Saturday, 13 September 2014

Danse Macabre: Book Two of the Night's Dream Series

http://www.amazon.com/Danse-Macabre-Thomm-Quackenbush-ebook/dp/B0081INP9G/ref=pd_sim_sbs_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=06CHTXMR2E5D330QK0MJ
Click On Cover
Author: Thomm Quackenbush
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal Fiction
Book Rating: 7
Personal Rating: 6.5

The book read much like the first installment.  All the makings of awesome without actually getting there.  The plot seemed to be going somewhere and then sorta plateaued.  Just like the first novel.  One new character seemed to just fall out of the sky only to create tension.  I honestly just sort of meandered my way through knowing there would be no real clues along the way, and all the answers and the conclusion would be dumped on me at the end.  Much like the first installment.


Let’s just start of with Shane. Still in denial she is no longer human.  She isn’t even convinced of her own denial.  She can see demons on campus amongst other things and just ignores them.  It comes as no surprise that other worldly activity is on the rise seeing as she isn’t doing her job.  She refuses to have sex cause since she heals so quickly she thinks it will be like the first time.  Everytime.  This of course brings that virgin stuff threaded through the other book swimming through the pages of this one.  And if you’re waiting for the big reveal of who she is, it’s not here.  In fact after she gets captured by mistaken identity, her captors don’t even know who she is.  Only Girl and Gideon from the first book, and this new restaurant guy, one of only two characters I love in this book, seem to know. 

Shane is fighting to not be something neither she or the readers know even after two whole books.  We know what she is supposed to do, destroy demons that upset the balance and keep malevolent activity in check.  But the last person Gideon, she killed, and Girl has her own stuff she’s left to do which leaves Shane doing nothing and letting the world go to shit.  But we know all of this from the last book.  So here we are waiting for the last piece of the puzzle and pretty much leaving with the same Shane after two books.  Her only redeeming quality is that she managed to actually kill a vampire.  In the most coolest of ways.  I rather liked that bit.  But still who the hell is she?  And why do I not know after two books.

Roselyn.  I honestly don’t know what to say here. She’s still hopelessly addicted to sex an artist, a Wiccan, and dating a jealous faux vampire Dryden.  She was the same person she had always been and my opinion of her didn’t change.  Other than the fact that she’s loyal to her friend, which is awesome, what else is there?  Lots of books have feisty voluptuous chocolate sex vixens.  What makes this one so much more special?  Her only real redeeming quality was having to choose between dating a vampire and moving on with her life.  Lots of chances for emotional depth there but it didn’t quite make it.

The most annoying thing about her though, was this past that suddenly reemerges. Someone she used to date in this life before the life she has now has emerged as the most inept vampire hunter I’ve ever come across.  Don’t know how he’s lived so long.  Well about two years I think.  Two years too long.  She’s arguing with Dryden about her faithfulness in their first scene together.  And it’s about the legitimacy of her virginity.  So here rears the ugly head of virginity again, and apparently it also had to be mentioned that Dryden was also her first, and just enough already with the virgin stuff.  They are together in the here and now.  Either you want to be together or you don’t who he or she has been with before you is of little to no importance if you are committed to that person.  Besides in book one he stalked her for about a day with another man, (who was helping her find Shane), and then confronted him but being such a wimp did nothing, then accuses you of sleeping with him before asking first and after your explanation doesn’t believe the truth.  Why is she still with him?  No amount of mind-blowing orgasms should keep her with him.  And especially since this is the source of all their arguments.  Fights that she always wins.  She should find a less complicated man who’s more trusting and doesn’t care in anyway about her virginal status.

Dryden, well he finally becomes a vampire and is all ‘I don’t want to kill people’. Sigh.  He’s soft even as a predator.  Jealous for no reason.  And like Shane refuses to accept his fate.

The plot seemed great.  A girl kidnapped by mistake.  Roselyn must now save her with Shane's boyfriend Elliott (no we will not find out just how Shane brought him back from the limbo between alive and dead).  He has no more spunk than Dryden but somehow I like him.  Two inept heroes on a mission to save a friend.  The exact same thing as book one.  The very obvious mission to save Shane, who is trapped by vampires attached to a blood-draining machine.  Is what saves this book.  Also having Gideon trapped in her subconscious was nothing short of brilliant.  This could be fun.  The guy you thought you killed in a dream state is now fighting you in your own head.  This is the stuff any good writer drools over.  Unfortunately Shane is Shane.  He’s trying to tell her she’s strong enough to save herself.  Gives speeches about if this is her dream why is he in control.  She spent more time being afraid of his internal torment and trying to forgive him to notice he was giving her answers.  No shock there from ‘miss I wanna be a real girl’.  Breaking her down psychological was just as easy in this book as the first, and the fact she learned nothing, again, took away all the joy and character growth I was expecting out of this exchange.  It was infinitely better written than in the first book but ended up leaving me annoyed as per usual.  Regardless of how well it was written.  The character didn’t get anything out of it except a fear of sleeping to avoid having to deal with him.

