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Blud #3

Wicked After Midnight

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A contortionist and a rakish brigand navigate the cabarets of Paris to rescue a girl taken by slavers in the third steampunk-tinged romance of the Blud series.

Life as a contortionist in Criminy’s Clockwork Caravan should be the height of exotic adventure, but for Demi Ward, it’s total dullsville. Until her best friend, Cherie, is stolen by slavers outside of Paris, and Demi is determined to find her.

On the run from his own past, Vale Hildebrand, a dashing rogue of a highwayman, hides Demi from the slavers…but why? He pledges to help her explore the glittering cabarets of Paris to find her friend, but much to Vale’s frustration, Demi soon attracts a host of wealthy admirers. The pleasures of music, blood, and absinthe could turn anyone’s head, and it would be all too easy to accept Cherie’s disappearance as inevitable—but with Vale’s ferocious will and Demi’s drive to find her friend, they soon have a lead on a depraved society of Parisian notables with a taste for beautiful lost girls. Can Demi wind her way through the seedy underbelly of Paris and save her best friend before she, too, is lost?

429 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 28, 2014

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About the author

Delilah S. Dawson

139 books1,802 followers
Delilah S. Dawson is the New York Times-bestselling author of Star Wars: Phasma, Black Spire: Galaxy's Edge, and The Perfect Weapon. With Kevin Hearne, she writes the Tales of Pell. As Lila Bowen, she writes the Shadow series, beginning with Wake of Vultures. Her other books include the Blud series, the Hit series, and Servants of the Storm.

She's written comics in the worlds of Marvel Action: Spider-Man, Lore's Wellington, Star Wars Adventures, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, The X-Files Case Files, Adventure Time, Rick and Morty, and her creator-owned comics include Star Pig, Ladycastle, and Sparrowhawk.

Find out more at www.whimsydark.com.

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5 stars
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151 (37%)
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102 (25%)
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26 (6%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 80 reviews
April 23, 2014
I'm always hesitant to start one of these books and then I'm always amazed at how much I end up enjoying it! The major problem is that no one and I mean no one can measure up to Criminy even though they do come close...there's just something about him.

But this is Demi's story, the girl who Criminy took under his wing. She's restless and he has begrudgingly agreed to let her and her friend travel. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse.

description

We've known Demi since the beginning and it was great seeing her come into her own. She's matured and I just love strong women. She takes what she wants and all the while, she plays the game.

Vale was quite intriguing. I wasn't too sure what to think of him in the beginning since he came across as quite the player. I loved how he could get anything and how he was always there for Demi! Oh, and did I mention he is French? Oh, la!

description

Demi and Vale together = hot stuff. The traipse = off the charts and the little room = totally swoon worthy. I was happy that even though there was insta-lust, their relationship was able to develop at a nice pace.

description

The story had the right amount of mystery and drama and romance and heart break. It was wonderful how all the elements came together. Some things were easy to figure out and some were just surprising.

I never knew what to make of Lenoir. He was both familiar to Demi and just off. The paintings were both magical and creepy but it was great how everything ended up.

My favorites were Bea, Mel, and Blaise. I loved how they looked out for each other and the sign language made everything much more interesting. The ending was the best.

description

Speaking of the ending, it was perfect ~love Coco~ and we got extra Criminy bonus. ~sigh~ Since this is the last book, I was hoping for an Epilogue with a Criminy POV but it all worked out.

This is definitely a great series if you're looking for a different spin on vampires. There is nothing out there like it. I will never forget the blud bunnies that's for sure!

description

Favorite quotes:

♥ "This, this was what had been missing. This this this."

♥ “You’re so very altruistic.”

“I don’t know that word, but I’m guessing it’s similar to sexy.”

♥ “Oh, dieu. Now you’re like butterscotch. Mignon, I could eat you alive.”

♥ “You put on quite a show, Vale Hildebrand,” I murmured.

“Hope you like encores, bébé. The night is still young. And I’m not done with you yet.”

♥ “And you don’t think sex is serious? It’s the driving force of nature, bébé. Everything a man does is for love or sex.”
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,157 reviews458 followers
January 26, 2014
*Genre* Steampunk Romance
*Rating* 3.5

*My Thoughts*

The author has announced that Wicked After Midnight will be the last Blud series story. The series ends with a character that Dawson touched briefly on in The Damsel and the Daggerman in Bludman/Contortionist Demi Ward. After partying too hard, Demi ended up in a coma, and was later transported to Sang where she was dying until Criminy Stain Bludded her, and saved her life. Demi has now been stuck in Sangland for the past SIX years with apparently no hope of ever going back to Earth unlike Tish who can come and go.

If you are a fan of the Blud series, you know that Sang is an upside down, twisted, & dark world filled with Blud animals of all kinds including unicorns, Bludman, Daimons, and Pinky's. It is a world where Criminy's Carnival is probably safest place for Bludman to be since they are protected and safe from Pinky's who would rather drain them, then allow them any rights. In this world, women are once again put into a corner and not given any rights or privileges unless they have a man standing behind them to champion their causes. It is even worse when it comes to being a female Bludman.

Demi is a character that will be talked about for awhile in both good and bad terms I think. As a former college coed who drank too much, and ended up in a coma without experiencing what life's challenges are all about, Demi is looking for an adventure all her own even if it means cutting off her nose to spite her face. She hates to be told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. She's wants to party, have some independence of her own, and above all, meet and fall in love with a man who understands her, and doesn't bore the living snot out of her like her past encounters have. In some circles, Demi would be considered a driven woman, while others would call her a total unfeeling bitch.

When Cherie is taken by slavers on the way to Paris, Demi meets highwayman Vale Hildebrand who has more than his own fair share of challenges and expectations that he is supposed to live up to but hasn't. Demi is so determined to go out on her own and become famous, that she schemes, throws caution to the wind, and ends up up to her eyes in trouble, deception, betrayal, and a cabaret club where not everything is as it appears. Demi ends up being involved with a slew of less than honorable individuals whose own desire of fame and fortune puts girls in difficult positions where prostitution is their only way out of destitution or worse.

Although this IS Demi's story, I really felt loathing for her at times because she seems to put her own desires and agenda ahead of looking for her best friend Cherie who experiences pain and suffering of unimaginable consequences. This is the same Cherie who took Demi in Six years ago and became not only her best friend and partner, but someone who would keep an eye out for her, and taught her what it meant to be a blood drinker. It was after-all, Demi's desire to be independent from Criminy, that swayed Cherie to go with her to Franchia. Demi's push to become a mega superstar will get people's attention to the point where you have to ask yourself what would YOU do if you best friend was taken, and the only hope you had for her rescue, was to a become so popular that people would do anything to have you, and therefore, maybe lead you to finding her before it's too late.

As with previous installments, including novellas, Wicked After Midnight does have its smexy moments which readers have come to enjoy since they are hot and steamy and gets your hearts beating and blood flowing. Wicked After Midnight also leaves an interesting question from Demi's prospective: Will Tish ever become blooded, or will she end up back on Earth? That has been a question that has been plaguing my thoughts ever since Wicked as They Come was released with Criminy and Tish's story and subsequent novella's where Criminy and Tish appeared married, but her blooded situation has never been wrapped up. Fans of the series will also get farewell appearances by Murdoch and Imogen, as well as Jacinda and Marco who were part of Demi's life.

I would & do recommend this series to anyone who asks me. Dawson's world building and characters are entertaining and far from being the same old same we've come to expect from Steampunk romances. I would definitely say that you SHOULD also try the novella's even though they are not necessary to enjoyment of the series at whole. I think that Wicked After Midnight will get some references to MOULIN ROUGE when reading and reviewing the book, and that doesn't necessarily seem like a bad thing to me.

Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Pocket
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,606 reviews1,480 followers
January 30, 2014
3.5 Stars

I absolutely love the steampunk world that Dawson has created in the Blud series. This is not your normal vampire book, this is about Bludmen, do not be confused. There are no mesmerizing looks, sparkly skin in the sun or any other completely trite tropes that annoy me with other books that include vampires. No, Bludman are bad ass, sure they drink blood but that is where it all ends, they can be made or born. Blud is a world of magic and machinery, Moulin Rouge and the Wild Wild West, where the men and women dress like those of the 1800s and it is difficult to tell who is the predator and who is the prey. Where People with bird like tail feathers feed off emotions and you could be killed by a bludbunny in your sleep.

