Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review - Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Book 1) by Karen Chance (4/5 stars)

Prior to reading this book I had read the first two books in Karen Chance's Cassandra Palmer series and I just couldn't get into them. I didn't like Cassie much as a character and didn't enjoy the mafia-like vampire setting.  When I heard that Chance was coming out with a series that was more urban fantasy and action focused I was excited to give it a try.  So far there are two books in this series "Death's Mistress" is the second one.  A third book is scheduled for 2011, but I couldn't find info on how many total books are planned for the series.  Anyway, I really liked this series much more than the Cassie Palmer series.

Dorina is a dhampir and her vampire father needs her help.  He needs her to hunt down her uncle Dracula (yes, THE Dracula) in return he will help Dory find her friend who is missing. A rather arrogant, devastatingly handsome, and irritating vampire named Louis-Cesare is sent along to assist Dory.  Along the way Dory will encounter some deadly fae, black mages, and an even more mysterious Fae power figure.  Hopefully Dory can manage to fight her blackout rages that are the hallmark of a dhampir and make it through to her final goal.

I enjoyed this book.  The action is non-stop and Dory's world holds a number of interesting surprises for the reader.  The reader is not slowly introduced to this world but thrown right in the middle of it.  Mostly this is a lot of fun, but at points I wished some of the creatures were explained a bit better.  The world is intriguing and complex and Chance does a great job of seamlessly (and casually) throwing major mythological figures into the mix; this makes the things Dory encounters interesting and fun.

Dory herself is a tough as nails dhampir who's seen a lot.  Over and over she takes a licking and keeps on ticking.  Of course she is a bit of an outcast, so that adds some darkness to her character.  I liked her practical outlook on things and her will to never fail.  She is also a bit snarky and funny.  Her and Louis-Cesare have great chemistry together; and even LC (Louis-Cesare) is pretty funny at times...although he has more of the over-protective/darkly brooding male thing going on.

There are a lot of other interesting characters and they all seem to have interesting depths of power that are not fully explored in this book.  I really enjoyed reading about them all.

Chance's writing style is not my favorite, but it is readable and engaging.  At times it is a bit lacking on description for me; but she does good fight scenes.  The ending wrapped the story up nicely and set up the story for the next book.  I love it when my stories are nicely wrapped up.

Overall this was a book I enjoyed much more than the Cassandra Palmer books.  It is definitely more of an urban fantasy than a paranormal romance; although there are a couple steamy scenes.  I am happy I read it and look forward to reading the next book, Death's Mistress.  Off the top of my head I can think of two series that I would recommend over this one.  I liked Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniels series and Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series better than this one.  But this series is better than a lot of other ones I have read too.  I think this series could get much more interesting in the future books. 

This book goes towards the following challenges:
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Dhampir, Book 1)

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