Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by the new site and take a look around.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Silver Zombie by Carole Nelson Douglas

Silver Zombie by Carole Nelson Douglas
Publisher: Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (289 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Zombies and Witches and Vamps . . . Oh, My!

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—at least that's Delilah Street's hope. With Sin City's vampire and werewolf mobs wanting to cash in her chips once and for all, she's retreating with her partner Ric Montoya and half-wolfhound Quicksilver to her Kansas birthplace. Unfortunately, when it comes to finding trouble, there's no place like home. . . .

It doesn't take long before Delilah realizes she's not in Vegas anymore. Zombie cowboys and spectral cattle drives are kicking up dust, the local weather girls are total witches who forecast perfect storms, and some Hollywood fanatic is recasting zombies as the greatest stars of the silver screen. And speaking of silver, Delilah's special affinity for the all-purpose monster-repellent leads her posse straight down a silver brick road—and into a not so- fun house of mirrors—putting her face-to-face with her dicey past and a mystery woman named Lilith, who's a real dead ringer for Delilah. The key word being dead.

What do the Wizard of Oz, zombies and really cool bar drinks have in common? The answer is the heroine of Silver Zombie, Delilah Street, paranormal investigator.

This is the fourth book in the series and Ms. Douglas keeps getting better and better. I think it helps to have read the previous books in the series just so a reader can understand one of the very intense and personally traumatic events that happens in this book. Ms. Street has had a severe phobia haunting her for fourteen years and it really impacts her love life. A reader finally finds out why she can’t remember a period of time in her life and it’s quite graphic. So, reader beware. I was outraged and horrified on the heroine’s behalf. I am so very glad her beau and lover was there to see her through it.

I keep finding new aspects of Ms. Street’s character that I like or am surprised by. I love her invisible internal, and sometimes I wonder if she’s truly imagined, sidekick, Irma. She reminds me of having Mae West as a conscience.

One of the reasons I adore this series so much and have been addicted is the fact that the zombies that populate the books are actually movie characters. I mean Humphrey Bogart has shown up in the past and quite a few other famous characters from the black and white movie heyday. Even Peter Lorre has been on scene. However, in Silver Zombie, Ms. Douglas has tapped into my inner sci-fi geek and it’s totally and completely amazing. If the series has any of the author’s personality in it, is has to be her love for the movies of old. There are sleights of hand references throughout that really tickled my funny bone. They are included so smoothly, so naturally that it’s a pleasure and a challenge to find them all and to wonder what I’ve missed. At this point in the series, it is something I look forward to and I find it unique, refreshing and sometimes really funny. I’m in awe at this author’s imagination.

Once the personal mystery of Delilah’s gets solved, the other exciting and very scary conflict takes center stage and the action and daring-do is nonstop. The other secondary bad guys, creatures and nefarious weather girls all amp up the ante and there’s more than lives at stake.

I have to mention Ric, her best friend, ex-FBI agent and passionate love and lover. He has changed as the series as gone on and unlike the last book where he almost ‘died’, in Silver Zombie he does something really creepy and astounding and that totally rocks on the cool meter. Then there is the other love of Delilah’s life, Quicksilver, a dog who isn’t a dog but much more with really neat puppy powers. He makes Underdog look like a wimp. I laughed out loud when he saved the day without getting electrocuted.

Another aspect of this series is Delilah’s frenemies. Snow is one of them and I can’t tell if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. I think he’s a bit of both and there are times where I wish this series could turn their relationship into a ménage because I think Snow a/k/a Christophe is a hunk. He certainly is mysterious and powerful but through Delilah’s interactions with him in the past, she and I still can’t figure out what or who he really is. But I was happy to have his character show up in Silver Zombie. He brings certain panache and certainly a heightened sexual conflict. Yes, Delilah loves Ric with all her heart but there’s just something about Snow that seduces. I love his character. I love the internal angst he brings because it’s always eyebrow raising and stimulating to my imagination.

There is no complete happily ever after to this book. It’s a continuation of a growing love between Delilah and Ric and each book has them learning new things about the other while facing foes together and they each bring out the best inside the other. It’s always hot when they find moments to celebrate their physical side and in Silver Zombie it’s no different. It’s sensual, seductive and always well written. Considering the lives they had while they were growing up, I keep thinking the other shoe is going to drop but they are getting stronger together and I could hug the author for it. The hero and heroine are perfect for each other and I immensely enjoy their relationship. Keep it coming.

Silver Zombie is part of one of the best paranormal adventure romance series out there right now. Each installment presents new and fascinating components for the heroine to explore and Ms. Douglas continues to introduce new and attention grabbing secondary characters in each book. Silver Zombie is no exception and I had a ball meeting Mr. Tallgrass. Oh, and Ric’s mom is an amazing woman. I have a healthy respect for her and the author has done a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life with vivid descriptions, dialogue and setting.

And readers get a special treat at the end of the book. If a reader thinks that Delilah’s creations are made up, they’re in for a delightful surprise.

Silver Zombie gets high marks for being a successful book in a truly innovative and entertaining romantic suspense series with unique surprises around every corner. I was entertained, amused and completely satisfied with the wrap up of this current paranormal crisis. I assure fellow readers, this book is going on my keeper shelf and I can’t wait to find out what new adventures are in store for Delilah, Ric and Quicksilver.