A Blud Novel #3
Delilah S. Dawson
Pocket/Simon & Schuster JANUARY 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and E-Book formats
448 pages

Disclosure: Provided by Publisher  for review purposes.  No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions expressed herein are my own unless otherwise noted.
I do know the author and am acknowledged in the author’s notes for the book for some beta reading I did. This does not affect my opinion, really.

Only rebellious Demi Ward could be bored with her life as a contortionist in Criminy Stain’s magical traveling circus. But being a cabaret star in the City of Light is dangerous . . . especially for an audacious Bludman.

After Demi’s best friend, Cherie, is brutally kidnapped en route to Paris by a roving band of masked slavers, passionate highwayman Vale Hildebrand shows up to save the day. With his help, Demi rises to the top of the cabaret scene as part of her plot to find Cherie—but what she really discovers is a taste for Vale’s kisses. Meanwhile, wealthy suitors vie for a night of her charms, crowding the glittering club where Demi commands the stage with a host of colorful daimons. She is soon seduced by a smoldering portrait artist whose ties to a secret society could be the break she and Vale need on their hunt. But—unlike the Paris that Demi read about in college on Earth—the Paris of Sang is full of depraved pleasures and deadly surprises. . . . simonandschuster.com’s Wicked After Midnight page


My Take!The only word needed to describe WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT, Delilah S. Dawson’s third book in the Blud Series is “Brilliant.”  I could add terms like shiny, exciting, thrilling, and such but it all comes back around to brilliant.

Delilah is funny with a twisted slant on language and naming conventions.  Some of them remind me of when we have to song lyrics wrong, and others are flat out puns for me – Freesia is Russia (loosely, Delilah tells me), much like our weather lately, Russia is cold – and Freeze Ya is a pun.

In the world of Sang, parallel to our own, there are several species at least four of which correspond to human:
Pinkies are human ;
Abyssinians are close to human, but their blood is poisonous to Bludmen;
Bludmen are Vampire-like;

Lautrec's Jane Avril
Lautrec’s Jane Avril

Daimons mostly reside in Franchia. They are not human and feed on human emotions although they can eat food.

In having these different species Delilah makes the point

that while her species are all different, they also share a lot of characteristics.  It serves as a foil for the reality of humanity and different races and religions. We may be diverse but we share much.

In Demi, Delilah has created a sultry, sly and sophisticated siren who reminds me of a young Lauren Bacall telling Bogie to “Just whistle.”  She’s quick witted and just a little miscalculating of  the intentions of others. She is also bored with caravan life and wants the excitement of fame and stardom. She’s still a little immature but really smart; she doesn’t yet have that kernel of wisdom that takes one from adolescent thinking to adult thought. She wants to be a star, to have fame, excitement, the rush of an audience clapping for her, she wants to feel alive, important, adored She doesn’t realize the price one pays for fame and infatuated adoration.

“Girls Come here, they want to be stars.  You know what stars want?”
“They want to be girls again. And they can’t. Not ever. Now, go.” (WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT p. 245)

In Vale, Demi has created the perfect, charming brigand — think Johnny Depp in Chocolate. Harrison Ford as Hans Solo, add in a little Channing Tatum bod and you get the picture in my head.  He is a bit mercenary, sexy, and sometimes even noble. He is the flavors of Southern France Franchia.

This fake wooden elephant once resided over the gardens of the Moulin Rouge. There was a stage in it’s abdomen and

The pace in the book is fast, the plotting is perfection. We move quickly from one step to the next with enough in between to add structure, but not so much as to slow it down. And the world!!! She describes the Paris of dreams and delusion; a seamy, romantic Paris, the Paris of cabarets and Can Can girls; a Paris we hold in our minds with the knowledge it doesn’t. And she does it beautifully.

Delilah brings up the strange marvels of the world of the Gay Nineties Paris with its  veneer of opulence and the addictive absinthe, of giant cabaret elephants (featuring in WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT and MOULIN ROUGE), Jane Avril, Impressionism, you know, THAT Paris, where writers lived in garrets, wealthy men were expected to have mistresses and where anything went in the cabaret.  And, of course this is not our Paris, it is the Paris of Sang. And, that’s a whole different thing, non?

Other than the first chapter and a few other bits and bobs the book could stand on its own. Why you wouldn’t gobble up all three novels and the three novellas is beyond me. My favorites are the first, Wicked as they Come and this one, Wicked After Midnight.

I really adored this book for the story, the characters, the romantic, exciting story, and I just love Delilah’s writing!! I call it a MUST READ.


Relevant LinksSimon and Schuster/Pocket Delilah Dawson’s Website
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