Demon Heart 2 Never Say Die

As the darkness comes, she must face it and win, to ensure that sun will rise again!
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Book Description:

Naoko Kitamura is a demon hybrid, a descendant of a secret union between an ancient female demon and a noble sixteen-century samurai. After saving her city of Osaka from a nuclear meltdown during an earthquake, she sacrifices herself and comes back to life. Knowing that she can never see her family and friends again, she with the help and guidance of her progenitor, Yoshiko Nagase, moves to the city of Tokyo to start a new life under a new identity. But even after she finds the man she loves and has a family and children of her own, she is still works a member of top-secret organization Katana, responsible for protection of Japan against natural and supernatural threats. White raising her kids, Naoko never forgets her duty and an oath she took to protect the innocent against the worst human and supernatural criminals. While conducting an investigation involving a supernatural weapon capable of controlling peoples’ will, she comes against powerful criminal organizations such as the yakuza and the Russian mafia in alliance with an evil demon hybrid. Aided by her friends and allies, Naoko soon faces the wrath of an old enemy determined to destroy her. As she fights for justice and survival with every weapon at her disposal, she comes up against an even greater threat, this time against Japan itself. An evil genius has invented a terrifying new weapon capable of immense destruction and is prepared to destroy her nation to change the geopolitical balance in the world. And once again, Naoko is prepared to use her powers of darkness and light to protect her country and her family. As the darkness comes, she must face it and win, to ensure that sun will rise again!

Demon Heart 2: Never Say Die by David Crane is a paranormal, thriller starring a demon hybrid, Naoko Kitamura. Naoko works for a shadow government agency, something off the books, much like a CIA off branch. Some of her job is to fight paranormal eternities, other parts of her job is to bust up nefarious criminal gangs, but my favorite aspect of her is her use of free time in that she is always trying to be a thorn in the side of the North Korean regime, especially thwarting their missile program every chance she gets. She's also a master of languages. Demon used in this book is to denote extraordinary powers and ability, and morally neutral. Don't think of it in a Jeudo-Christian sense of a bad guy. Naoko fights for good, but there are other demon hybrids that don't. This book was unexpected and wholeheartedly a treat to read. I like how at the start of each chapter the author, Crane, includes Japanese proverbs. A stylistic choice to fill white space or perhaps a bit of foreshadowing? I'll let you decide. :) I like how despite the book's length, Crane is able to keep the story going at a reasonable pace that never feels dull or overwhelming. I really liked his choice in words, they came across as skillfully and thoughtfully placed, not like just throwing words on paper and hoping something sticks. Really pleasurable to read. I adored the plot and the constant unexpected tying back to North Korea. It was something delightfully unexpected in this kind of genre. I thought it was interesting how her powers lessen as she leaves Japanese soil. How Crane doesn't overdo their powers but has such limitations on the other worldly beings. I cannot highly recommend this book enough to those who enjoy paranormal, supernatural, thrillers.

-- Rory

After I read "Demon Heart", it left me wondering what would happen to Naoko when she moved away from Osaka to Tokyo to start her life over as she is presumed dead at the end of Book 1. I was super excited to see that the author had done book 2!! It's starts with Naoko (formerly Naoko Kitamura, then Naoko Nagese, and married name Naoko Akimoto) coming home and meeting with her husband. It would seem they have some things to discuss... Like book 1, the author teases you with the intro before sending you on a high speed ride through Naoko's life. You get a feel of longing for normalcy that she will never know being a demon hybrid, and one that her daughter will never know. Her family resides in a more rural setting outside of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo just for a feel of that normalcy. Yet even that can't keep them save from the forces that want to hurt her. Even her beloved husband becomes little more than a pawn in the hands of another demon. It exposes a dark reality to Taro about Naoko being so much more than a "secret agent". I really have to give props to the author for his placement of the Japanese Proverbs at the beginning of every chapter as well. I loved them all, but more than that, some of them really stood out as foreshadowing to the next chapter, or what had just happened in the previous one. An example being "A fallen blossom never returns to the branch." Given what Naoko and Toro just went through in the previous chapter, and reflecting on the conversation that was yet to come in the timeline, it was a wince to some of the peace that was lost for the family. It's not so easy for Naoko to go back to family life because of the trials and tribulations that occur, including a dire threat to all of Japan. But the end of the book is sooooo satisfying. We'll leave it as "taking out the trash" as I don't want to give away all the action, but I couldn't help but grin. When Naoko does get back home, the story ended with an "awwww" type moment that is also a nod back to a moment in the first book. I would love for this series to become either a tv series or a movie. It just has so much potential.

-- The McKenzies

About the Author ▸ David Crane

I was born in the Ukraine in 1970, which was then a part of the Soviet Union, a country that no longer exists. I saw the world as a very different place while I lived behind the Iron Curtain. As a child, I never questioned anything because I was too busy trying to be a normal kid who played with toy soldiers, played soccer and hockey, who loved adventure and science fiction books, and occasionally skipped school to see my favorite movies. The world broadened for me after the famous Perestroika and Glasnost. Once forbidden movies, music, and literature from the West became more readily available. Things changed when at the age of sixteen, I immigrated to United States with my family to join my relatives and seek a better life. I ended up a stranger in a strange land where everything fascinated me. New York City, the modern day Babylon, appealed to me with its myriad of languages, customs, and flavors. Assimilating into new culture, learning a new language, finishing high school and college, these were some of the best and most challenging years of my life. After earning my bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design, I sought beauty in all its forms until slowly and rather surprisingly a new irresistible desire emerged inside me: a love of writing. I had great teachers who taught me the craft with great patience, fun and understanding. I learned from the books written by some of the best writers in the world: Jack London, Ernst Hemingway, David Morell, Isaac Azimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert… And the movies that always inspired me are on my shelf, waiting to be picked up when I need to go where the winds of creation will take me. For me writing is a labor of love. I want to share with my readers all the fun and joy of creativity and imagination. My hobbies include traveling, book and coin collecting, graphic novels, Japanese food and manga, military history and science. I currently live in New York City where I enjoy the best the Big Apple has to offer.