Kathy Davie's Reviews > Virtual Virgin

Virtual Virgin by Carole Nelson Douglas
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Jul 12, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, urban
Read in June, 2012

Fifth in the Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator urban fantasy series set in Las Vegas and revolving around the excessively dramatic Delilah Street.


My Take
I had a hard time plowing through this. I think I even got up to do dishes… I really do like the premise of this story. If we could just get a different primary character. I really can't stand Delilah. She is such a major drama queen and a prick tease. Practically every sentence out of her mouth is melodramatic...I can almost see her raising an arm to put it to her brow and then swoon…gawd… It's an urban soap opera.

I do like that Douglas provides a synopsis of the series to date before you start the new story. But I do have to take issue with some of the "details". I still haven't figured out "why those post-concert kisses are so bloody irresistible" to Delilah so I guess it's a good thing that Douglas is telling us they are. I certainly don't understand her drama about her silver familiar. I'd be too happy about its aid to be complaining!

I'm going to assume that Ric's visit to the Lust Level at the Inferno is setting us up for the next book, otherwise it's simply superfluous even if it does introduce us to a perverse use of CinSims. Although Douglas does provides a more in-depth introduction to the regular cast of CinSims as well as this new group. We also learn Sansouci's background. And it is not what I expected.

Groogle??? Giggle? Whatever. It does manage to bring a face-to-face with Delilah's mother and a new method of travel for her.

Okay, another reason I don't like Delilah. She expects everyone around her to put out. She simply doesn't expect to have to return the favor. Or even be honest in her own turn. What's with that? In the real world, segues and consequences occur. In the Delilah world, piffle, just write a few words and gloss over anything.

Well, even as another door to the past closes, yet more doors are opening on the future in Delilah's world. It'll certainly be interesting to see where her paranoia takes her.

And someone needs to explain that "Louie XVI" is more properly "Louis"...unless this is the Vegas version of his name.


The Story
Every since Delilah trapped Loretta in the mirror world, she's been too worried to walk on in, but events require her to travel the fey ways through the mirror. And, oopsie, she definitely should have stayed out. It seems Loretta got free of her bonds and has a pair of new allies. Allies who will do anything to hurt Delilah. A hurt that indirectly may destroy Ric!

Meanwhile Ric is meeting with Snow over his raising of the Silver Zombie and the very precarious position it creates for Ric. Adding yet another organization gunning for him. Delilah, of course, has enough...um...people? coming after her and this new trick of Loretta's and some comments Sansouci has made do not bode well for the future.

A future that will be challenged by Delilah's furtive jaunt to Juarez tailing Ric and Tallgrass.


The Characters
Delilah Street is a vamp magnet, former news reporter, and now a paranormal investigator working the streets of Las Vegas with a silver familiar courtesy of Snow. We've also learned about the traumas of her past and have a better understanding of why she is such a control freak. Lilith Quince is her CSI double, but somehow her alter ego as well. Dolly is her Biarritz Caddie while Quicksilver is her something else wolfhound with the healing powers and a strong need to protect Delilah. Irma is her conscience-riding friend. Vida is Delilah's mother and her tale is a longevity shocker with all sorts of branching pathways.

Ricardo Montoya, a.k.a., the Cadaver Kid, is former FBI with a personal mission to eliminate the raising of zombies as laborers or CinSims with the help of his silver eye. He intends to right the wrongs of his youth. Leonard Tallgrass is Native American and a former FBI colleague of Ric's who has been invited on the new task force in Mexico.

Hector Nightwine is Delilah's landlord and one of the Vegas heavyweights for whom she consults. His butler, Godfrey, is a CinSim from My Man, Godfrey and takes excellent and somewhat fatherly care of Delilah.

Howard Hughes (billionaire-turned-vampire) is another of her clients; he seems to own a lot more of Vegas than anyone suspects. Shezmou (see Vampire Sunrise ) is both the Lord of the Slaughter and wine god in Egyptian mythology. He's opened his own wine and oils shop in Vegas with Delilah as his partner. Bez is his mini partner of sorts, the god of childbirth and a bit of a perve.

Cesar Cicereau is a werewolf mob boss who owns the Gehenna Hotel and hates Delilah. Loretta Cicereau is the ghost of the teen daughter her father had tortured and murdered. And she's back for vengeance. Sansouci is a daytime-walking vampire held hostage by and working for Cicereau. He keeps a stable of women from whom he "sips" although he claims he would give them all up for Delilah. Madrigal is a captive magician with his very unstable, jealous pair of fey helpers, Sylphia and Phasia.

Snow, a.k.a., Cocaine (of the rock band Seven Deadly Sins), a.k.a., Christophe (owner of the Inferno Hotel) has a creepy interest in Delilah and an even creepier offer for Ric. And some very interesting plans involving the vintage film Metropolis. Grizelle is Snow's shape-shifting security chief who turns into a white tiger. She hates Delilah.

El Demonio Torbellino, Ric's former "owner", is raising an army.

The Immortality Mob resurrects the dead and imprints black-and-white film screen actors onto the zombies. CinSims. A practice Ric wants to destroy.


The Cover
Cool cover! It's Snow's Metropolis Tower in the background with a giant e-billboard featuring the Silver Zombie herself, but, not to worry, pirate Delilah is on the case with sword in hand. I'm not quite sure where the pirate costume comes in, but, then again, this is Delilah...

Per the story, there are three Virtual Virgins. Delilah, the Silver Zombie, and yet another new drink.
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