Friday, April 27, 2012

Book Review: Darker After Midnight

Darker After Midnight (Midnight Breed #10)

Author :  Lara Adrian
Publication:  Delacorte Press
Publication Date: 24 January 2012
Source: E-book owned by reviewer
Buy it at Amazon and Indie Bound
Audience: Adult; Paranormal Romance



In the dark of night, a blood war escalates within the hidden world of the Breed. After existing in secret for many long centuries, maintaining a fragile peace with the humans who walk beside them unaware, a single act of retaliation has put the entire vampire nation at risk of discovery. It falls to the Order—a cadre of Breed warriors pledged to protect their own and humankind alike—to stop Dragos, the power-mad vampire at the center of the conflict, before his push for domination can explode into catastrophe. 

At the center of the Order’s quest is Sterling Chase, once a morally rigid enforcer of Breed law, now a warrior fallen from grace, whose biggest battle is the one he wages against his own savage nature. With addiction beckoning him toward eternal darkness, Chase’s path to redemption has never seemed more out of reach. But when his eyes meet those of Tavia Fairchild, a beautiful witness who identifies him at the scene of a mission gone terribly wrong, Chase finds himself drawn to the woman—and convinced she is something much more than she seems. 

 Pulled into a vortex of intrigue and danger she can neither resist nor understand, Tavia is uncertain whom to trust. And while everything sane and logical warns her against getting close to Chase, she cannot deny that the handsome, deeply haunted male stirs something primal and ravenous within her. But even as she surrenders to her cravings, nothing can prepare her for the shattering truth of who—and what—she truly is. 

As the Order’s enemy mobilizes for the battle of the ages, Dragos and his Minions unleashing a hell on Earth like nothing ever seen before, Chase and Tavia are thrust into the heart of the violence. With time running out and the streets running red with the blood of innocent lives, both Breed and human, together Chase and Tavia must find a way to defeat Dragos once and for all—or die trying.

My Review

Lara Adrian proves yet again why she is the queen of both paranormal romance and urban fantasy with this latest instalment in the Midnight Breed series! This was a humdinger of a book. There is the usual focus on a couple finding their Happily Ever After as the book progresses, but there is also an absolutely cracking plot involving the fight against Dragos and the revelation of a fantastic new plot twist. I don’t want to say more about that so as not to spoil your enjoyment of the book so I’ll focus on the aspects of Adrian’s writing that we have come to know and love.
Over the series, we have learnt about Sterling Chase, known affectionately as Harvard within the Order. He has undergone a dramatic change in fortunes as he has dealt with unrequited love, loss and personal tragedy. He is struggling with his bloodlust and a serious case of the ‘I’m-not-worth-its’ but despite all this, he still retains a sense of noble self sacrifice. He walks into the arms of waiting law enforcement officers to draw attention away from Lucan and the Order. He thinks he is irredeemable but doesn’t wallow in self pity- he keeps his head down and gets on with what he thinks he needs to do.
He has already seen Tavia Fairchild, the night he shot Dragos but now she is at the police station, as their prime witness. Ah Tavia, Tavia, Tavia! What a revelation she is! Smart, sharp, and at the centre of something really big in Breed world! I am still humming with excitement at this plot twist which adds something fantastic to the ongoing development of the world building that Adrian is doing in this series. What I will say is that, like Jenna, she is not a Breedmate. The Breedmates, it turns out, may well be descended from Atlanteans. Quite how that fits in to the plot, you will have to read and find out.
The relationship between Chase and Tavia has a troubled start, with both of them finding it hard to deal with the truths confronting them. But somehow, the connection between them blossoms. Adrian writes this with sensitivity and pathos. There is none of the long-haired domineering supernatural male with ‘insta-love’ here- just attraction and a slow falling in love, tempered by both of them fighting their lusts and urges, which makes their romance all the more believable.
Adrian doesn’t forget about the old cast- they almost all make interesting and plot-relevant appearances, and it’s like meeting up with old friends again. Her writing goes from strength to strength, and this latest instalment with it's fantastic plot twists and revelations, has got to be one of my favourites in the series. Read it. That is all.

Blysse’s Hot:Plot Ratio

I feel like a bit of a fraud even putting a rating in here because this book is not about the romance, in the main. It is a fantastically plotted urban fantasy with smatterings of romance. The sex scenes, few as they are, won’t leave you breathless, but they are well written and fit in superbly with the overall tone of the book.

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