Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Fury's Kiss by Karen Chance

Fury's Kiss by Karen Chance
published by New American Library in October 2012
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing...

Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with a strange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill.

It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her.

To find out what was done to her—and who is behind it—Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead...
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Dorina Basarab, Book #3

The Story: As usual, Ms Chance pens a complex story, so let see if I can write a coherent summary :)

Since the last book, Death's Mistress, Dory has been working for the Vampire Senate. During her last mission, she was sent out with the Senate task force to investigate on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie and into their world. However, something went utterly wrong and 11 first-level masters died; Dory the only survivor. Whatever happened definitively messed her up because during her rescue, she didn't even recognize her love interest, Louis-Cesare. Eventually, her memories came back, but not the ones from the ambush... In order to find out what happened, her father, Mircea, who has powerful mental abilities, needs to enter her mind and retrieve those memories... That is when Dory learns that this is not the first time Mircea has played with her mind. A very long time ago, because Dory was dying due to her vampire half over-powering her human-half, Mircea had to put a barrier in Dory's mind, separating her two consciousness... and this has cost Dory a  lot.

While trying to retrieve her memories, Mircea is attacked and injured. Obviously, something is happening... and it might just have to do with the ongoing challenges for seats on the North American Senate. It's therefore up to Dory with her unexpected allies to stop the conspiracy.

My Opinion: All right, so I tried my best with the summary - I hope it gives a clearer idea of the plot. Now, let's try for a coherent review :) Then again, it's going to be a short one as Ms Chance is a very consistent writer and whatever the strengths and weaknesses were in the first two books, Midnight's Daughter and Death's Mistress, they are the same in Fury's Kiss.

Once again, while reading Fury's Kiss, I LOLed so many times :P I enjoy the romance between Dory and Louis-Cesare because it is intense and he knows what he wants and what he wants is Dory and he's not taking a "no" for answers... However, that's not why I read this series. I read the Dorina Basarab series because of the mix of action and humor and seriously, nothing beats the interactions between Dory, Ray and Radu. It's simply sooo hilarious! LOL. Speaking of Ray, I'm really happy that Ms Chance decided to keep him in the cast and that his character is more than comedic relief. I liked how much insight Ray had on people and the vampire community, sometimes even more than Dory. Actually, when you think about it, Ray's character is very interesting... He's not as powerful as everyone and I think it gives him a different perspective... but despite not being as powerful and a bit of a coward, he still sticks to Dory's side. In truth, I'm looking forward to reading more about him :)

Aside from the humor, what I enjoyed in this installment is things are not stagnant. Things are happening, especially in regards to Dory and Mircea's father-daughter relationship. Theirs has always been strained, a carefully choreographed dance. Because of Mircea's position and personality, Dory always thought that her father didn't really care about her and wanted to manipulate her more,  but I always had the feeling she was wrong... and I was right :) I loved the memory of Dory and Mircea in Venice and Dory finally knowing the truth. I'm really glad that Ms Chance expanded on this part of the story and did not drag it on. No matter how dysfunctional their family is, there's no doubt that Dory, Mircea and Radu are a tight unit and I hope Ms Chance continues to explore this aspect.

Finally, a word on the storyline. As a whole, I think it was pretty good and I enjoyed it. Then again, I love stories that involved successions and court intrigues, and the challenges for a Senate seat was akin to it :) However, there was more such as Ms Chance shedding light on Dory's dhampir nature - I love that part! How did Dory survive being a dhampir while so many others have died before her and what's more, it made sense. Unfortunately, as usually, not everything did and I still got confused at times ^_^; I think there was less superfluous parts than in Death's Mistress which was a plus, but still, I got lost a few times. The two parts that come to mind are when Ray was explaining how he created portals and the child... What's annoying with the confusion in Ms Chance's books is that even after re-reading the parts, I still can't figure it out. Sigh. I have to say though, the ending of Fury's Kiss made up for all the confusion because it was simply so awesome! LOL.

Besides the confusion, my other little complaint about Fury's Kiss was Dory's best friend, Christine. She just annoyed me so much! I didn't mind her in the first two books, but in here, I simply couldn't stand her. Yes, she does offer some support and I think her faith in Dory is very important for Dory. What annoys me though is that at the end of the day, she doesn't truly understand Dory and keeps ignoring that part of Dory is vampire is annoying... It's self-denial! And no matter how bad Dory and Mircea's relationship is, she shouldn't interfere. She's being over-protective when I think Dory can take care of herself... and seriously, I don't think she's helping all that much ^_^;

My Grade: B. Overall, my enjoyment of Fury's Kiss fell in the middle of the two first installments, mainly because of the storyline - it was much better than Midnight's Daughter, but didn't have as much omphf as Death's Mistress. It was also a satisfying read full of laughs with good developments :) I'm really looking forward for the next book, although I think it will only come out in 2014. Ugh. Definitively going to re-read int he meantime :)