If there is one city that Scarlett Bernard hates, it’s Las Vegas. But when the cardinal vampire of Los Angeles convinces her to go investigate a new vampire-themed stage show, Scarlett quickly finds herself shoulder-deep in sequins, slot machines, and Old World intrigue.
The show’s creators are vampire celebrities Arthur and Lucy Holmwood, who once inspired characters from the original Dracula. Now, however, they have no qualms about announcing their true status to the human world, endangering the secrecy of the Old World and Scarlett’s mission to keep it hidden.
But before she can begin untangling the Holmwoods’ motives, Scarlett also discovers that their new production has attracted more than just fans: Las Vegas’s many vampires are suddenly disappearing, and rumors are flying that actual vampire hunters may have followed Arthur and Lucy to town.
Now, without her allies, her bargest, or her frequent partner Jesse Cruz, Scarlett must navigate a new underworld of secrets and murders in a city where nothing is ever as it seems. And the stakes have never been higher.
This was a stronger book than Midnight Curse. It did, however, suffer a bit from middle child syndrome. Olson takes Scarlett out of Los Angeles and brings her to Las Vegas to uncover some trouble to get into. It is a nice change of pace. Scarlett is on her own, she isn’t bugging anyone, she isn’t really dragging anyone into her daring adventures. She was more tolerable in this book because she couldn’t really upset anyone around her, it was just her getting into trouble all by herself.
However, that end. Have you ever spent an hour of your life telling an author “Don’t do it. Don’t you dare fucking do it. I will fucking hate you if you do it. Just say no. You can do it, just say no.”? And, then they do it? That happened here with me. I knew that was going to be how the book ends. If you’re read this, and you start reading the book, and say “huh, please don’t tell me that is going to be how it ends?” I can probably safely say yes, that is how it ends. Because, Olson went and did it. I’ve been railing for the last ten minutes that she went and did it before I could calm down enough to write this.
Scarlett’s not having others to lean on is a positive in this book. She is calmer, she doesn’t have as many moments where so rages out because someone is trying to help her, because no one is there. There is almost an entirely new cast this book, I really liked it. This did, however, leave room for a new love interest. A love interest Scarlett really did not need in her life. Her life is already enough of a mess without it. The romance felt out of place, rushed, and like the author had a reason for them being together other than them actually liking each other. That said, Scarlett shows a bit of personal growth as a character by the end of this book, finally. However, she still makes a bunch of terrible decisions.
There was one part of the book that made me roll my eyes, though. Scarlett calls up Jesse looking for some help, and Jesse lays in talking about “I can’t believe I have to tell you this” about how Scarlett is a “hero”. I’m sorry, Scarlett is not a hero just because she keeps feeding her ego. Scarlett, this entire journey, has gone from one disaster to another believing only she can solve everything as long as she is in the middle of the action. She is in the way half the time, and if she delegated anything at all, half the troubles in this series would be solved way easier than her having to be everywhere doing everything. Really annoying scene.
Since starting the read, starting with Bloodsick, I’ve always wanted to see more regarding Sashi and Will. This felt like the first step to me getting to see this, so I’m really happy with that. Sashi is a wonderful character. I hope she pulls through in the next book for me. I feel like we’re getting closer to a series with Scarlett, Lex, and Sashi as the main characters working together to do something grand.
This was actually a better put together story, though. The story is more internally consistent and follows a logical progression. I wasn’t bored or put off by entire sections of the book. I enjoyed the read more in this book than I have in any Scarlett Bernard or Disrupted Magic book to date.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Disrupted Magic series page!