Thursday, June 07, 2007

Midnight Moon - Lori Handeland

Midnight Moon
A Nightcreature Novel #5
Lori Handeland
St. Martin’s


Once upon a time, she was your average suburban mom, driving her daughter to ballet lessons in an SUV, married to a man she thought she knew. Then she found out that things were very different than they appeared. After her daughter died, and she testified against the drug dealer who turned out to be her husband, she relocated, thanks to the Witness Protection people. Now she’s reinvented herself. She lives and works in New Orleans where she runs a voodoo shop and is known as Priestess Cassandra. A petite, white, blue-eyed voodoo priestess is something of an anomaly, but that’s all part of the charm.

Eventually, her study of voodoo leads her to Haiti, in search of a powerful man said to possess the secret of raising the dead. Cassandra is determined to learn this secret, ostensibly to be able to help her friends. But the truth is that she has her own purpose: she wants to resurrect her beloved daughter. (This is not a spoiler; it's detailed in the first few pages.) Her guide through the jungle is adventurer Devon Murphy. The two feel a deep mutual attraction, but Cassandra is intent on her mission. Once she possesses the secret, though, she finds out that such power always comes with a price attached.

Cassandra was a secondary character in the previous novel, and it’s nice to see her get her own story here. Even if you’re new to the series, this novel works well as a stand-alone. The journey through Haiti and the developing relationship with Devon is great adventure. In fact, this book puts the adventure front and center, and lets the romance play second fiddle. Given the characters, though, and Cassandra’s narrow focus, that seems quite natural and the story doesn’t suffer at all. I look forward to future installments of this exciting paranormal series.

Rating: 7 ½
August 2006
ISBN# 0-312-93849-7 (paperback)


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