Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Dhampir, Book 1)
by Karen Chance
Review by Gayle Surrette
Onyx Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451412621
Date: 07 October 2008 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Dory Basarab is not having a great month. Her roommate and best friend, as much as anyone can be a best friend to a dhampir, Claire is missing. She's tracked down all the leads she could find, and now the only clue she has is that Michael has taken her hostage. Claire is pregnant with a dhampir, and Claire just might be on her way to being turned into a null-bomb. And, as if that wasn't bad enough, her Daddy Dearest has shown up and, if she'll take on a job for him, he just might use the resources of the Council to find Claire. It's not like Dory could refuse, at least not until she heard what the job was…
Dory's vampire father is the brother of Dracula, the one and only, and Drac's escaped his prison ... again. The last time Dory helped hunt him down, Drac tortured her and then carved a message into her back for her father and sent her to deliver it. Just the thought of hunting him down again makes her nauseous. To top it off, her father has picked her companion in this search, Louis-Cesare a vampire who, as most do, hates dhampirs. But, to find and rescue Claire, Dory has to agree.
This set up is guaranteed to make for a wild ride of an adventure and Chance delivers. From the action packed opening to the final page, it doesn't let up -- Dory just can't get a break and neither does the reader. There's a lot of tension as Dory and Louis-Cesare fight for leadership of their two-person team. Over the course of the book, they manage to come to respect each other's abilities and strengths in spite of themselves.
More than an action adventure with a bit of romance thrown in, Chance manages to build her story on a foundation of family, friendship, loyalty, and responsibility. It's the background and inter-relationships of the characters, often told through flashbacks and shared memories, that add a richness and depth to the story. Knowing some of the backstory of the character's lives gives the reader a greater understanding of the motives driving the plot. It also helps if you've read the Cassie Palmer series as some of the characters and organizations reappear in this novel.
Karen Chance doesn't disappoint, once again we have an action packed adventure with a strong female character that, while tough as nails, and a dhampir -- is also very human.