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11.18.2008

Review: Dancing With Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas

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Dancing With Werewolves (Delilah Street: Paranormal Investigator #1) by Carole Nelson Douglas
Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Werewolves, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (JUNO BOOKS, 394 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0809572036
It was the revelation of the millennium: witches, werewolves, vampires and other supernaturals are real. Fast-forward 13 years: TV reporter Delilah Street used to cover the small-town bogeyman beat back in Kansas, but now, in high-octane Las Vegas - which is run by a werewolf mob - she finds herself holding back the gates of Hell itself. But at least she has a hot new guy and one big bad wolfhound to help her out...
Author Site:
http://www.carolenelsondouglas.com/

Fence-Sitting With Werewolves (3 stars)

As if the Y2K bug wasn't enough to freak people out about the turn of the millenium, the supernaturals decided to come out of the closet. Now years later they're a pretty normal part of everyday life. Enter Delilah Street, Kansas TV reporter who investigates the happenings of the furred, fanged and just plain weird. Abandoned at birth Delilah grew up in a Catholic orphanage and has a lot of odd issues stemming from some vampire related 'maybe-I-lost-my-virginity-maybe-I-didn't' event. When her home in Kansas is destroyed she packs up her vintage clothes and heads for Las Vegas in search of a woman she saw on an episode of LVCSI who might be her twin.

Vegas, it turns out, is one weird city after the millenium revelation. Run by the werewolf mob and home to more than a few creatures that bear no simple classification, it's not the Sin City everyone knows and loves. Setting up shop in the city Delilah makes the acquaintance of, Ric, a hunky hispanic dowser who finds corpses for the FBI, an albino rock-star and entrepreneur who might be a vampire and an eccentric, lecherous TV producer who owns the likeness rights of Delilah's mysterious twin, Lilith. When she and Ric have an out-of-this-world experience and come upon a decades old pair of murder victims Del and her trusty wolfhound, Quicksilver, are on the hunt for answers.

Conceptually, I really liked this book. The idea of the paranormal community deciding to go public and the world surrounding it really works in this story. Douglas is a pretty decent scene setter who only occassionally gets lost in the details to the point of being annoying. Delilah is, however, a really hard heroine to like. She's got weird hang-ups and her obsession with vintage things long beyond eras she should be so easily inclined to considering her orphanage upbringing feels forced. There something very one-dimensional about her that I just couldn't quite put my finger on and didn't get over by the end of the book. The worst was the constant comments from Irma, her supposed inner voice. Who names their inner voice? It came across almost like a seperate entity and made me hope that Douglas was just trying to be funny.

While I liked the eccentric side characters, Snow and Nightwine, I found that they were ALL eccentric which was a bit of overkill. There were also a few concepts within the story that she never really explained in any way that made them make sense. CinSims especially confused me. I did fall in love with Quicksilver though. A protective doggy companion was a nice touch. While I also, like many other readers have commented, like the silver familiar gifted to Del from Snow the constant mentions of it changing its shape and location got a bit creepy.

Overall it was enjoyable enough I think I will go ahead and read the second in the series. But, since it was a bit of a frustrating read and I don't really care for the author's writing style I don't know about beyond that. Dancing With Werewolves left a lot of unanswered questions and did not have a particularly satisfying ending, if the trend continues these just aren't the books for me.

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