Reviewed by Tori
The age-old story of what happens when a foul-mouthed, romance impaired heroine with no edit button and a predilection for hot sex is faced with her worst nightmare–a purpose.
Ari Katz is intelligent, driven, and will make an excellent demon hunter once initiated into the Brotherhood of David. However, this book is about his twin Nava: a smart-ass, self-cultivated hot mess, who is thrilled her brother is stuck with all the chosen one crap.
When Nava half-drunkenly interrupts Ari’s induction ceremony, she expects to be chastised. What she doesn’t expect is to take her brother’s place among the–until now–all-male demon hunters. Even worse? Her infuriating leader is former rock star Rohan Mitra.
Too bad Rohan’s exactly what Nava’s always wanted: the perfect bad boy fling with no strings attached, because he may also be the one to bring down her carefully erected emotional shields. That’s as dangerous as all the evil fiends vying for the bragging rights of killing the only female ever chosen for Demon Club.
Odds of survival: eh.
Odds of having a very good time with Rohan before she bites it: much better. (Goodreads)
The Unlikeable Demon Hunter is the first book in Deborah Wilde’s newest Urban Fantasy series-Nava Katz. The tagline compares the heroine to Buffy the Vampire Slayer which instantly hooked me. I adore Buffy and was curious to see how Wilde would put her spin on it. The premise is intriguing and I enjoyed the world building with its mixture of mythology and religion. A demon slaying club based on the story of David and Goliath and run by Rabbis is not something you see everyday and I like it. I also like the notion of a female being inducted into a lifestyle that has consisted of males only for hundreds of years. Heavily character driven, the story reads fast with a steady pace, multiple character introductions, and enough background information to create a strong base on which to build this series.
Nava Katz is a 20 something screw up with a strong sexual lifestyle, high alcohol tolerance, and absolutely no life goals.I guess Nava can be considered similar to Buffy in that both were made slayers without their consent and are female. Otherwise, these two are nothing alike. Our introduction to Nava is watching her stumble half drunk home after a one night stand and crash an important ceremony her brother Ari has trained for his whole life. She ends up on the receiving end of his gift and her reaction to all this? To hide in the bathroom eating Doritos and whining about how she didn’t mean to do it. Now Nava has to figure out how to convince the Brotherhood of David to take Ari on as a demon slayer as planned and let her off the hook before she becomes a murder statistic.
Nava is a character who Wilde tries to convince us has a lot of potential and room for growth when she learns to get out of her own way. Unfortunately, Wilde tries too hard and Nava is one hot mess. The ultimate anti-heroine, most of what we see from her doesn’t give you much hope. She’s crude, makes stupid decisions, manipulative, and immature. She acts out in order to avoid growing up but gets upset when no one is charmed by her actions Also, a personal pet peeve of mine is the naming of body parts and Nava is so so guilty.
A cast of dynamic and personable characters gave the story the depth and humor Nava didn’t provide for me. Ari, Nava’s twin, is the good one. The smart one. The one Nava could never be so she stopped trying. I like that Wilde doesn’t pit Nava against Ari to create un necessary conflict. They have a great relationship and we get a more intimate view of Nava when she is with him. The different demons, slayers, and magics involved are numerous but very easy to follow and understand. Baruch and Ms. Clara are an interesting duo and I am looking forward to seeing what the what is happening there. Nava’s immediate boss, Rohan, a former boy band member she crushed on, is set up to be her first “grown-up” romance though the chemistry between them feels iffy. I have a feeling Rohan may end up being Nava’s Angelus/Angel. If so…I wonder who will be her Spike? Samuel King? The possibilities are endless.
The main conflict is pretty straightforward though weak in areas. Wilde spends a lot of time honing Nava’s comedic dialogue when I felt more time should have been spent on plot development. The action blends well with the ongoing set up of the main story and the various meet and greets though there are some areas where I found myself confused and others turned off. Sex fuels this story and it’s a distraction.
The ending is swift and to the point. The main conflict wraps up neatly and we are left with quite a few open end questions to take us into book two. I like the premise overall and I really hope Nava settles and book two offers readers a better balance between the main character and the plot.
Heroes and Heartbreakers