Reading Challenges: 27 for 100+ in 2009
When I first picked up Chasing Demons, I was looking for a fun fantasy read; something with plenty of action, a little romance (not too steamy please), and certainly nothing too serious. After finishing the book, I am pleased to report that it was just what I was hoping for.
Chasing Demons is the second in the Mistress of Beasts series by R. L. Geerdes. I haven't had a chance to read the first book yet, so I can say it isn't absolutely necessary to read the first book before picking this up, but it might save you some frustration in the end. Reading this book certainly did make me wish that I had read the first book in the series, Wizard's Secrets, as there were plenty of references to the action that took place in that book.
Chasing Demons is the story of Katrina, a modern Earth woman, who escaped a deadly car crash by taking a portal into a fantasy world called Arconia. It has now been two years since the accident, and Katrina is living in a remote forest cabin with Castin, the half-elven druid she loves. Katrina is kidnapped by a mysterious sorceress, and taken back to Earth, where she awakens to the news that she has been in a coma following her car accident. Supposedly, only six months have passed, and Russell, the fiancee she believed to have perished in the accident, appears alive and well. Katrina finds herself wondering if she imagined Arconia, and questioning her own sanity. Meanwhile, back in Arconia, those who love Katrina are working to get her back. Castin, in the company of Katrina's father Drestin, follows Katrina through the portal to Earth, determined to find the woman he loves. Cypris, a close friend of Castin and Katrina, uses his bounty hunting skills in an attempt to locate the unknown sorceress.
I enjoyed reading Chasing Demons, and found it to be a satisfying fantasy read. The author did a great job of pacing the novel as the action really never let up, although I did feel that the ending was a bit rushed. I was impressed by the author's explanations of the magic that Drestin and Castin used, as well as some of her more exotic characters. It was nice to read a fantasy novel that wasn't limited only to humans, elves, and dwarfs. At times I was a little put off by the dialogue, especially that of the characters in Arconia who seemed to use a lot of cliches. Still, it didn't take me long to get past this feeling of annoyance and get sucked into the story. I am anxious to read Wizard's Secrets. If I were deciding again, I think I would wait and read the books in order. There were plenty of times as I was reading this novel that I found myself wishing I knew more of the back story, especially that of Castin and Katrina.
In conclusion, Chasing Demons feels like the continuation of a series, not a stand alone novel. There aren't a lot of questions answered in this book, but I'm hopeful that the next book will wrap things up nicely. This is the solid second offering in what feels like a trilogy.