Karen Chance continues to wow me with her ability to craft characters that I genuinely care about. She puts them through hell. And I cannot look away. Dory is such a fantastic heroine. She is not only the title character of this series, she is its heart and soul. Hands down, she is one of my favorite UF heroines out there.
There is so much happening in this book. Maybe, at times, a little too much, but I’ll get back to that in a moment. It starts out with Dory waking up in a strange place that’s something like a lab, filled with unusual supernatural creatures. She doesn’t know where she is –or even who she is—and her dhampir nature is in the driver’s seat. That doesn’t last, of course. Dory quickly becomes Dory again and she remembers herself and her life. Everything except the events that led her to that lab. That’s a major problem because she turns out to be the only survivor of a major vampire initiative to find a missing master that night. Not only is the missing vamp still missing, but several first level masters were wiped out. The only way to figure out what happened, is to tap into Dory’s memories.
I don’t want to spoil too much, but that effort ends up turning Dory’s world on its ear. There is so much delicious angst surrounding her past and her relationship with Mircea. We really get to spend a lot of time exploring both of those elements, and Chance plays this out magnificently. As much as I love reading about the progression of Dory’s relationship with Louis-Cesare (and believe me, I do love that) – it’s her dynamic with Mircea that really knocks it out of the park. This is especially noteworthy because Chance has turned Mircea from a character I didn’t really care for in the Cassie books and made him someone I really root for here.
Louis-Cesare continues to make me swoon. He is such a worthy love interest for Dory. He is practically perfect. The supporting characters are just all so well drawn. From Marlowe, who I just wanted to punch in ‘nads; to Ray, who shocked me by being so much more than I expected; to even Scarface, who in his own way, treats Dory with a kind of respect she rarely receives from anyone. On a character level –on a worldbuilding level—on an action level—I was all in.
But I did have some problems. The biggest issue was the fact that I got lost. More than once. We’d be trucking along with the story and then all of a sudden, we’d jump into something completely disjointed. I wasn’t even sure who was narrating, which was especially disconcerting because the book is first person POV. It was eventually explained at the very end, but it took me out of the story too many times for me to ignore. I didn’t like that. I also felt like the enemy-to-ally premise we ended up with from one character was just too much for me to swallow. Someone who so clearly has always been a bad guy can’t change my perception in the middle of the story. It felt like a plot device and was way too convenient.
Otherwise, this book is just plain good. I loved the Cassie cameo and the bit of overlap with that series. I loved Dory. I LOVED THE ENDING. And I have no idea if there will be another book in the series, but I really hope so. It’s got so many possibilities ahead.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Karen Chance
Release Date: October 2, 2012