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Joint Steampunk Romance Review: Wicked After Midnight by Delilah S. Dawson

Wicked After Midnight by Delilah S. Dawson (Blud #3)


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Synopsis from Goodreads
A contortionist and a rakish brigand navigate the cabarets of Paris to rescue a girl taken by slavers in the third steampunk-tinged romance of the Blud series.

Life as a contortionist in Criminy’s Clockwork Caravan should be the height of exotic adventure, but for Demi Ward, it’s total dullsville. Until her best friend, Cherie, is stolen by slavers outside of Paris, and Demi is determined to find her.

On the run from his own past, Vale Hildebrand, a dashing rogue of a highwayman, hides Demi from the slavers…but why? He pledges to help her explore the glittering cabarets of Paris to find her friend, but much to Vale’s frustration, Demi soon attracts a host of wealthy admirers. The pleasures of music, blood, and absinthe could turn anyone’s head, and it would be all too easy to accept Cherie’s disappearance as inevitable—but with Vale’s ferocious will and Demi’s drive to find her friend, they soon have a lead on a depraved society of Parisian notables with a taste for beautiful lost girls. Can Demi wind her way through the seedy underbelly of Paris and save her best friend before she, too, is lost?

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US| The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

8/10

7/10

* * *
Karina:
I don't know about you, Vika, but what attracted me the most to this book was it's Moulin-Rouge, bright burlesque atmosphere. This is why reading it was such sheer pleasure.



The difference between Moilin Rouge and this book is that Demi is not a helpless female and no-one's victim. When she comes to Paris, she has two goals: to become a star and to find her kidnapped best friend, Cherie; and her Bludman status is a huge advantage and a great weapon against those who chose to prey on female performers. So, watch out as she is on the prowl! 


Vika:
Demi is certainly no damsel in distress and in that I admired her, but she was bratty and I found no sympathy for her. It is her rebellious wish to breakout from under Criminy's wing that lands Cherie in trouble in the first place, and further on puts Demi, herself, in dire circumstance. 

Still I'm tipping my hat to Delilah Dawson for creating the incredible world of Sang. It's dark allure is enticing and she writes it so well, that I couldn't help but crave more of these incredible stories.

Karina:
Haha, yep, the main heroine had an attitude! Still, turned at what? nineteen in her student years when she was supposed to saw her wild oats, and then being stuck in Criminy's caravan without seeing the world... I kind of got her. By the way, her best friend's inability to say no to Demi did enable her to keep going. Just saying. Cherie could have stayed with Criminy and let Demi wander on her own.

Attitude aside, Demi's rise as a star in a Parisian cabaret and her lush performances left me mesmerised. I also enjoyed the darkness of that demimonde - the secret society, the power of rich over these poor cabaret girls, the mystery of disappearances, and of course Demi's dashing brigand, Vale, and his antithesis - Lenoir.

Vika:
Yes! Let's talk about Vale, because he pretty much stole my heart and the spotlight! I loved that he wasn't giving in to Demi's wishes every step of the way and made her work for his love and affection. He was dark, mysterious, and absolutely charming. And the chemistry... was palpable. *Steamy!* Although, I have to say there was a bit of an insta-affection feeling from his side (a little too soon?). Nonetheless, I adored their scenes and snarky banter the two shared.

And then there was Lenoir. Now, why was Demi so enticed by him? I mean the lure of Absinthe for one (and her having had an alcohol problem before is understandable), but Lenoir himself was giving me the creeps! Brr...

Karina:
And yet, I kept hoping for some redeeming qualities for Lenoir, Vika. *laughing* I have such a weakness for antiheroes!

Overall, despite unlikeability of the main heroine for many readers, this is a good book, whose strongest side is its dark, addictive and luxurious world of Sang. It's violent, ruthless, unapologetic, rough and beautiful. I might not have liked Demi very much, but I understood her and rooted for her. Wicked As She Wants is still my favorite read in the series, and because I know what Miss Dawson is capable of, Wicked After Midnight gets 8/10. Recommended.

