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.
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