Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: I like it
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir – half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. So far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing.
But now Dory’s father has come back into her life. Her uncle Dracula, notorious even among vampires for his cruelty and murderous ways, has escaped from prison, and her father wants Dory to work with the gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there.
Vampires and dhampirs are mortal enemies, and Dory prefers to work alone. But Dracula is the only thing on earth that truly scares her, and when Dory has to go up against him, she’ll take all the help she can get…
When I started reading this book, I was convinced I had read it before, years ago. But nothing at all was familiar, so I must have been mistaken. Still, it was the wrong idea going into the book with, as I kept waiting for things to recognize. This did not happen. I also think, if you have not read the Cassie Palmer series first, you will be totally lost in this world.
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir, working as a private investigator. She has been looking for her missing roommate for the past month, and is not happy with the fact that she can’t find her. Dory is very worried, Claire is a magical null, and with the war between the Vampire Senate and their mage allies, the Silver Circle against some rogue vampires and the Black Circle brewing, chances are she has been harvested for her powers to negate magic.
So when some sleazy vampire tells her that her friend is still alive, and run off with a low level vampire, she is not sure she believes him. Especially when there is another rumor that Claire is pregnant. And a dhampir child is extremely dangerous to its mother. It will kill their friendship for sure if Dory has to kill the child.
And so Dory sets out to find out the truth from some of Michaels flunkies. Unfortunately, the only result she gets is a bar full with dead vampires and demons, and no answers. And that is when her own father finds her. Mircea demands her help in capturing her uncle Dracula, who has escaped his prison again. In exchange he will pull the Senate’s resources in finding Claire for her. And he offers her the aid of Louis-Cesare, a French vampire and a known duelling master. To her surprise, Louis-Cesare is stronger than Dory, and he will not listen to her at all. Thinking he is in charge of the operation, while he knows nothing about her uncle. And she sincerely doubts her dear father has told him everything.
While searching for Dracula, both Dory’s and Louis-Cesare’s pasts are revealed, and thanks to some Fae wine, they even share memories. While it does give them some understanding, it won’t stop them from fighting each other. When Dory gets too angry, some kind of rage takes over and she often wakes up in a carnage, with no memories about what happened. Which is one of the reasons’s being around Claire is so important to Dory: Claire dampens her. And she is the one good friend she has. Dory is certainly not close to her father or her uncles. Searching for illegal and lethal magical weapons to use against Dracula and his followers, Dory finds some strange allies. And together they just might have a chance.
This certainly is an action packed book. Dory gets from one fight or situation in the next, with hardly any time to heal up again. I liked her. She is certainly a kick-ass heroine, and capable of handling her own. In the end, everything comes together, why the Fae are after Dory and Claire, and she finds her friend again without the help of Mircea and the Senate. The world Karen Chance build is certainly a strange and crazy one, filled with lots of creatures. And as the mages have been experimenting, there are also some horrible hybrids running loose. Yes, there is a lot of violence and gore in this book. But I am looking forward to reading the next book. I liked Dory, who doesn’t give up or give in easily, and I want to find out what will happen next in her strange life.
Louis-Cesare, I do wonder if he is a serious love interest in the future, or if this was just an interlude. He really seems to admire Mircea, and Dory doesn’t even want to like her father. Mircea abandoned her and her mother, who gave her away to some gypsies when it became known that she was not completely human.
So, a book filled with action, strange creatures, and a stubborn kick-ass heroine I really liked. Throw in some vampires, Fae and mages and magical weapons, and mayhem is there.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian