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Much Ado About Vampires (Dark Ones Novel) Mass Market Paperback – 15 Sep 2011
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About the Author
Katie MacAlister lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dogs, and can often be found lurking around online game sites.
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This book starts with Corazon - Cora - whose sister Jacintha has just married a Scottish Dark One, undergoing hypnosis at a girly evening and experiencing 'her' own death. Except that the face of the deceased is not hers, but she has the memories, recalls her decapitation, and recalls seeing a man killing the woman who killed 'her' (this is relevant, as there is an explanation as to why Alec and Kristof from the previous two books are both friends and enemies).
Soon after, whilst visiting an empty manor house with Diamond, the blonde who gazumped Cora as her ex-husband Dermot's wife, but to whom she bears no hate/irritation/resentment/anger, they are both transported into the Akaasha (limbo-life, not Hell/Abbadon) where she rescues a dehydrated Dark One, Alec (who we met in Zen And The Art Of Vampires and Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang), who she then recognises as being the guy who killed 'her' killer.
They have telepathy, and from what she learns and recalls, she realises that she is his Beloved, but she reasons that she wouldn't want a man to love her for that reason, nor for the fact that she saved his life, so she stays quiet. When she manages to get them both out of the Akaasha (by tricking lich-master Alphonse De Marco (who we've seen under a different name in the Pia/Kristof books), who used the Guardian Noelle (still single and without her Dark One) to summon them, she and Alec have to go on the run - he because he's been condemned there for being responsible for the deaths of other Dark Ones (allegedly), and she, because she is now the Eye of Lucifer, having absorbed the power of The Tool, which De Marco is expecting her to hand over, as the price for getting Alec out of the Akaasha.
So they go to Pia and Kristof and Cora is forced to admit that she is Alex's Beloved reincarnated in the body and soul of Cora, a situation which is then further complicated by 'her body' i.e. the initial dead Beloved's body, being raised by Pia and Kristof. Said body, Eleanor, is now a lich, with all of their memories, but no soul, and she is not the present Alec's Beloved. Confusing? A bit, yes, as I had to go back and forth a few times before getting my head round things - Eleanor is the old version of Cora, with a face that isn't/doesn't resemble Cora's, minus a soul and minus being a Beloved.
Things get even more complicated when the demon lord Sally (from the Aisling and Drake books) makes an appearance and tries to oust Bael, and we learn more about who/what she really is. Cora is abducted, Eleanor is still around, soulless and Un-Beloved, moping, but managing to unintentionally provide comic relief. We get introduced to lich-master Brother Ailwin, who turns out to be evil, Asmodeus and Bael make an appearance, we find out about The Sovereigns, Ragnor the ghost horse makes an appearance (I was just waiting for the kitchen sink to be added to the mix....). Then Christian Dante arrives as the book concludes...
Overall, still the madcap, funny, zany stuff that I expect from this author, but if anything, it had a bit too much going on and it was hard to keep on top of things. I'm also sure that several of the Seven Steps To Joining were skipped, which was not explained...Which is why the Dragons books win over the Dark Ones for me from now on!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Alec had been banished to the Akasha for killing the woman that had killed his beloved and Cora was banished there by Bael and ends up getting Alec out, while discovering she was actually the reincarnation of his beloved. I always wanted to know more about Alec and Cora's story, and this book did not disappoint in that.
Alec is a very likeable character, although, at times, he seemed just a little too insecure. But overall, I really enjoyed him.
Cora, on the other hand, I was not really impressed with. She had her good moments with some great humor lines that had me laughing out loud (like the reference to "the girls"). But it grated on the nerves more times than not.
I think Cora started out as a great character but soon she became fickle in everything she did; until the end, where it seemed like the author tried to change gears and make her tougher, more devoted, but by then, it was too late. And I swear, by the end of the book, Cora used the phrase "Jesus wept", so many times that I was literally, screaming each time I saw it. It would have been ok, just once or twice but it was used at least once, in just about every chapter. While I am definitely not offended by that phrase in any way, it just seemed weird to be using it in this book. I won't say inappropriate, but awkward.
One final irritation for me with this book is the use, "once again"...... of the demon lords. This story line is starting to get very old. Surely, there is another direction the author can go.
I give it 3 stars, however, because I did enjoy the read and it really did have some very good moments and seemed to get more of the Katie humor back, that really had been missing in the past few books, even though, it was slightly over done. It was enjoyable enough to make we want to continue to read this author's books.