A Devil in the Details (Jesse James Dawson #1) by K.A. Stewart
Jesse James Dawson is an ordinary guy. No super powers, no magic, just some training in martial arts and a katana, which he uses to fight demons by offering his own soul up as collateral for the souls of other people who have made deals with demons. It started with his brother Cole but eventually Jesse joined a loose organization of champions, all of whom put their own souls on the line to save the souls of others. But now two other champions have fallen without the usual signs and Jesse is being followed. It seems that someone has changed thegame without explaining the new rules to the good guys.
I picked up this book because it was on the list for Dark Faerie Tales‘ Debut Urban Fantasy reading challenge. I was intrigued by the premise but also had some doubts about the book. I don’t read many books with male protagonists and most characters in this genre has some sort of super(natural) or magical power. Nonetheless, the cover looks fantastic and it seemed like one of the better choices of the reading challenge list so I picked it up the other day at the bookstore.
A Devil in the Details starts with a bang. Quite literally, as Jesse is getting his head banged against a tree when we first meet him. After reading the first paragraph, I knew that the book was going to be a lot of fun:
There’s a certain sound the human head makes when it hits the trunk of a tree. Meatier than a “crack”; not quite as hollow as a “thunk”–it’s unmistakable. And when it’s my head, I tend to take offense.
In fact, the book was so good I ended up reading it over a couple days when I’d planned on reading it over a week-long vacation. K.A. Stewart has a marvelous writing style that gets you so engrossed in the story. It’s absolutely fantastic. A Devil in the Details moves at a lovely pace, getting enough character development in while moving the story along at a rate that keeps you hooked.
Jesse is a wonderful leading man. He’s built his life around honour, something his wife, Mira, supports but dreads. As a Wiccan, she tries to help and protect her husband and their precocious daughter Annabelle. Jesse also get help from his blacksmith friend Monty and a paramedic named Will, who provide him with weapons and emergency medical assistance, respectively. There are also some diverse supporting characters at Jesse’s regular job; it seems being a champion doesn’t really pay the bills.
I would strongly recommend this to urban fantasy lovers looking for a different kind of protagonist. Go check it out!