Midnight’s Daughter, by Karen Chance
February 17, 2009
The main character of Midnight’s Daughter is Dorina, a human/vampire hybrid. Unlike most of her fellow dhampirs, Dorina has managed to stay fairly sane between her occasional berserk rages. When her uncle Dracula escapes from his prison, Dorina reluctantly agrees to track him down with the help of Louis-Cesare, a vampire with a troubled past.
I really like Dorina as a character, in fact I’d probably say I prefer her to Cassie. Of course I was sick and grouchy when I read it, so that may have something to do with my enthusiastic reaction to her casual violence. I enjoyed her sense of snark, and especially loved her discussions with Louis-Cesare about the family. At first I worried that her tendency to black out when fighting would turn into a convenient way to avoid fight scenes, but it didn’t get over used and the aftermath was often entertaining.
My main complaint is one that I’ve had with some of Chance’s previous books. Things just get too damn complicated. I’m all for a layered story, but when that’s taken too far things tend to get messy. Some characters from Chance’s other series show up and seem to serve very little purpose other than making a cameo appearance. The idea of finding Claire provided a little action and direction, but the resolution of that situation was seriously awkward (which usually tends to happen when any writer’s plot requires recapping a separately published short story). There was a side plot about magically mutated animals that I could have done without. Maybe the point behind those will come up later, but their main role in this book was to draw out the already action-heavy ending to such a degree that it was tempting me to skim.
Though this is a separate series, I’d strongly recommend reading the Cassie Palmer series and Chance’s story “Buying Trouble” from the On The Prowl anthology before Midnight’s Daughter. Some references may be confusing if you aren’t familiar with aspects of the Cassie books, and the roommate plot could seem like a big, weird mess to those who haven’t read the related short story.
Those who liked the other books set in this world should like this one as well. In some ways I preferred it, because while there’s definitely some steamy scenes the heroine’s sex life isn’t a big part of the plot.