I hate to say anything bad about a book because I'm certain that, bad or good, the author loves it just the same and put in an equal amount of effort....moreI hate to say anything bad about a book because I'm certain that, bad or good, the author loves it just the same and put in an equal amount of effort. I mean this only as constructive criticism.
That being said, despite its 310 pages the plot feels thin to the point of transparency, every turn is predictable. The characters read as caricatures, and the main character is a blatant Mary-Sue who displays behaviour only acceptable in a young teenage girl, not a girl in her early twenties.
Where was this book's editor? The punctuation was ill-used to the point of distraction. There are instances where the tense changes in the same sentence.
I want to finish this on a good note, so I must say that the descriptions of their surroundings were well-written, which makes me believe that Kendal can write a very good book. This just wasn't it.(less)
The quality of the writing in this series varies greatly from chapter to chapter. Maybe what they say is true, and there were several writers working...moreThe quality of the writing in this series varies greatly from chapter to chapter. Maybe what they say is true, and there were several writers working on this. But while in the previous two we got some vivid, well-written chapters in between mediocre ones, this book seemed much more imbalanced. Don't get me wrong, there were still some chapters that made the book worth reading (and not just so we can know how the series ends).
Personally, what I find terrifying is not so much the concept of scary monsters, but the potential in all of us (maybe the person sitting right next to you on the bus, maybe a member of your family) to commit terrible acts. If you compare how vital it was, how we felt the need for Reggie to save her brother in the first book and all the implications of her possible failure (the destruction of her family, continuous hurt inflicted by someone you love and still feel a visceral need to protect) with the much more cliché and impersonal off-to-save-the-world thing, I think the majority would feel a more primal response to the first one. The book suffered from a lack of the more personal and relatable side of the characters.
That aside, it's still a good trilogy and I recommend it. (less)
I absolutely LOVE this series - at the moment, this and Downside Ghosts are the only Urban Fantasy series that haven't disapp...more
actual rating 4.5 stars
I absolutely LOVE this series - at the moment, this and Downside Ghosts are the only Urban Fantasy series that haven't disappointed me *cough cough* Kate Daniels *cough cough*. And, as usual, when I love something, I keep postponing my reviews because distance helps me get out of the ~omg fangirl!!!~ mindset and see the series strengths more clearly.
Karen Chance introduces us to the peculiar life of Dorina Basarab, a Dhampir - daughter of the vampire Senator Mircea Basarab (of the Cassie Palmer series, which I haven't really read and, quite frankly, don't think they're my cup of tea).
Dorina's best friend and roommate, Claire, has a gift: her presence dampens others' magical abilities. Seeing as Dorina, as a dhampir, is prone to blackouts during which she experiences uncontrollable rages and awakes surrounded by carnage (reason as to why most dhampirs lead very short lives), Claire is a very handy friend to have, even if it weren't for the genuine friendship between her and Dory.
...That is, until Claire goes missing and word on the street is that she was taken by a vampire - evidence leads to Dory's uncle Dracula.
Dorina's father, Mircea, wants Dorina to recapture Dracula, and for that mission she has to team up with the Master Vampire Louis-Cesare, the only vampire Dorina's eccentric uncle Radu Basarab "made". But the mission doesn't turn out to be as straightforward as they thought...
What has me absolutely obsessed with this series is Dorina's relationship with her father, Mircea. Dorina's memories are fractured. She longs for her father's love and approval, and he, in turn, seems to yearn to bestow upon her all the tenderness of a loving father... but, as with most well written relationships, things are extremely complicated between them.
If you're looking for a well researched series, featuring POC in positions of power, LGBT characters with vital roles in the plot, fast paced action, a complete lack of sappiness, a hot dash of romance, and hilarious situations, then this is the series for you! (less)
Just as her romance with Louis-Cesare seemed to be going somewhere, he disappears on a family emergency. It just so happens th...more
actual rating 4.5 stars
Just as her romance with Louis-Cesare seemed to be going somewhere, he disappears on a family emergency. It just so happens that his whereabouts are also of interest to the head of their vampire family (and Dorina's father) Mircea Basarab.
Claire is back to being Dory's roommate, this time with her royal son in tow, which is fortunate since the fey mix Dorina had impulsively adopted for a pet turns out to be sentient, thus catapulting him into the territory of... "son"?
These adversities aside, Mircea has a mission for Dory: to apprehend a smuggler who turns out to be in possession of information on the whereabouts of a fey rune that Claire desperately needs to protect her son.
To complicate matters, Louis-Cesare is trying to save his... mistress?! Needless to say, this doesn't bode well for his relationship with Dorina.
It's a race against time with Dorina having to navigate the waters of vampire politics and get to the fey relic before Kit Marlowe (yes, that Kit Marlowe, who is now a vampire), Mircea (acting on behalf of the North-American vampire consul), Mark Anthony (yes, that Mark Anthony) who is the European Consul, enemy fey factions... and Louis-Cesare himself.
Karen Chance manages to avoid the dreadful 2nd book syndrome by raising the stakes (pun intended) and delivering non-stop action, bits of scorching-hot romance, a compelling mystery, well-researched historical backgrounds, and an extremely tight plot - all with a humorous tone.
If this sounds like the kind of book for you be sure not to miss Death's Mistress!!! (less)