Vika:
I agree and like I said before Delilah crafts such an amazing world that it's hard not to be fascinated. Yes, it is dark and violent, but there is also passion, elegance and charm to it. And I did enjoy the burlesque atmosphere (much more so than the caravan in earlier books). It was also nice to have Criminy, Tish, and Casper back on the scene, even if only for a brief appearance.

Wicked After Midnight might not be my favorite book of the series (I'm with Karina on this one) but it was entertaining nonetheless. And Vale can swing by my window anytime... *winks* just saying! 7/10 for me. 

* * *

Карина:
Всё-таки, построение мира у госпожи Доусон просто божественное, дамы и господа! Из-за того, наверное, я никак не могу оторваться от этой серии. Вот и в этот раз готовьтесь к тёмному миру парижского бомонда, Мулен Руж и великолепным бурлескным номерам, ибо главная героиня - вампирша Деми мечтает стать звездой кабаре и готова пойти ради этого на всё.

Однако по дороге в Париж её подруга и партнёрша по цирковым номерам, Шери, похищена, и теперь Деми вынуждена не только изо всех сил добиваться исполнения своей мечты, но и всё свободное время посвящать поискам своей пропавшей подружки.

Вика:
Да, Деми девица с характером и настрой у нее можно сказать прямо боевой. Она своевольна, но слишком легкомыслена, и ее упрямое желание вырваться на свободу как раз и способствует похищению Шери и в добавок ставит под вопрос благополучие самой Деми. Честно говоря, меня немного огорчило такое поведение с ее стороны и поэтому Деми не вызвала моей симпатии.

Тем не менее мисс Доусон опять поразила меня своим мастерством. Темный, загадочный мир Санг привлекателен и заманчив, несмотря на опасных персонажей, населяющих его.

Карина:
Я понимаю, почему Деми тебя огорчила, Вика, но в то же время как бывшей танцовщице мотивы Деми мне очень близки, и я понимаю её желание вырваться из рутины каравана Кримини. Шери страдает потому, что Деми направляется в Париж, но в то же время, ей никто руки не выламывал, и она вполне могла бы и отказаться сопровождать свою подругу.

Мне понравилось, насколько тёмен путь Деми к славе. Мир кабаре и парижского демимонда - это продажное кубло, где патроны заведения могут купить любую из танцовщиц;  девушки пропадают из кабаре постоянно, и никто из них не возвращается; и по Парижу ходят слухи о секретном сообществе, что высасывает магию из танцовщиц-дэймонов и превращает их в бездушных кукол.

Вика:
Загадочные исчезновения танцовщиц настораживают Деми и она постепенно приходит к выводу что похищение девушек-дэймонов и ее подруги Шери связаны. Деми начинает свое расследование, но как разобраться в запутанных интригах кабаре, не говоря уж обо всем Париже? Дело не простое, а время не терпит. Но, на помощь Деми приходит таинственный и очаровательный разбойник Вэйл. Честно скажу, Вэйл обаятелен до беспредела. И отношения между ним и Деми набирают темп с неимоверной скоростью...

Карина:
Я его тоже полюбила! Однако признаюсь, что загадочный художник Ленуар меня очаровал ещё больше. Ну люблю я плохишей-героев, что делать! *смеясь* Было что-то в этой книге восхитительно артистичное, мрачное и воздушное...

В общем, книга хороша своим ярким и интересным миром, хотя и не так сильна как вторая книга серии (моя самая любимая). От меня 8/10 - рекомендую! 

Вика:
Не соглашусь с тобой на счет Ленуара, у меня от него остались не самые лучшие впечатления - брр...

Но в целом, роман, на меня произвел приятное впечатление, и на фоне красочного мира кабаре - мир Санг преобразился и приукрасился. Было так же приятно повидать героев из прошлых романов серии - Кримини, Тиш, и Каспера, даже если мимолетно. Не могу сказать что эта книга была сильнее предыдущих (в этом плане я абсолютно согласна с Кариной), но для фанатов серии она послужит достойным продолжением. Так что читайте! 7/10 от меня.  

 
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