexy demons!"
One of the best stories I have listened too.
Loved the supernatural mixed with a (gruesome) murder mystery. Great concept of demons not being creatures of hell but more like 'aliens' living in another dimension. The plot and characters are very interesting and i will certainly read the next in series. (The narrator ruined it for me which is why I will read the next one!)
Erm, really hate to be negative but the narrator ruined it for me. Not great at differentiating the characters so I found I had to play close attention to which character was talking. She could have changed pitch and used a different accent for the characters...
"Original and wierd!"
I assumed that this was going to be another detective and was in for big surprise!! More like Tolkein on acid. Certainly makes you reassess what is real... Stralings? Great
I was so into the story that I didn't notice her ... this is a good thing
"Very original story"
Yes I would definitely listen to this book again because there was so much in the story I know I'll hear new aspects that were missed the 1st time.
When Kara met The Lord demon
All of them were great but Kara was my favourite
Power has consequences
This book is excellent. It has an unusual twist on the paranormal genre as well as heroes that are flawed. Now that the second book is finally in audio format I'm relishing the thought of my new adventure with Kara.
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