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K.A. Stewart

K.A. StewartK.A. Stewart has a BA in English with an emphasis in Literature from William Jewell College. She lives in Missouri with her husband, daughter, one cat, and one small furry demon that thinks it’s a cat. Read more about her at K.A. Stewart’s blog.

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Jesse James Dawson

Jesse James Dawson — (2010-2012) Publisher: Every lost soul needs a champion. Jesse James Dawson was an ordinary guy (well, an ordinary guy with a black belt in karate), until the day he learned his brother had made a bargain with a demon. Jesse discovered there was only one way to save his brother: put up his own soul as collateral, and fight the demon to the death. Jesse lived to free his brother — and became part of a loose organization of Champions who put their own souls on the line to help those who get in over their heads with demons. But now experienced Champions are losing battles at a much higher rate than usual. Someone has changed the game. And if Jesse can’t figure out the new rules, his next battle may be his last…

K.A. Stewart Jesse James Dawson 1. A Devil in the DetailsK.A. Stewart Jesse James Dawson 1. A Devil in the Details 2. A Shot in the Darkfantasy and science fiction book reviews

A Devil in the Details: Demonically delicious

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A Devil in the Details by K.A. Stewart

A Devil in the Details introduces us to the wry and wiry Jesse James Dawson, a 21st century Midwestern samurai who saves souls in the best tradition of The Seven Samurai. If you sold your soul to the devil, or one of his demonic henchmen, who you gonna call? JJD, of course, or one of his fellow demon-fighting champions. His wife, Mira, a practicing Wiccan white witch, owns a shop in Westport, a trendy Kansas City district of specialty shops and bars. Together they attempt to corral their young daughter, Annabelle, appropriately nicknamed Hurricane Anna. Ivan, a retired Ukrainian demon killer, mentors Jesse and several other champions scattered around the globe. When two champions fail to report in, Ivan warns Jesse and travels to Mexico to investigate Miguel's disappearance.

Meanwhile, Jesse is juggling life and a ... Read More

A Shot in the Dark: A strong sequel

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A Shot in the Dark by K.A. Stewart

A Shot in the Dark continues a few months after A Devil in the Details, with Jesse James Dawson mostly recovered from his last demon death-dance and tornado tango, but still suffering from nightmares of an earlier near-fatal demon fight. His annual Colorado camping trip with his buddies should provide ample opportunity for rejuvenation and recreation. A walk in the woods, dodging paintballs and pine cones, to a mountain cabin retreat should fit the bill.

His hiatus from demon hunting sputters when Axel, the demon personally plaguing Jesse, invites himself to the pre-vacation barbecue at the Dawson home, despite the wards maintained by Jesse's wife on the house and the yard. Axel acts strange, even for a demon, and attempts to warn Jesse against making the camping trip, but Jesse just wants Axel gone an... Read More

Peacemaker: A well-done bit of Weird West with a likeable protagonist

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Peacemaker by K.A. Stewart

K.A. Stewart‘s Peacemaker gives us an alternate America (Kansas, to be exact) in which most people have magic, arcane-powered transports replace the horses they're modeled on, and Native American magic is strong enough that the USA stops at the Rockies. The eponymous Peacemaker (think US Marshal), Caleb Marcus, brings his magic, his staff and his familiar (a cute jackalope named Ernst) to the town of Hope, where he has to deal with a Bad Wealthy Rancher.

I give that last phrase capitals because he's a trope, one of a number of tropish characters. The friendly saloonkeeper (who's Scottish), the helpful general store owner, the grumpy blacksmith (who's Swedish), the schoolmarm, the kid who's running a bit wild but has potential, the mysterious old ... Read More