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REVIEW: Midnight Moon by Lori Handeland

Dear Mrs. Handeland,

Well, we’re up to book five in your “Nightcreature Novels” series. Most have featured werewolves but this time you dish up something different.
Something very different. And this is perhaps some of the problem I have with this book.

Priestess Cassandra was introduced in the last book, “Crescent Moon.” She’s in the witness protection program after having testified against her drug dealer husband who’s bad business dealings lead to the death of their only child, Sarah. Now Cassandra is a voodoo priestess in New Orleans and from an experience in “Crescent Moon,” the word is getting around that she’s got power, lots of voodoo power. Because of this, she’s been sent to Haiti by the secret agency formed to hunt down monsters let loose by Hitler’s minions in the death throws of the Third Reich. Here she’s supposed to learn the secret to raising the dead in order to end a curse featured in “Crescent Moon.” She hasn’t told anyone that she also plans to use the knowledge to raise her dead daughter.

Devon Murphy is the man she finds in Haiti to lead her to the bokor, the powerful voodoo priest with the knowledge Cassandra needs. Together they find some strange, spooky and horrifying goings on Haiti. And while the bokor might be able to show Cassandra what she needs to know to raise lifelike zombies, what he does to her could end her life.

I’ve enjoyed this series to various degrees but they’re like Lays potato chips. I just can’t stop reading them. Even the books with which I have problems, I compulsively read to the end. Even though there are sometimes plot discrepancies, even though I am amused by an agency that is supposed to be Super Duper Top Secret yet lots of people appear to know about it and before each book is finished lots more are told about it, even though you sometimes have your lead characters act stupidly or forget things in order to convey knowledge to the reader which then makes these lead characters look more stupid, even though you sometimes rely on deus ex machina revelations to wrap up problems, even though you really wing some things about this newest creature, even though some things make me go “eeuuuww” I still can’t stop reading them. So I guess you’re going your job well.

What bothered me in this book? Well, the whole idea of raising the dead daughter. Cassandra is beyond obsessed with it. Even she realizes that she’s acting irrational. And everyone else thinks she’s a whack job nuts. And I couldn’t stop thinking of this zombie child who would never grow up and who would have to avoid certain substances to keep from disintegrating again. Blech. And then there was Cassandra’s mental lusting and some inappropriately timed sex scenes. The first of which was just after Cassandra and Murphy had killed a zombie in Haiti and the body was within feet of them. The kisses are getting hotter, the caresses are getting bolder, clothes are starting to get yanked off and all I could think was, “there’s a freakin’ dead body just feet from you!” Finally there’s the fact that up until the last third of the book, no one had ever heard of wereleopards, yet just when they need to know how to kill one, the information is discovered. How? Did someone go on the internet and check www.wereleopards.org or maybe www.Wereleopards_R_Us? Yet, see above paragraph.

Am I going to buy and read the next book “Rising Moon?” You betcha. Will there probably be things that weird me out in it? I’m betting yes. Will I hope that you don’t have heroines forget to have their weapons with them when said weapons are needed and other such stupid things? Oh, please yes. What grade will I give “Midnight Moon?” Hmmmmm, C+ but remember I just couldn’t stop reading it.

~Jayne

Oh and in case any of you readers are confronted with a wereleopard before you have a chance to read “Midnight Moon” here’s how to defend yourself. All you need is a black diamond that you can stick the animal with. So make sure you always have that and silver to ward off werewolves.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

8 Comments

  1. Devon
    Aug 14, 2006 @ 20:45:22

    I shouldn’t even say this in the interest of anonynimty (sp?), but my maiden name is Devon Murphy. That just weirded me out that a romance hero has my name. Good review, though.

  2. Jayne
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 06:36:52

    Oh, wow. That would weird me out too. Well, this Devon Murphy is a hunky stud with long blond hair with beads and feathers. Yeah, I was thinking Johnny Depp too.

  3. Jane
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 07:00:39

    That is bizarre, particularly given that your name isn’t even common.

  4. Devon
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 07:44:12

    The physical description sounds just like me too. Or not. I remember back in the early eighties, when we used to go to the roller rink, they had these roach clip thingys with beads and feathers that you would clip onto your hair to be ultra cool while you skated around to “Maneater” by Hall and Oates. Only time I’ve done beads and feathers in the hair.

    I’ve read one novella by Handeland which I liked, but I don’t know if I could read a book where the hero has my name. Too distracting. Especially during the love scenes, I think.

  5. Jayne
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 08:13:04

    Devon, you might want to try the first book in the series, BLUE MOON. I think it’s the best one and I promise you won’t mentally cringe during the love scenes. ;)

  6. Keishon
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 08:19:24

    I agree that Blue Moon was good, I’d rate it a B. I haven’t read the rest in the series but do have Crecent Moon, TBR. My reading mood of late has been swinging wildly. After Tithe, I really couldn’t get into anything but now I am reading Susan Squires, The Companion. So far so good.

  7. Jayne
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 08:28:15

    THE COMPANION is good. I believe I rated it a B+. Very interesting world building and characters.

  8. Dear Author.Com | Rising Moon by Lori Handeland
    Feb 07, 2007 @ 04:05:08

    […] the fact that I’ve had some problems with this series and gave the last book a C grade, guess what my little hand reached for in Waldenbooks the other day? But of course, it was this […]

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