Demi has always been hungry and she has always wanted more…of everything. She dreams of fame and fortune that will never happen if she stays in Criminy’s Clockwork Caravan. Setting out with her partner Cheri, Demi is determined to make it into the Paradis cabarets. Cheri is not so determined, her wants are small and she was happy in the caravan, but she is Demi’s partner and will reluctantly follow her into hell if necessary and it seems that is exactly where Cheri ends up as she is snatched by slavers. Demi now hopes she is able to find her friend before she befalls the same fate.

I wanted to like Demi, but I honestly felt like smacking her more than once. She was so set on being free that she didn’t see the cage she built for herself. She was selfish and could seem slightly snotty in her blustering. I have felt that way about most of Dawson’s Heroines, but her heroes wrap my heart around their little finger and I just can’t get enough of them. While Criminy Stain will always be my favorite Vale is a close second. He was an adorable scoundrel.

If Lenoir’s absinthe was glitter and fairies and sunbeams, Vale’s kiss was the opposite: endless star-strewn skies and the intimacy of turning you face away from eternity to steal a moment, dark and secret.

Vale was smart and flirty and always jumping in and out of windows stealing kisses. Also, he is the only person helping Demi stay on track to find Cheri. I repeatedly got mad at her because he best friend is in mortal peril somewhere and she is very distracted forgetting about why she was at the cabaret in the first place. The cabaret is darker than Demi could have realized when she joined. Full of scoundrels, villains and men who think because you can dance they should be able to buy you as well. But perhaps she can find who stole her friend in the clientele of the cabaret.

There is mystery and intrigue while Demi is trying to find Cheri but there is also plenty of time for some fun and even a shout out to both Moulin Rouge and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Dress them as forks, napkins, salt cellars, sugar bowls, teacups. Like a giant table, putting on a show just for the diners. Inviting the audience to be our guests.”

I enjoyed the story and the resolution. This installment was darker in tone than that of the others, but it was completely enjoyable and there were cameos by all of my favorite characters from the previous two books Criminy, Letisha and Casper being my most loved. I believe that this is a wrap up to the entire series but I enjoyed all of my time in Sang and wouldn’t mind reading an additional novella or book in the series.
Profile Image for Angelc.
422 reviews49 followers
February 25, 2014
This book was really enjoyable and also unique. I think I am starving for these paranormal historical romance books, with a dash of steampunk. I can't get enough of them, and there are so few to pick from. If you haven't read this type of book before, this would be great for something new and different.

I read the first book in this series, "Wicked as They Come," and while I enjoyed it, I didn't care for all the time/world hopping that the heroine did. This time around, I was much happier, because while Demi is from our world, she has permanently crossed over into the alternate world. It's nice because the reader has the same frame of reference as Demi, she will say modern slang, etc., but we get to totally immerse ourselves in the new world.

At first, I absolutely loved Demi. She was so youthful and fresh. She was very much like a stubborn, spunky teenager. It did get a little old when she started to be too stubborn for her own good though, getting her best friend and herself into trouble because she refused to see any type of reason. Vale was a great hero. I really liked the fact that he was somewhat of the black sheep of the family. I definitely liked that he wasn't the typical paranormal alpha male, he was much more three dimensional than that.

Overall, this is a fun paranormal historical, but it does have a bit of a dark side. I love the world that the author has built and her characters show a lot of depth as well.


book sent by publisher in exchange for an honest review

reviewed for http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com

February 23, 2014
I am really quite torn with this review. I really like the world of these three novels that the author has created, but I did not care for the main character of this story one bit. Demi was in college, went on a drunken binge and ended up in a coma, hence her arrival in Sang. She was apparently found close to death by Criminy Stain, and turned into a Bludman. Her 6 years in Sang, have not apparently enabled her to grow up at all, and all she wants to do is be famous. She ends up in Paris, dancing in a cabaret to much acclaim. But along the way her best friend, Cherie is captured by slavers. While Demi says her major goal is finding Cherie, she actually doesn't spend much time doing it. She hooks up with a handsome Brigand, named Vale, who does alot of leg work for her, but I had to ask myself again and again, what he saw in Demi, because I sure didn't see it.
Profile Image for K.K..
635 reviews22 followers
November 25, 2016
Let me just say that my rating may be bias towards my own personal liking. The only reason that could have made me rate this book a low 3 stars(2.5 stars even) was because I really really REALLY didn't like Demi... In fact I think I hated her. Everything about the book was as exciting as the other in the series. From the great world building to the exciting plot. I would love it so much if Demi wasn't the star in it.

Spoilers Alert!! and RANTING!!!

Demi was without doubt a childish ungrateful selfish BRAT!! and I'm not saying that lightly.. she actually tried my patience so much that at the end of every chapter, I wanted to DNF the book... I did DNF at chapter 4 because I kept saying "WTF!!??" "B*tch" and all kinds of not-very-nice-words... It was awful even to me. I felt very bad for all the things I said. the only reason I kept going was the promising great adventure... and I admitted I wanted Demi to meet her DOOM!! then when she finally learnt her lessons and grew up, I would accept her HEA. If she didn't suffer and got herself a HEA, I didn't knew what i was gonna do. And Demi did suffer although not as much as I hoped for (very little in fact)and I was reluctantly accepting her HEA.. all because of Vale. YES!! the rating stars were all for the great world building, plot setting and VALE!! and Vale was not even an impressive character. It was just comparing to Demi, he became the most wonderful man ever. and he deserved his HEA. He did almost everything for her, giving up many things for her but it still did not satisfied Demi.

Oh Demi.. I so wanted to like her... but No.. she could not make me love her like Ahna did... Ahna was perfect... haughty selfish and proud princess who learnt empathy and grew up to be a great powerful queen but Demi.. Demi was selfish ungrateful self-centered greedy cruel and overall bitchy brat who was already twenty-six and a bludwoman but acted like a 6-year-old child who was denied candy. Ahna did suffer and gone through hell,being drained, lost consciousness for 4 years, her family all slaughtered, had to survive assassins.. she was much more deserving of her HEA. Demi might have died and entered Sang but she did it to herself. She might get attacked by Bludbunnies but she was saved by Criminy. She thought she lost 6 years but she lived in comfort of a caravan not drained and stuffed unconsciously in a suitcase for 4 years. She didn't lost her birthright or her family, she left them by her own freewill. Criminy and the Caravan was her family. Demi didn't have to survive assassins, she only had to compete for her Stardom. She didn't deserved an easy comfortable or glamorous life. And although she did mature and the book revealed more of her personality and thinking, it still could not make me like her. She was a little bit like Keen in the former book.. I didn't like Keen much but she was acceptable character... but Demi was Keen with her worst personality times infinity.

Full Spoilers!!

Since beginning of the book, Demi was an ungrateful brat. She kept whining about the boring life she had in the caravan, how she so wanted to leave. If Demi was in the real world, I would have accept that it was a reasonable reason that you would want adventure out of your ordinary unexciting life... BUT NO!! she was in Sang, a land where leaving your safety comfort meant surviving for your life, where you could be killed, slaughtered even and not in the pretty way. I understood that she could feel trapped in the caravan life for 6 years but she should had been more grateful for the safety and comfort that Criminy and Caravan had given her... BUT NO!!! I saw no remorse, no guilt in blaming Criminy for trapping her... I saw no gratitude at all for Criminy... she just kept whining, and wanting and greed. She kept saying she was already a grown up at 26 but she was acting like a selfish child. I saw no maturity in her action, thought or words. She refused to take in knowledge, refuse to understand, refuse to learn from those who were more experienced and actually cared for her. And how did she got into Sang in the first place... She drunk herself to death with her so-called unhappy college life...she was ungrateful in Sang and she was definitely ungrateful anywhere.

She was also selfish and heartless. Playing with Luc, knowing she wanted nothing more of him and complaining about how he became a lovesick fool for her... How about telling him the Truth, DEMI!!?? shouldn't Luc deserved at least an explanation for your sudden leaving. BUT NO!!! she thought she was just gonna left him hanging and disappeared without words or explanation ... WHY??! because It was easy for her.... yup EASY for poor old DEMI...

Let's see... what else!! OH... Even after Criminy agreed to let her leave, she was still so very very VERY egocentric and self-absorbed. Criminy was kind enough to let her go to Franchia.. to Ruin to attend a college... but she wanted to go to Paris instead.. doing what!!? a Cabaret STAR!! A CABARET instead of College. I didn't care if Demi suffered when in her former college . I didn't care that she felt trapped. All I knew was that Demi was selfish and stupid!! YuP!! I said IT!! When a person who loved you and had more knowledge about Sang than you told you that...

“...The caravan, it’s an art. With Master Criminy, we are safe, cared for. Legitimate. But once you’re in the cabarets . . . you don’t understand. The men, they expect things from the girls there. It is not all dancing and then back into your wagons like good little ducks.”

You should listen and even if you didn't believe it, you should still put it into the consideration. and When a person who had DIRECT experiences told you...

“...I know because my father sold me to a cabaret when I was only sixteen to pay for his gambling debts. It happens often, when a daimon hungers for anticipation and chance but isn’t rewarded with luck. Let us say only that I was fed well but heartsick, and I will stay with Monsieur Stain as long as he will have me.”

You should think even more carefully... BUT NO!!! Demi was like...

“You forget: we’re not daimons. It would be different for a Bludman.”

Well, if you were gonna think that way... why didn't you think that college in Sang could be different than in the real world.. And I hated how because she felt suffered in college, she made the college life sounded like a torture. It could be miserable for some but one should not use its own experiences as standard when most people didn't suffer as you did.. (not like life in a Cabaret which was often suffering for girls) She could have had a different kind of adventure in College in Ruin, in Sang... all in all, she was just that selfish!!

And I thought she couldn't get worse but she did... Demi even force her best friends to leave with her. FORCED!! Yes Demi... you were not happy with your former college life and you probably didn't want Cherie to suffer the same... but GOSH!! you had no right to take that privilege away from Cherie... After all, able to attend a college in Sang was a PRIVILEGE that most didn't... it wasn't common thing like in the real world. And Demi used her friendship to force Cherie to give up that chance.

“Demi, no. No! I don’t know what an oyster is, and I don’t want to. You’re the one who’s looking at it the wrong way. We’re being given the chance of a lifetime. Do you have any idea how rare it is for girls like us to go to university? I didn’t want to be part of this plan, but now I’ve never felt so grateful. Don’t botch it up just because you always want more.”

And Demi was like...

“Of course I always want more. A hungry animal lives longer.”

Yes and A stupid one lives even shorter... one can be greedy but be reasonably greedy and always have as much resources as possible before you try to obtain that greed. Greedy + stupid = Doom. I swore if she wasn't lucky, by chapter 5 she would either be dead or raped or sold to slavery or suffered much much worse than attending a college...

Demi also didn't understand or sympathized with Cherie AT ALL!! She didn't think about Cherie and only thought of herself. she didn't understand Cherie's fear...

Her gloved hands went reflexively to her stomach. “I almost starved to death as a child in Freesia. I don’t want to be hungry ever again.”

By forcing Cherie to go with her, Cherie would risk that again.. With no power and little money, Demi promised so little to Cherie just because she didn't want to go to college and wanted to be a STAR!! And true to her friendship, Cherie still went with Demi. It was practically blackmailing! Oh Gods!! why was DEMI so unlikable?!? She even forced her dream to others... She was like a mean sorority girl who forced her minion friends to do things only in her ways, who made them think the way she thought. This was no friendship!! And while she kept saying she wanted to find Cherie.. all she seemed to want was for Cherie as her partner in her Cabaret Stardom. and while she was dancing and flirting with all kinds of men, Cherie was with the slavers. Demi didn't even try much to find her but demanding Vale to do all the work.

And all the while she was so self absorbed that she thought her plan was brilliant and that thought noone could hurt them just because they were Bludmen. By then I was losing my nerve and hating Demi so much that I want to cry... because I really really did not want to DNF any book in this series.
Let me show you some of the thing in her head...

“Cherie, I need something new. I can’t stay here. I can’t do this anymore. I have to leave, with you or without you. But I’d prefer with.”

...bristling for the twentieth time since she’d opened her mouth. No matter that I’d been in Sang for more than half a decade, I still had trouble swallowing the misogyny with a polite smile. And considering that my livelihood no longer demanded that I play nice with customers, I didn’t have to take it anymore.

...Jacinda once told me about an affair she’d had with a daimon in Paris, and it had given me high hopes for the dancing mistress’s son. But Luc had been a complete disappointment.

...And I didn’t want to go to Ruin. No matter what Caprice said, my heart hungered for the cabarets of Paris.
Cherie never liked my ideas at first. But eventually, she always admitted that I was right.
She’d thank me later.

“I don’t want anything else but to be a star. Besides, you’re going to live to be three hundred. You’ve got plenty of time to make youthful errors. You can always use your mad cash from the cabaret to go to university later, after you sow your wild oats.”


And you knew what was the worst... no apology... absolutely NO APOLOGY!!

...I wasn’t going to start by apologizing—not to her, not to anybody.

But she expected others to...

And I hated it. God, how I hated it. But he hadn’t apologized. And he needed to.

This review is getting ridiculously long... sorry about that...

Afterward, Everything supposed to go downhill for Demi and it did right off.. but as I said she didn't suffered as much as I had hoped. I was happy for Vale that he finally got the girl he wanted although she was Demi... I just had to accepted that Vale was a masochist who loved to torture himself... I skipped a lot in this book because of Demi and her unlikable behaviours so I might be really bias in this review as I might have missed out some redeeming quality about her. But all in all the book was enjoyable.. and I loved how I got to read some of the former characters that I adored. the book was sweet and wild but the sour feeling remained.

The next book is the last and about the main lovely couple Tish and Crim.Definitely gonna read that!
2.5 stars
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,109 reviews564 followers
February 16, 2020
Delilah S. Dawson has created a unique world with her Blud series.  The Strangers are human who has been transported to Sang from Earth. Tish (Wicked as They Come) came by way of her dreams, Casper (Wicked as She Wants) has a motorcycle accident that left him in a coma and now Wicked After Midnight we have another Stranger, Demi who drank too much while partying in college and died of alcohol poisoning. 

Demi was saved by Criminy the hero of Wicked as They Came and her boss as the ringmaster of the caravan she works at.  He found her in Sang naked and nearly dead, he bludded, aka turned her into a Bludman to save her life. She has been working for him for the last 6 years. 

Demi maybe 6 years older but in many ways, she still asks like a bratty college co-ed. She dreams of funning away from the circus (while others dream of running away to the circus). She wants to become a famous star in Paris within a cabaret. She and her best friend, Cherie, another bludman in the caravan run off to make their fortune (although Cherie is fine staying put).  

On the road to Paris, Cherie is taken and Demi works with the mysterious Vale to try to find her. Vale and Demi have an attraction. For much of the book, Demi got on my nerves because of how she treated Vale. He clearly cared about her and she often forgot about saving her friend because she was too busy enjoying the fame she found in Paries. But once it became apparent that was part of the villain's plan to get Demi into his trap I started to see her differently. 

Wicked After Midnight deals with the dangers of getting what you wished for and how those things might not be the best thing for you. There were some dark elements to the story like the addiction and sexual abuse. I felt like Dawson did a good job keeping some light within the dark by sprinkling humor into the story. By the end of the story, I wasn't 100% convinced that Demi deserved Vale. I feel like he was the better person of the two and he loved her more deeply than she did him.

Wicked After Midnight is the last full-length novel in the Blud series, but there's a novella about Tish and Criminy, Wicked Ever After and few short stories I would like to read. If you're looking for a short series to binge read in the paranormal romance genre with unique world-building I would highly recommend the Blud series. 
Profile Image for Deniz.
1,145 reviews100 followers
January 28, 2014
I got a bit of a dilemma here....I've had huge issues rating this. I would honestly like to say, this is just absolutely fabulous and that I'm totally smitten. But well I am not.
Well, this is good. Don't misunderstand me. But it's NOT wow! I am totally smitten and this is fabulous like the previous two were. Two reasons:
I had huge expectations, because let's face it Dawson has never disappointed including this time;
and I really really didn't like Demi.

Because I loved the previous books and novellas so much, was smitten by each and every one of them. I ended up comparing Wicked after Midnight to all of them. And since I wasn't wowed by Wicked after Midnight as much as I was with Wicked as They Come
or Wicked as She Wants, I ended up analyzing each detail and comparing story-lines, characters, world-building, writing-style to the t - even the smut got inspected and compared. So while I adored the storyline of Blud #1 and was smitten by Dawson's world-building and description in Blud #2 - Wicked after Midnight, well did't in either point wow me as much as the other two books.
One of the things I adore about the series is that each book is actually really different. Yes they all set in the same world, same kinda background, there is a connection to the MCs; but each novel is different, they set in different locations in the same world, the MCs in each book are really different and the story lines are quite different as well.
It's like they are a paintings in a series and each one of them holds a different color theme.
And the comparison to a painting, is not by chance. When I read her books, I feel like Dawson paints worlds for me with her words. While in the first, was a painting, done in dark colours, with a goth feel - it depicted a bond forming between two people - one that really moved me , the second was one of lots of whites, whimsical but cruelly beautiful -fairytalesque - still a touch of goth- a painting that enchanted me- the third was bright red, and greens and well ruffles and showgirls and while I admire it, it didn't do that much for me, other than me thinking oh this is nice. I expected a wee bit more Dumas... instead I got Mouline Rouge.
The thing is Paris Cabaret, not necessary my scene, Paris and I share a wary relationship. Cabaret and I - seem unable to communicated what so ever. AND I really didn't like Demi
And there lays the gist of this. I expected to be blown away and Demi prevented that.
She was so spoilt and so selfish, self-centered and egotistical and top that with her at best teenage behavior - which by the way makes no sense, since had been in College in the US, and at the time of the book was TWENTY-Freakn- SEVEN. This was a serious draw back for more than half the book.
But thankfully Dawson's is great a character building -so I had Vale. Vale is so dumas-esque, so mysterious, so handsome, so charming and so oh-la-la je suis french which makes me super hot. And he also is the only interesting character for first half of the book. Because there was just too much cattiness for my taste and too much well cabaret? Here we go again, the two of us, just not a good combo.
Even more thankfully Dawson does character growth. So during all the stuff the goes down- and a lot of stuff does go down- this is by no means a boring book- Demi does change, many of the female characters do as well and Vale just gets better and better- so that in the end, I could relate to them and actually did care for them, even Demi- who marred a perfectly pleasant experience with her stuck-up selfishness.
So you might have guessed the world building is not my favorite in the series- BUT this is the third book and there are three novellas as well and each and every time Dawson adds more awesome stuff to it. While I enjoyed the world building in the previous two more, this was just as innovative and fantastic as the other two. I do wonder how Dawson does come up with this stuff!

So back to my dilemma- I wanted this to be more than 3,5Stars because Dawson is one of my favorite fantasy writers and because this is a good book. But well for me it wasn't more.
And I am saying this with a heavy heart, because it is totally subjective. I did just enjoy the other two better- I can't say that this is not as good quality-wise...
Do I hope Dawson will write book 4 in the series? Absolutely
Will I read anything she publishes? Hell yes!
Would I recommend it to Steampunk lovers? Naturally, it's a must.
And still I have after long thinking and pondering decided - though I know lots of people might love this one better- to be absolutely honest.
See I am more of a dark colored goth or whimsical whites kinda of a girl than the bright ruffles.
So 3,5 Stars.

Profile Image for Lexie.
2,073 reviews297 followers
November 23, 2013
Oh me oh my. Darling readers its no secret how much I love Dawson's Blud books. I like seriously do. Dark, sensual, exciting and tempting each new story leaves me quite desperate to know more. Criminy owns my heart--like Tish I can't resist his...allure and charming madness, but I think Vale may be second in line.

This book takes us to Franchia (France) and more specifically to Paris...or at least the Blud World version of such. Demi convinces Criminy to let her and Cherie run off to find adventure. He offers them a chance at an education--practically unheard of for any females, never mind Bludman females--so of course Demi finds a way to get involves with slavers, brigands, cabarets, mechanical elephants and what an only be described as the Worst Boy's Club in existence.

I enjoyed Demi quite a bit in WICKED AS THEY COME, though during "The Damsel and the Daggerman" I was a bit teed at her for acting the teenager she didn't want to be seen as. What certainly helped was this book was told from Demi's POV. Whereas others saw her as childish, mischievous and selfish, the truth is that Demi was lost. Stuck in Sang for 6 years, turned into a Bludman soon after arriving, uncertain if her body in our world is still living, frightened that she may pop back into our world suddenly while anxious that she will never be able to--Demi didn't have a chance to acclimate. Not like Tish who is still human or Casper who was human (until WICKED AS SHE WANTS, but that's a different story). By saving her Criminy opened the world to her, a world she had to learn to survive in quickly.

Vale, oh Vale. A bit of a Robin Hood like fellow, it was interesting seeing how Demi interpreted their interactions vs. how they were really going down. As a reader the little things he did or said, that Demi dismissed or overlooked entirely, stuck out to me. Even as Demi found herself confused as to what she needed and wanted, he remained the rock. What she saw as hesitation was Vale trying to take it slow out of respect for the turn her life had taken. What she saw as him neglecting the niceties with her was him feeling they didn't need them because everything he needed to know about their compatibility was as obvious as the sun was bright to him.

For reference, while reading "Damsel" is not completely necessary to enjoying this book, its recommended. Jacinda and Marco from that book offer Demi advice that resonates strongly throughout this novel.

Full review to be posted closer to Release date in January 2014
Profile Image for Karissa.
3,912 reviews192 followers
January 23, 2016

This is the third novel in Dawson’s Blud series. There are four books in the Blud series, the fourth book is titled Wicked Ever After and released in October 2015. This was a fun steampunk romance read. I enjoyed this more than the 2nd book in the series but not as much as the first.

Demi Ward is sick of her position as a contortionist in Criminy’s circus. She wants to venture out into the world and is especially drawn to the cabarets of Paris. Criminy finally agrees to let Demi and her best friend Cherie go to University but Demi has other plans. Demi wants to ditch their original plans and runaway to Paris. Unfortunately things take a turn for the worse when their carriage is attacked by highwaymen and Cherie is kidnapped.

Enter Vale, a bandit who was searching the wreckage after the highwayman’s attack who stumbles upon Demi. Vale agrees to help Demi find Cherie and directs Demi to the glittering cabarets of Paris...which have a much darker underbelly than Demi originally expected.

Demi is a plucky and reckless heroine; she was fun to read about but a bit immature at times. I also enjoyed Vale and his roughish ways and rugged good looks. The two had excellent chemistry together and the scenes between the two were really well done.

The settings of Paris cabarets in this alternate Blud Paris were fascinating. The world building has always been one of my favorite parts of this series; I love this Blud world that Dawson has created. Although there isn’t anything super amazing about this book; it was a solid steampunk romance and a fun read.

Overall a fun and entertaining addition to the Blud series. I really enjoy the world and also enjoyed the main characters. I am eager to return to Criminy and Tish as main characters in the fourth book of the series, Wicked Ever After. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy steampunk romance or paranormal romance.
Profile Image for Laura *Little Read Riding Hood*.
681 reviews204 followers
January 6, 2014
What can I say other than I am super sad to see this series come to an end. I've loved every minute I've spent in Sang, from the first confusing minute with Tish meeting Criminey, to traveling the world with Casper, to bringing it all to a close with Demi in Paris. *takes a moment of silence to mourn the loss of an amazing world*

Demi and her best friend Cherie encounter some trouble on their way to Paris and Cherie gets taken. Demi's only hope to find her is to trust Vale, and to go on with her plan to work at a cabaret "under cover" so she can find out where the missing girls are being taken. So while she is doing her thing, she becomes almost an instant star. Which makes Vale not too happy - all of a sudden she is getting lots of attention and he doesn't know how to deal with that.

I wasn't sure how much I was going to like this, since it didn't focus on Criminey. Because, HELLO - CRIMINEY. But I was pleasantly surprised. Demi is cocky and confident, and sometimes a bitch. AND I LOVED HER FOR IT. And Vale ... *swoon*. I am not sure how I can do him justice. So I won't even try.

I loved following along with Vale and Demi's will they, won't they, back and forth. I mean I knew they would eventually, so all the back and forth did was make when they finally got together that much more satisfying.

And the Paris of Sang ... it is so dirty and scary and elegant and beautiful - it was like I was there. Dawson has a talent. She transports you to the world in her mind, and I will miss Sang very much. But fortunately I can go back to visit any time I want. Thank you, Ms. Dawson, for providing such a wonderful experience.
Profile Image for Margaret.
814 reviews18 followers
January 28, 2014
After six years in Criminy's Clockwork Caravan, American-college-student-turned-vampire-contortionist Demi Ward longs for the glamour of Paris's cabarets. She just has to convince her best friend Cherie to leave the safety of the caravan and join her. As a compromise, the girls agree to travel to Ruin, Franchia (their version of France) and attend the university. Demi and Cherie set off on the road to Ruin with their daimon guardian, whom Demi plans to ditch as soon as possible so they can head to Paris instead. Once the girls are on their own, however, her plans quickly go awry. Their carriage is attacked, the men killed, women abducted and Demi left alone among the burning wreckage. She's rescued by a band of brigands, including sexy Vale, who are hunting her attackers. Vale agrees to take her to Paris and help her search for Cherie, but once she arrives at the cabaret, she finds life not as glamourous as she dreamt.

Demi is a twenty-first century twenty-something in a mostly nineteenth century world. Her art history knowledge serves her well, but her pop culture references are just inside jokes with the reader (which I kind of love her for.) She's neither naïve nor helpless, but her entire life as a Bludman has been spent inside the caravan, so she's easily overwhelmed by Paris. She seems to be seduced by everyone and everything around her, starting with fame once her cabaret act is a hit. She's pursued by paparazzi and wealthy patrons and taken advantage of by managers. Success brings her to the attention of the artist Lenoir, who's a mashup of several Impressionists. His character is a wonderful combination of creepy (the "drink this, lie on my couch and I'll make you a star" kind) and seductive. Then there's Vale who wants to seduce her, but also keeps having to remind her that she's only there to search for Cherie. I felt frustrated right along with him when Demi doesn't seem to take his feelings or their mission seriously.

In one of the most "visually" stunning scenes, Demi tours the city of Paris with her new friend Louis, finding it much the same as it is on Earth, but with some Sangish twists. I loved the idea that the Eiffel Tower, as Demi says, "actually serves a purpose in this world." It's wrapped in wires and used to generate electricity. The city is full of lights and flowers and beautiful architecture, but the real story is beneath the surface. As if to drive that point home, the characters spend more time trudging through sewers and catacombs than they do sightseeing. The cabaret performances are also filled with lush, artistic imagery and brightly colored daimons in even brighter costumes. In some ways it is Moulin Rouge with daimons, but it's also about human (and non-human) trafficking and the sex trade, addiction and the dark side of celebrity. It's much darker and more complex than the other books in the series, though it's not without its moments of whimsy. Vale and Demi share a scene on a trapeze which is both fanciful and erotic. Since we're in France, of course there are poodles, but since it's also Sang, they're not like any you'd find at the dog show. And we mustn't forget the pachyderm, a giant copper elephant that you'll have to read about to believe.

I've always appreciated the way the books and novellas in the Blud series reference each other in subtle ways. Wicked After Midnight opens with a healthy dose of Criminy Stain, which is sure to please fans of the series, as Demi tries to convince him to let her leave the caravan. We see the couples from the novellas, and  Lizard Boy and Charlie Dregs, heroes of their own stories. This book is also filled with references to Wicked As She Wants (which I loved) some of them obvious, like "the tsarina stayed at this hotel" and some little winks that made me smile. I enjoyed the last look at some favorite characters, and felt like I was saying goodbye to friends along with Demi when she left the caravan. Dawson also brings back some friends outside the caravan for the end of the book. Demi's last scene is dramatic, but also feels like the beginning of a new adventure. I hope we all get to have some new adventures in Sang, but if not, I will definitely enjoy rereading the old ones.
Profile Image for Rachel Brand.
1,043 reviews95 followers
August 1, 2017
More like a 4.5. I enjoyed this a lot more than the second book in the series (the heroine was a lot more likeable, the hero was less alpha and problematic), but not quite as much as the first.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,475 reviews83 followers
August 10, 2016
This post originally appears at http://www.fangswandsandfairydust.com...
I offer new content everyday.

WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT is Oh La La!

Disclosure: Provided by Publisher for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions expressed herein are my own unless otherwise noted.
I do know the author and am acknowledged in the author’s notes for the book for some beta reading I did. This does not affect my opinion, really.

The only word needed to describe WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT, Delilah S. Dawson’s third book in the Blud Series is “Brilliant.” I could add terms like shiny, exciting, thrilling, and such but it all comes back around to brilliant.

Delilah is funny with a twisted slant on language and naming conventions. Some of them remind me of when we have to song lyrics wrong, and others are flat out puns for me – Freesia is Russia (loosely, Delilah tells me), much like our weather lately, Russia is cold – and Freeze Ya is a pun.

In the world of Sang, parallel to our own, there are several species at least four of which correspond to human:
Pinkies are human ;
Abyssinians are close to human, but their blood is poisonous to Bludmen;
Bludmen are Vampire-like;
Lautrec's Jane Avril
Daimons mostly reside in Franchia. They are not human and feed on human emotions although they can eat food.

In having these different species Delilah makes the point that while her species are all different, they also share a lot of characteristics. It serves as a foil for the reality of humanity and different races and religions. We may be diverse but we share much.

In Demi, Delilah has created a sultry, sly and sophisticated siren who reminds me of a young Lauren Bacall telling Bogie to “Just whistle.” She’s quick witted and just a little miscalculating of the intentions of others. She is also bored with caravan life and wants the excitement of fame and stardom. She’s still a little immature but really smart; she doesn’t yet have that kernel of wisdom that takes one from adolescent thinking to adult thought. She wants to be a star, to have fame, excitement, the rush of an audience clapping for her, she wants to feel alive, important, adored She doesn’t realize the price one pays for fame and infatuated adoration.

“Girls Come here, they want to be stars. You know what stars want?”
“What?”
“They want to be girls again. And they can’t. Not ever. Now, go.” (WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT p. 245)


In Vale, Demi has created the perfect, charming brigand — think Johnny Depp in Chocolate. Harrison Ford as Hans Solo, add in a little Channing Tatum bod and you get the picture in my head. He is a bit mercenary, sexy, and sometimes even noble. He is the flavors of Southern France Franchia.
moulin-rouge-elephant


The pace in the book is fast, the plotting is perfection. We move quickly from one step to the next with enough in between to add structure, but not so much as to slow it down. And the world!!! She describes the Paris of dreams and delusion; a seamy, romantic Paris, the Paris of cabarets and Can Can girls; a Paris we hold in our minds with the knowledge it doesn’t. And she does it beautifully.

Delilah brings up the strange marvels of the world of the Gay Nineties Paris with its veneer of opulence and the addictive absinthe, of giant cabaret elephants (featuring in WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT and MOULIN ROUGE), Jane Avril, Impressionism, you know, THAT Paris, where writers lived in garrets, wealthy men were expected to have mistresses and where anything went in the cabaret. And, of course this is not our Paris, it is the Paris of Sang. And, that’s a whole different thing, non?

Other than the first chapter and a few other bits and bobs the book could stand on its own. Why you wouldn’t gobble up all three novels and the three novellas is beyond me. My favorites are the first, Wicked as they Come and this one, Wicked After Midnight.

I really adored this book for the story, the characters, the romantic, exciting story, and I just love Delilah’s writing!! I call it a MUST READ.
Profile Image for Melanie Marsh.
463 reviews18 followers
January 25, 2014


There aren’t enough stars for this one! I think it may be my favorite so far. Wicked After Midnight is a tantalizing view into the hidden world behind the curtain of the cabaret. Delilah S. Dawson has an amazing ability to create different worlds within her world of Sang. Each adventure is completely unique and as amazing as the last. Every story Dawson has written that takes place in Sang takes the reader on a journey through her world that seems almost, but not quite familiar.

In Wicked After Midnight, we learn the story of Demi, the contortionist who works with her best friend Cherie in Criminy Stain’s travelling circus. She is desperate to live her life and not be trapped within the confines (safety) of the circus. She’s young and eager to live the life that she left behind when she entered a coma and woke up in Sang. She wants adventure and excitement, and she wants to do it beyond Sangland. She wants to perform in Paris as a star of the Cabaret. Once she convinces Criminy to let her go, with an unexpected chaperone, the adventure begins. The amazing adventure of Demi and Cherie’s lives takes a detour when they encounter slavers on their way to Paris. What will Demi do without her best and only friend in Paris? To what length is Demi willing to go to save her friend from a life of slavery?

Along the way Demi makes friends with Vale, who knows the Cabaret inside and out, pun intended. What happens next you will have to read for yourself, and I highly recommend you do, in fact, read it for yourself.

We are also introduced to Daimons, who apparently are the main residents of Paris. They also run the Cabaret and most are terrified of Bludmen! Demi makes friends with several of them who reveal to us more about that species than we have previously seen. The way the girls are treated though is very sad, but I am not naive enough to believe that the women who work the cabaret here on earth don’t experience the same sort of situations.

Keep your eyes peeled though, because not everything in Paris is as it seems. There is danger lurking around every corner and even the well connected have their secrets. Even in Sang Paris is filled with artists and art lovers of all kinds. And just like in real life, many artists rely on alternative substances to help with their creativity. Too many people forget the dangers of using drugs that far outweigh just the possibility of addiction.

Delilah S. Dawson delivers an action packed, lust filled roller coaster of emotions like only she does. Her characters are very multifaceted in ways that I’ve not seen many authors accomplish. Her world of Sang only grows and grows with each subsequent story she releases and I truly hope she continues to fill my shelves with books from this alternate, steam punk themed version of Earth. This book really seems a lot like what I have heard happens in the movie, Moulin Rouge. I’ve not actually seen the movie, but based on what I have read about it and heard, in my mind it seems similar.

If I am forced to complain about anything, it is just that, once again there is not enough Criminy Stain or Bludbunnies. As usual though, since the story isn’t about them, I can understand the lack of them in this book.

I recommend this book and the entire series to anyone and everyone I can. Especially those who love Paranormal Romance, Steampunk, or anyone looking for something just a bit different from the typical vampire story.



I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Marlene.
2,882 reviews196 followers
February 2, 2014
Originally published at The Book Pushers

There is something incredibly captivating about Delilah S. Dawson’s alternate world of Sang. I eagerly lap up each new installment as it is released, and Wicked After Midnight was no exception.

Sang certainly casts a spell. Part of what makes it so fascinating is that it is accessible from our world, but only if you are stupid or unlucky. Sang is the place where dreamers and coma-victims often come to a quick and sticky end. Those who survive have the opportunity to contrast and comment on the differences between our Earth and Sang.

Demi Ward is one such person. She died of alcohol poisoning, and woke up in Sang. (She seems to be the right age to be named for Demi Moore, too.) She had the fortune to have been found by Criminy Stain and made into a bludwoman before she died of exsanguination on Sang. (For more about Criminy and an introduction to Sang, read Wicked As They Come. Just do.)

His caravan has been her home for six years. As much as she loves the carnivaleros, she is bored with her life. Bored as only someone who is young and has never been forced out on their own can really be.

Criminy offers her a safe way to try her wings, college and an apartment in Franchia. It’s a place where it won’t matter so much that she is bludded. Instead, she sets out to have an adventure, and the first thing that happens is that her sister-of-the-heart is kidnapped and sold to slavers.

Demi spends the rest of the book getting herself lost in as many possible ways as a young and relatively naive girl never imagined. Demi is lost and very nearly not found, in the worst of all possible decadences in fin-de-siecle Paris.

She is saved by a brigand, and in turn she saves the daimons of the demimonde of Paris. But she seems more lucky than clever.

While I adore Dawson’s alternate world, this particular lens of the funhouse mirror seemed unrelievedly dark. Except for the charming rogue Vale, every person Demi meets in Paris who has any power is out to use her. Even worse, she never seems to see it. She always thinks she’s in control of the situation and she never actually is. She is spun around and disoriented at every turn, and only Vale’s influence keeps her from losing herself to drugs or prostitution. That’s even before the big evil comes into play.

Demi keeps walking into things with her eyes a bit too wide shut. For her to be a strong heroine, I was hoping she’d participate a little more in her own rescue.

Not that I didn’t love Vale. He’s the brigand who decides to help her at the very beginning of her adventure, and he keeps on helping, even as he watches her drown in absinthe and magic and false adulation. He’s defying his family to help her, but sometimes Demi is so far under that she can’t see what’s right in front of her face.

The climactic battle where Demi and the daimon girls perform one of the great takedowns of all time was absolutely awesome. It was one of those female empowerment fights that made my heart sing. I just found myself wishing that the story had gotten there about 50 pages sooner.

I’m looking forward to the next trip back to the carnival. The Blud books with more Criminy and more carnival have more of the right kind of wicked for me.

I give Wicked After Midnight a B
Profile Image for Jax.
182 reviews41 followers
July 4, 2014
I love the world Dawson created! And overall, W.A.M was okay, but it definitely fell far from Wicked As The Come!

There were a few too many small discrepancies which bugged me throughout, plot points that seemed contrived, and of course the dreaded predictability - also I found I had zero sympathy for the protagonist - who, for me, came across as a spoiled, self-centered brat.

Which is why I cannot bring myself to give the book more than 3 stars.

Demi is bored, she wants a life of adventure, she wants, wants, wants...
Which would have been okay... But, she is also not willing to do her adventuring alone.
So - despite numerous warnings from various people that it is not a safe world for her to go traipsing about in, she persuades Criminy to let her and her best friend, Cherie leave the Caravan.
*Note:Cherie is not exactly a willing participant at this point.*
After much whining she manages to persuade Cherie that this is in fact what she wants to do.
Criminy makes arrangements for them (pulling many strings to get Demi a compromised version of what she wants - and has agreed to).
However, at her earliest convenience, Demi eludes the governess sent along with them (for their protection) and drags Cherie off to join the Cabaret and become a Star.(again, not something Cherie is particularly keen on.)
On the way their conveyance is attacked and Cherie is taken - presumably by slavers.
With the help of the dashing young brigand that finds her on the side of the road, Demi is determined to find Cherie.

What is Demi's GRAND plan to find her friend?
Why - to go on and become a Star in the Cabaret of course!! - Wow - how VERY self serving!

Throughout the book, she shows again and again how self centered she is - she's told straight to her face that she will never be happy with what she has, will always want more, and will most likely be the ruin of her friend. Does she listen? No she gives some glib reply and continues on regardless - and gets her friend kidnapped and nearly killed by a secret organisation trafficking girls.

Dawson's attempts at redeeming her were thin and fell flat - for no matter how many times she SAYS she's doing something for Cherie, to find Cherie, that she's thinking about Cherie - her actions SCREAM otherwise - as do many of her inner monologues.

There were also a few discrepancies from prior books which nagged at me, such as character mentions which did not fit with the timeline.







Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,130 reviews187 followers
January 27, 2014
Before Demi met Criminy, she was just a normal "human" college student. That all changed six years ago. Criminy to save Demi's life, turned her into a blud. Demi has grown bored as a performer in Criminy's Clockwork Caravan. Criminy agrees to let Demi leave the caravan along with her friend, Cherie. Things don't go as planned when Cherie is kidnapped. Demi is lost in a new world and her friend has gone missing. There is one bright spot in Demi's world. His name is Vale Hildebrand. Vale agrees to help Demi find Cherie.

Wicked After Midnight is book three in this series. You don't really have to read the first two books in the series to enjoy this one. The reason is because the story takes place in a new location and without a lot of the other characters. So you are pretty much starting new. The only parts you will miss is not getting to witness the full background story of Demi and maybe fully understanding her rebellion. This book is really dark. Not to say that the first one wasn't. However this one showed the true underbelly of Paris. Not the sparkle and glamour.
Profile Image for Sandy.
378 reviews
February 9, 2014
I thought that the heroine of this book was the most infuriatingly, selfish, individual on the planet. That being said, the book is great. I really liked the story and each book in this world is rather clever in its presentation. I liked the newest group of characters, but similar to the 1st book, I would have liked a little more texture to our hero. I really liked Vale, and yearned to see more facets of him, and just a tad less of our self absorbed heroine. As before, I think this is just nuances of the story, though, and not ,deterrents to adding this to a series you must add to your list.
Profile Image for Ming.
619 reviews4 followers
July 18, 2016
I wish I could give this a better rating but Demi was just a PITA w/o much else going for her. Didn't like her, didn't find her interesting, she was a whiny bitch basically.
Profile Image for Katter.
345 reviews9 followers
August 23, 2017
I was pretty excited to start this book as I am a fan of the Blud series. I got up early in the morning to get in extra reading time and my initial reaction was puzzlement. So the set up is that the contortionist from Criminy's caravan, Demi, is bored with what she does and wants adventure. She has her heart set on being a star so she wants to go to Franchia to be a cabaret dancer.

