I have been anticipating this book impatiently for a long time. Ever since I started this series a few years ago, I have loved Dory Basarab and the world she lives in. The stories are non-stop action as Dory gets into and out of more tight spaces than is possible without a great deal of luck, grit and the help of an unusual set of friends. The tone of the book and Dory’s voice have me laughing out loud more than once even when I groan for her predicaments because Dory has a way of cracking a joke whether at herself, her situation or at others that just makes you want to believe that she’ll find her way out of every bad situation.
This is the third installment in a spin-off series that can be read apart from the other series, but should definitely not be read out of order within the series.
In this particular installment, she is up against the toughest and most bizarre set of enemies and circumstances yet. Dory has taken a job for the Senate working on illegal portals and smuggling into faerie, but everything went south when her master vampire partner is killed and someone seems intent on keeping Dory from remembering what happened that fateful night. Naturally, Dory can’t focus on that one issue alone for long because there are a few other things occupying her attention too- Ray is back and his former master wants him (personally I think the scenes with Ray and Dory were some of the best in the book), Claire and her fae guard are still around because her son Aiden is still in danger, Louis-Cesare is pushing her toward commitment, Marlowe wants answers quickly for what happened that night that she can’t remember, and then there is something new coming out of her accepting Mircea’s help to retrieve her memories.
First of all, this is not the book/series for you if you cannot follow a convoluted plot. This one twisted back on itself so many times. Much of this is because this storyline’s adventure takes place some of the time inside the landscape of Dory’s head- her memories to be exact. There is a feeling of not quite knowing what is real, what is a dream and what is a memory. I was grateful for the italicized text to help with that. There were some real surprises in this story too. A few of the real zingers will affect the story arc of the series. But the big thing is to stick with this bizarre story when half-way through not much makes sense because in the end there is an explanation in store that’s a shocker- at least to me.
Secondly, this plot does have some Dory and Louis-Cesare moments, but they are fleeting and a little frustrating (for them too I’m sure). They just never seem to be able to catch a break. It was sort of funny in a way. While there wasn’t much alone time for them, they do manage to clear the air in certain ways by the end.
Another element of the plot that always seems a bit frustrating is the relationship between Dory and Mircea. I loved what happened between them in the last book, but this one took the father-daughter thing to a whole new level. Now I’m curious what all the reveals and understanding will do to them now in the next installment.
This is a long one and jumps from one scene and set of characters to the next leaving me with a bit of whiplash at times until I got oriented to the new set of circumstances. Normally, I don’t like that chopped up feeling in a book, but for some reason it works for me in this one. As usual in a book from this series, the grand finale is worth the price of admission. Now its time to impatiently wait yet again for the next segment of Dory’s adventures. At least, I’ll have the next Cassie book next year to tide me over for a bit.