The other good plot thing was that Dryden was important.  He wasn’t acting like a normal vampire or turning to dust in sunlight.  This was handled well.  The slow build up of tension to who is he and it paid of by us being told at the exact moment we should have been.  Handled way better than the Shane stuff which goes nowhere.  Full of power yet completely useless sums up Shane.

Ashley Elliot’s ex.  Honestly only one issue with her.  That she got her own section in the last book.  A chapter or a half I believe.  It done nothing at all to give me more insight into her character.  She’s a vampire, she likes to torture her prey and she’s hell bent on creating a vampire army.  All of this is enough info for this book because as the villain it’s simple, clean, and her quest to recapture Dryden is enough to keep me interested.

Noah.  Someone who is important for being Roselyn’s ex.  Is underdeveloped.  And not shockingly, was the source of the you weren’t a virgin convo argument with her and Dryden.  At first I could go with it, but then when Noah showed up all self proclaimed Vampire hunter chapters after the argument it was just too coincidental.  And he doesn’t show up until after Dryden is a vampire, and almost kills Roselyn because he assumes she’s a vampire.  Not a very good hunter is he.  Just paranoid, brimming with self-importance and a bit arrogant.  And the clich├ęd all vampires are evil type.  So no depth here.  And the untrusting, they are all evil types, do the same thing in every book I’ve read.  Very predictably headstrong and unswerving in their agenda to do their kind of justice like no other options are available.  And all the ‘bad’ people seem to laugh at him on the inside.  I doubted his skills largely on my own and his enemies doubting them didn’t help much.

There are two back stories that I loved reading but again was like ‘who cares’ this are not your main characters.  What are they here to do, did they do it, yes they did.  Why am I reading all this very very good back history and why oh why can’t you do this for your main characters.  Like when Noah gets his ass handed to him by Ashley and her crew, has to be rushed to the hospital by Roselyn, a long back story about some woman, no idea who which is why I was oh so intrigued.  A new character, a character I already know.  Oh this is getting fun.  I invested a lot into this back-story, as I did the other.  In any case it turns out she’s the doctor and all that was just for the too week to move Noah to notice her and try to escape the hospital bed when she could hold him down with one finger.  Seriously who cares she’s a demon.  Any doctor would have done.  I can say that I know more about this woman, and a little boy, and am more emotionally attached to them because I was given their life’s story.  And I didn’t need it.  All I could think was why don’t I know, feel or care this much about the characters who are main. 

And finally my biggest leap of joy and burn was when Noah killed Shane.  And flat out told her that if she done her damn job nothing in this entire book would’ve happened.  I don’t like him but yay to getting shit done.  She lived though I knew it would happen.  And then done the stupidest thing ever.  She kissed him and transferred a powerful entity into the body of a headstrong, teen with the body of hard chiseled steal, and then just sorta walked away.  Got ambushed by Elliot trying to go tell Roselyn what she had done, and let him take eons to profess his love to her when she had someone to kill.  Immediately that she left.  Any real person would’ve said now is not the time, I have to get help to kill someone and no.  So naturally she never tells her that Gideon is now in a body he would die to have had.  Just stupid on all accounts.  If she wasn’t going to lop his head of immediately she shouldn’t have done it.

Needless to say I see where book three is going, and I’m hoping from here to the far reaches of the universe Gideon takes over and puts the stupid self proclaimed hunter in his place.  He deserves a win after being stuck with the annoying Shane for so long.   And yes.  The end was this very quick barrage of endings and information that was offloaded and tied up in a few obvious and this shouldn’t have happened and was only a set up for a part three, kind of ways.

Would I recommend this book?  Even with a seven out of ten.  Unneeded plot points, and characters that are the same as they were in the first book, unchanging, yes.  There’s always the Gideon and Shane dialogue to look forward too.  The secret of who Dryden the vampire is and why Ashley must have him.  And of course the Restaurant owner was intriguing enough to keep me reading.  Even Ashley’s sidekick vampire was a breath of fresh air.  There are a lot of good things here but unfortunately the book kid of drags around so many issues that don’t propel the book forward.  Even with a very clearly defined plot and direction it just doesn’t travel well.  But the world still stands as great, the clever parts of the writing are more than enjoyable, and it’s clear the author has a very good imagination and a nice writing style.  So yes it’s worth the read if only to be entertained by something a little fun and fresh.

No comments:

Post a Comment