Now for some reason Demi can't seem to get it into her head just how nasty the world of Sang can be and how nice she has it. Apparently that is not enough and she wants to find her fame in the seedy doppelganger world of Paris.

I honestly cannot understand why you would want to work as a cabaret dancer. It's is not an easy life in the human world and infinitely worse in Franchia were women don't have rights and are thought of as property. But sure, run off with your friend Cherie to a land you don't know anything about that is crawling with danger. What could possibly go wrong?

Demi didn't strike me as a smart character or very likable at all. She has this immature streak to her that just got on my nerves. The beef cake of the story, Vale, isn't really all that studly either. I felt no attachment to him and their hooking up gave me no tingles. No happiness or anything at all.

And I swear to all that is holy, I was half tempted to gouge out my peepers from having to read bébé so many times. That is all Vale ever called Demi and it irked me a lot. She has a name you know! Using a pet name that also refers to an infant is not appealing to me.

I am not enamored with French culture so I guess that is why I wasn't enthralled with the story setting. I am one of the seemingly few chicks that is not attracted to the French accent or jonsing for a Frenchman. Sangland and Criminy do it for me but Franchia and Vale... eh. Plus Criminy is just a way cool and developed character so I suppose I shouldn't compare the two.

This book ended up being a slow read as I couldn't connect with the why's and hows of it. I couldn't wrap my brain around the setup of it. I also didn't like Demi so that didn't help. She would rather pose for a painting then go out searching for her friend. That really angered me and then she had the gall to get angry at Vale for saying something similar. That girl is not the brightest but what can you expect from someone who drunk their way into a coma and then goes on absinthe trips instead of looking for her friend. The little twit didn't learn her lesson when it comes to alcohol apparently.

My favorite new characters in Wicked After Midnight were Mel and Bea. They are so cute! And Blaise was adorable too. The last 80 pages were actually good. The story moved forward and things started coming together. Dawson is a great writer and always makes things interesting, I just know that I didn't get into this book much due to not caring for the main duo.

I am glad that I read it for the little snippets of the other characters I like from the previous books and now I am fully prepped for the last novel in the Blud series! I am super excited for the last installment because it has to do with the two that started it all!

My struggle to slog through most of the meat of this story was worth it to get to read the end of the series, and the only reason that this book didn't get one star was because the author delivered at the finale.
1,743 reviews14 followers
April 4, 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Does the death of a young teenage girl have any connection to the death of three men who also died on the same date 20 years earlier? Three women meet by "coincidence"? This book follows the story of Bailey and trying to find out about the death of her husband five years prior, as well as the death of her new friends' husbands on the exact same day. Along with this great story line Bailey finds time for romance with the very sexy Chase. Can't wait for the next book. Great job Olivia!
Profile Image for Marishka.
465 reviews55 followers
October 28, 2017
Safety -
Profile Image for V.
297 reviews11 followers
March 29, 2022
Another fun, but dark, adventure
Profile Image for FV Angela.
1,294 reviews117 followers
January 29, 2014
Review originally posted at http://fictionvixen.com/review-wicked...

Wicked After Midnight just proves that you never quite know what you’re going to get when you open another installment in the Blud series and journey back into the world of Sang. So far we’ve been introduced to Criminy Stain’s caravan and met his carnivalleos, traveled long distances on land and aboard airships to get a princess back home and now Ms. Dawson introduces her readers to her version of France and the Moulin Rouge.

Demi Ward is bored with living inside the caravan and performing for pinkies night after night. She wants excitement, adventure and acclaim. Or at least the chance to discover those things. Saved by Criminy when she was pulled out of her world and into Sang, she was half dead when he found her and transformed her into a bludman. Since then she’s lived and performed with her best friend Cherie in the Sang version of a circus. But now she’s ready to get out from under her godfather’s thumb and explore the world. After much arguing and deal-making she finally talks Criminy and Tish into letting her and Cherie travel with a chaperone to Franchia. She’s supposed to be traveling to Ruin, a smaller city outside Paris, to attend university. Oh, but Demi has other plans and she ditches her chaperone at the first chance and heads out with her best friend to Paris.

It’s not long before trouble ensues and the girls traveling conveyance is attacked by slavers. That’s when Demi’s real adventure begins. Rescued by a wickedly handsome brigand named Vale and determined to find Cherie, Demi travels to Paris and joins a cabaret. Not just any cabaret, but the renowned Paradis. Filled with daimon girls dressed in beautiful clothing, who perform night after night for rich and wealthy men. Demi finds a way to become the only bludwoman in any cabaret and is an instant success. Success for our Demi is a double-edged sword and she is soon drawn into the dark, dangerous underside of the bright, glitzy cabaret.

I really love this series. Nearly everything about it appeals to me. The world-building is so original and fresh that even as it plays on real people, places and events in our world it’s changed and warped just enough that I always feel like I’m journeying somewhere and discovering something new. The characters are so alive and decadent. They may be slightly darker and more aggressive than in other romances, but in this world they work for me. The heroines aren’t weaker or less, but are just as dominant and predatory as the men. And I love that.

Demi leaves the caravan looking for adventure and she finds it. She finds romance and sex, gets caught up in the glitz and glamour of being a star, her head is turned by compliments and baubles, she discovers alcohol and drugs and lets all of it sidetrack her from her real mission to find her friend. Vale is there for her throughout, a mysterious, dashing man who challenges her and vows to help her. Since this is told from Demi’s POV she comes across as young and cocky at first, then fearless and a bit brash when she is letting fame go her head, but then finally by the end she grows up a bit and discovers herself. Vale remains a bit of a mystery as the reader is left to figure him out by his actions and words, even as Demi is misunderstanding them. And she does this a lot. Part of Demi’s charm, but also her main problem, is that she tends to leap before she looks and doesn’t take kindly to others giving her any sort of direction. She’s comes across at first as childish because of this.

I loved the adventure and mystery plot, while I it was obvious who the villain would turn out to be, I was surprised at the conclusion and how it all wrapped up. In my opinion the romance does take a backseat to much of the action and mystery, but for this couple, in this story, it worked. Vale and Demi are both so unique that their bickering and strangely different romance felt right. Amidst the gritty, dark side of Paris and surrounded by decadence and debauchery Vale and Demi fall in love and ultimately save the day.

And now after finishing another installment in this series, I find myself already looking forward to what’s coming next. Final Grade- B+

Favorite Quote:

I went up on tiptoe to plant a kiss on Vale’s lips.

“I think I love you. Now, shut up and help me kill a bunch of people so we can figure out the rest.”

Profile Image for Victoria.
469 reviews42 followers
September 12, 2016
Joint review with Karina:

***
Karina:
I don't know about you, Vika, but what attracted me the most to this book was it's Moulin-Rouge, bright burlesque atmosphere. This is why reading it was such sheer pleasure.

The difference between Moilin Rouge and this book is that Demi is not a helpless female and no-one's victim. When she comes to Paris, she has two goals: to become a star and to find her kidnapped best friend, Cherie; and her Bludman status is a huge advantage and a great weapon against those who chose to prey on female performers. So, watch out as she is on the prowl!

Vika:
Demi is certainly no damsel in distress and in that I admired her, but she was bratty and I found no sympathy for her. It is her rebellious wish to break out from under Criminy's wing that lands Cherie in trouble in the first place, and further on puts Demi, herself, in dire circumstance.

Still I'm tipping my hat to Delilah Dawson for creating the incredible world of Sang. Its dark allure is enticing and she writes it so well, that I couldn't help but crave more of these incredible stories.

Karina:
Haha, yep, the main heroine had an attitude! Still, turned at what? Nineteen in her student years when she was supposed to saw her wild oats, and then being stuck in Criminy's caravan without seeing the world... I kind of got her. By the way, her best friend's inability to say no to Demi did enable her to keep going. Just saying. Cherie could have stayed with Criminy and let Demi wander on her own.

Attitude aside, Demi's rise as a star in a Parisian cabaret and her lush performances left me mesmerized. I also enjoyed the darkness of that demimonde - the secret society, the power of rich over these poor cabaret girls, the mystery of disappearances, and of course Demi's dashing brigand, Vale, and his antithesis - Lenoir.

