I read a couple of anthologies recently, Hex Appeal and Blood Lite III, and I came across a short story by Carole Nelson Douglas. I can’t remember the name of the story but it featured a woman by the name of Delilah Street and I had been intrigued by it. So I went off to Amazon and found the first story of Douglas’ that featured Delilah Street called Dancing with Werewolves.
This world starts out intriguingly. It starts out with young orphan Delilah (Why always orphans? Why don’t the main characters of these books ever have a happy childhood? That would be interesting to read), and her orphan peers waiting to see what happens at Y2k. Instead of nothing happening as it did in real life, there was some sort of great magical awakening. Douglas was somewhat vague as to what this was however. I wasn’t clear if the magic already existing in the world just swelled to the point where humans couldn’t ignore it any more or if the magical creatures in the world came out of the supernatural closet. However, I’m willing to pass this vagueness off as being the poor recollections of a child, which Delilah was at the time.
Delilah Street grew up into an investigative reporter. In Kansas. Having lived in a mid-western state, I can only imagine that being as thrilling as it sounds. Delilah tried and failed at dating the vampire anchor at her local news station and his new squeeze, the weather witch, promptly sent a tornado to destroy Delilah’s home. Ooookay then. No explanations as to why the vamp or the weather witch were suddenly so keen to get rid of her but its was a convenient plot device to get Delilah to move on to…Las Vegas!
Here she has a magical encounter with some random dude in a park that gives them both an orgasm of a life time….Really? Already? Trope-tastic magical encounter with sexy male supe, check! Let’s move on to the next cliche. The magical encounter is observed by some rich shut in from his conveniently next door home that is bristling with surveillance. He offers her a job investigating old Vegas crimes. Why? Because he’s a TV producer of course! And he runs the umpteenth version of CSI. Okay, that I found funny. 🙂
So she starts investigating the crime that induced her magical sex ride with the sexy supe (Ric). Which leads her to equally sexy but definitely a bad-guy, probably a vamp but will never admit it, Snow. An albino vampire, he owns the Inferno Hotel (as in Dante’s Inferno). And he has an immediate thing for Delilah. Of course. But the supernatural run ins don’t stop with him. She has a run in with the werewolf mafia, zombies with magical overlays to make them appear as old cinema stars, and weird faerie type creatures.
I almost felt like she was trying to squeeze every trope imaginable into a story that was about 300 pages. The short story was far more intriguing than this longer book. There are several more books in this series and I don’t think I’m going to read them. It was a promising premise but I feel like a writer such as Simon R. Green or Jim Butcher could have done so much more with it. Rating: D-D+. This is harsher than I usually am, but I feel you’d probably be better off skipping this one. Unless you like trope heavy stories, in which case have at it and to each their own. I love cheesy sci-fi movies after all, so who am I to judge? 😉