Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance

Dorina Basarab #1
URBAN FANTASY

rating

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir-half human, half vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. So far Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing.

Now Dory's vampire father has come back into her life. Her Uncle Dracula (yes, the Dracula), infamous even among vampires for his cruelty and murderous ways, has escaped his prison. And her father wants Dory to work with gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there.

Vampires and dhampirs are mortal enemies, and Dory prefers to work alone. But Dracula is the only thing on Earth that truly scares her, so when Dory has to go up against him, she'll take all the help she can get… ...

"I am sure there is a perfectly good reason why my niece is naked and tied to her bed. I am also equally certain that I do not wish to hear it."

I've been reading the Cassie Palmer series for years but never had an urge to pick this side-series up. I've finally succumbed to temptation, probably because I had it on my shelf forever and it popped up as a group read with Girls, Guns and Grimoires. While I liked the tone of Cassie's stories more, this one was also good in its own way.

It follows the standard fare with UF - Girl with powers who is tough and has a stick up the butt about certain issues. In this case Dory hates daddy dearest, the vampire Mircea from the Cassie series, vampires in general, most other supes, and...well, almost just people in general. She clearly doesn't have friends other than contacts she's willing to kill if things annoy her, with the exception of one who is currently missing. At first her attitude was abrasive and irritating, but she grows on me as her personality thaws when faced with other people she starts warming up to.

Besides Mircea, Louis-Cesare is around from the Cassie series, but we see completely different sides of his personality here. At first he's an ass, then he's rather whiny, but then he's likable again. There is a disconnect with the vampire Mircea, a lack of warmth that shows some emotion at the end, and if it weren't for knowing his feelings in the Cassie series, I'd hate him along with Dory. For now I think there's a lot of emotion left to reveal and stuff he's holding back from his daughter.

The world building is unique enough as it stays in the Cassie series but has Dory be a halfbreed between half vampire and half human, sometimes consumed with berserker rages that block her memory and bring out her violence. There's fae here too and for once I dig them - usually I find them irritating or too cruel, but I'm intrigued by the king and hope he comes up in the second book a few times. Yummy stuff.

The story isn't too rich as it's mainly a hunt and fight kind of gig. Dory and Louis must work together and they don't actually solve much. Who they're looking for ends up on their doorstep in one way or another anyway and the fights mainly come to them. Dory isn't so badass that she doesn't get knocked around, and it didn't irritate me because this put in a touch of realism.

Overall it was a decent Urban Fantasy opening. Characters are likable enough but I'm not hooked on any of them. The story was semi-strong but nothing that stands out in memory. Karen Chance writes well with dialogue and description and - while her Cassie series is overdone with too much action and not enough pause - here she calms down and dishes out normal sized servings of action between breaks.

If you're a fan of the Cassie series, then definitely pick this one up for a try. You'll recognize some characters and style. If you're new to Karen Chance, I recommend picking up Cassie first, since it's more unusual and has a richer source of conflict for its first book.
 




   Book Quotes:

“Fresh blood at midnight isn't red. It's a purplish black that easily blends into the shadows.”

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