Vika:
Yes! Let's talk about Vale, because he pretty much stole my heart and the spotlight! I loved that he wasn't giving in to Demi's wishes every step of the way and made her work for his love and affection. He was dark, mysterious, and absolutely charming. And the chemistry... was palpable. *Steamy!* Although, I have to say there was a bit of an insta-affection feeling from his side (a little too soon?). Nonetheless, I adored their scenes and snarky banter the two shared.

And then there was Lenoir. Now, why was Demi so enticed by him? I mean the lure of Absinthe for one (and her having had an alcohol problem before is understandable), but Lenoir himself was giving me the creeps! Brr...

Karina:
And yet, I kept hoping for some redeeming qualities for Lenoir, Vika. *laughing* I have such a weakness for antiheroes!

Overall, despite unlikeability of the main heroine for many readers, this is a good book, whose strongest side is its dark, addictive and luxurious world of Sang. It's violent, ruthless, unapologetic, rough and beautiful. I might not have liked Demi very much, but I understood her and rooted for her. Wicked As She Wants is still my favorite read in the series, and because I know what Miss Dawson is capable of, Wicked After Midnight gets 4/5. Recommended.

Vika:
I agree and like I said before Delilah crafts such an amazing world that it's hard not to be fascinated. Yes, it is dark and violent, but there is also passion, elegance and charm to it. And I did enjoy the burlesque atmosphere (much more so than the caravan in earlier books). It was also nice to have Criminy, Tish, and Casper back on the scene, even if only for a brief appearance.

Wicked After Midnight might not be my favorite book of the series (I'm with Karina on this one) but it was entertaining nonetheless. And Vale can swing by my window anytime... *winks* just saying! 3.5/5 for me.

***
For this and other reviews please visit Nocturnal Book Reviews.


Profile Image for Kara-karina.
1,658 reviews252 followers
March 6, 2014
Joint review with Victoria

Karina:
I don't know about you, Vika, but what attracted me the most to this book was it's Moulin-Rouge, bright burlesque atmosphere. This is why reading it was such sheer pleasure.

The difference between Moilin Rouge and this book is that Demi is not a helpless female and no-one's victim. When she comes to Paris, she has two goals: to become a star and to find her kidnapped best friend, Cherie; and her Bludman status is a huge advantage and a great weapon against those who chose to prey on female performers. So, watch out as she is on the prowl!

Vika:
Demi is certainly no damsel in distress and in that I admired her, but she was bratty and I found no sympathy for her. It is her rebellious wish to breakout from under Criminy's wing that lands Cherie in trouble in the first place, and further on puts Demi, herself, in dire circumstance.

Still I'm tipping my hat to Delilah Dawson for creating the incredible world of Sang. It's dark allure is enticing and she writes it so well, that I couldn't help but crave more of these incredible stories.

Karina:
Haha, yep, the main heroine had an attitude! Still, turned at what? nineteen in her student years when she was supposed to saw her wild oats, and then being stuck in Criminy's caravan without seeing the world... I kind of got her. By the way, her best friend's inability to say no to Demi did enable her to keep going. Just saying. Cherie could have stayed with Criminy and let Demi wander on her own.

Attitude aside, Demi's rise as a star in a Parisian cabaret and her lush performances left me mesmerised. I also enjoyed the darkness of that demimonde - the secret society, the power of rich over these poor cabaret girls, the mystery of disappearances, and of course Demi's dashing brigand, Vale, and his antithesis - Lenoir.

Vika:
Yes! Let's talk about Vale, because he pretty much stole my heart and the spotlight! I loved that he wasn't giving in to Demi's wishes every step of the way and made her work for his love and affection. He was dark, mysterious, and absolutely charming. And the chemistry... was palpable. *Steamy!* Although, I have to say there was a bit of an insta-affection feeling from his side (a little too soon?). Nonetheless, I adored their scenes and snarky banter the two shared.

And then there was Lenoir. Now, why was Demi so enticed by him? I mean the lure of Absinthe for one (and her having had an alcohol problem before is understandable), but Lenoir himself was giving me the creeps! Brr...

Karina:
And yet, I kept hoping for some redeeming qualities for Lenoir, Vika. *laughing* I have such a weakness for antiheroes!

Overall, despite unlikeability of the main heroine for many readers, this is a good book, whose strongest side is its dark, addictive and luxurious world of Sang. It's violent, ruthless, unapologetic, rough and beautiful. I might not have liked Demi very much, but I understood her and rooted for her. Wicked As She Wants is still my favorite read in the series, and because I know what Miss Dawson is capable of, Wicked After Midnight gets 4 stars. Recommended.

Vika:
I agree and like I said before Delilah crafts such an amazing world that it's hard not to be fascinated. Yes, it is dark and violent, but there is also passion, elegance and charm to it. And I did enjoy the burlesque atmosphere (much more so than the caravan in earlier books). It was also nice to have Criminy, Tish, and Casper back on the scene, even if only for a brief appearance.

Wicked After Midnight might not be my favorite book of the series (I'm with Karina on this one) but it was entertaining nonetheless. And Vale can swing by my window anytime... *winks* just saying! 3 and a half stars for me.
Profile Image for Jessica (a GREAT read).
1,668 reviews101 followers
February 7, 2014
Delilah S. Dawon's Wicked After Midnight is, sadly, the last novel of the Blud series. Unless something changes to fix that! I've enjoyed the Land of Sang very much. It's a unique world and yet, it's not too different from ours, except for the bludbunnies of course!

Demi, is a Blud or vampire as we know them. She was once human but it was Criminy who turned her and introduced her to Land of Sang. But soon Demi grows tired of the caravan life and wants to leave. So she decides to leave and find her own life and adventure in Paris, Cherie, her best friend and performance partner, agrees to go with her. But no sooner has their journey started when Cherie gets kidnapped after their transportation was attacked by a group of villains. Demi can't find Cherie but she does find Vale, a brigand who helps her out time and time again. Demi joins a cabaret as she intended and turns into quite the star among her daimon co-workers.

For awhile it seems Demi loses track of her goal in finding Cherise. She gets swept up into the life of being a performer. Even introducing the cabaret and its clients to the can-can. Although, Vale does help her in every way he can. More than she thought he would. I was surprised that there wasn't an instant love connection between these two. There's definitely a connection of sorts, but not one that immediately becomes romance. Demi has "obligations" as being the star performer at the cabaret, but she is able to work around those, but Vale doesn't know this. Basically, it leads to a lot of friction and miscommunication between these two, despite that they both want the other.

At times, their antics were perhaps a touch annoying. Demi wanted certain things out of life--and more power to her--but I just couldn't understand her sometimes hostility about the matters of romance, especially with Vale. But then there's Vale, who wants to protect her. Pretty much from the moment he meets her. But Demi is an independent kind of gal and wants to make her own life choices, yet Vale is still there, ever a constant in her life, helping her even when she pushes him away.

I liked this one, but perhaps not as much as the previous novels and novellas. I can't be sure as to why. Perhaps, what nagged at me the most was Demi living the life of stardom and getting her portrait done by an artist instead of doing more to look for Cherise. Vale does more work in that area then she does. I kind of thought she would struggle to balance the two parts--life at the cabaret and finding Cherise--more. It kind of slowed the pacing a bit, but after finishing the book, I guess I can see the reasoning behind it. But still would have preferred it going the other way.

Of course that's not to say that this wasn't an exciting read! It very much was! Demi has quite a few tricks up her sleeve, especially when getting rid of unwanted paramours! She's quite feisty little heroine! And she knows what she wants out of life and you gotta admire that in a heroine!

The romance that buzzed between Demi and Vale was quite enjoyable! Lots of teasing, "almost" kind of moments. I loved the dynamics between those two as they were definitely complements to one another.

The ending was quite spectacular! Things finally get rolling into the big reveal and while it wasn't the jaw dropping kind of shock, it still has a nice sinister spin to it and I quite enjoyed those final moments before the HEA ending. For there was an HEA ending, just as we've seen in the previous books. Of course, just because the series is over doesn't mean that the stories in Sang are done. Who knows! Maybe Delilah will give us a novella or two along the way to her next series, whatever that may be! All I know is that I will be reading it!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars
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