Vampire Sunrise: Unique urban fantasy setting

urban fantasy book revies Carole Nelson Douglas Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator 3. Vampire SunriseVampire Sunrise By Carole Nelson Douglas

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsVampire Sunriseis the third book in the tales of Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator in the world of post-Millennium Revelation Las Vegas by Carole Nelson Douglas. First, let me say that while I personally struggled through parts of Vampire Sunrise and the series as a whole, it offers several things that are worthy of high praise. For instance, this is one of the more unique urban fantasy settings I’ve read in a while.

Post 2000 Las Vegas is inhabited not only by the standard cast of werewolves and vampires but also by Cin-Sims, a sort of Cinematic Simulacrum created from zombies overlaid with old movie characters. The concept is original, fun and intriguing, and the cast of characters generally strong. Moreover, the thematic hotels of Vegas form a fun backdrop for place, time, and symbolic themes that Carole Nelson Douglas exploits entertainingly. Her prose is playful and engaging, and the main character, a silver medium, has original powers and a fun personality. And I loved that we discovered her powers over the course of the story, with taunting references to new abilities.

What’s not to like about Vampire Sunrise? I could grouse about a series of unexplained coincidences (eg: her supernatural, perfect-match dog just happens to be available for adoption at a random park where she has just met her true love, in a scene where they just accidentally discovered the crime that sets everyone on a roller coaster adventure that lasts for at least three books — and the coincidences go on).

But what I found more distracting was that the thread of dramatic tension kept getting interrupted. Some of this was flashbacks, but the real culprit was that there were so many references to vintage films, clothes, actors and actresses, cars, and the like that I often felt like an outsider eavesdropping on an otherwise talented author who was sharing a bunch of inside jokes and anecdotes that I couldn’t fully appreciate. Carole Nelson Douglas did explain things for the reader, but while that helped me keep up, it also stopped the story and parted the curtain, breaking the spell and the tension. While I found the allusions clever and the explanations interesting, it proved to be too much of a good thing, like a historical fiction where the history drowns out the fiction.

All of that said, I am rating Vampire Sunrise with 3.5 stars because I suspect that a sub-set of fantasy readers (you probably know who you are) will truly love this inventive series and that as a bozo regarding all things vintage, I am simply not the prime demographic. I haven’t yet decided whether or not I will continue reading Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator. But either way I will probably try Carole Nelson Douglas in a different series because I thought key elements of her story telling were quite strong.

Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator — (2007-2012) Publisher: 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…

Carole Nelson Douglas Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator 1. Dancing with Werewolves 2. Brimstone Kiss 3. Vampire SunriseCarole Nelson Douglas Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator 1. Dancing with Werewolves 2. Brimstone Kiss 3. Vampire SunriseCarole Nelson Douglas Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator 1. Dancing with Werewolves 2. Brimstone Kiss 3. Vampire Sunrise 4. Silver ZombieCarole Nelson Douglas Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator 1. Dancing with Werewolves 2. Brimstone Kiss 3. Vampire Sunrise 4. Silver ZombieCarole Nelson Douglas Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator 1. Dancing with Werewolves 2. Brimstone Kiss 3. Vampire Sunrise 4. Silver Zombie 6. Virtual Virgin

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STEPHEN (S.B.) FRANK, one of our guest contributors, earned a Ph.D. at Duke University and works in the field of education reform. When he needs a break from real life, he likes to indulge in urban fantasy. He has a particular love for humor, so some of his favorite authors are Dakota Cassidy, Mary Janice Davidson, Mark Henry, Julie Kenner, Katie MacAlister, Richelle Mead and Christopher Moore.

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