31 August 2013

Blast from the Past Review: Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian

Midnight Breed #10
What they say:
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.

What I say: Darker After Midnight was very different from the previous books in the Midnight Breed series - it had an overwhelming sense of finality and from the opening paragraph it was obvious something game changing was coming.

Chase sacrificed himself to save the Order and is in custody of human police. Tavia Fairchild (a political aide) is sent to identify him as the crazed gunman who tried to assassinate US Politian's at the end of the last book.

Chase has been struggling with bloodlust for years and is on the very cusp of going Rogue. Tavia has lived a sheltered life after a fire killed her parents and left her covered in strange scars as a baby. I loved the twist with Tavia - it literally altered everything we had believed about the Breed!

Chase meets Tavia at the right time; he saves her from a terrible fate and she saves him from himself and from going Rogue. Chase had always lived in his deceased brother's shadow and had been in love with his former sister-in-law Elise for years (she's now happily mated to Tegan). Tavia shows Chase the real meaning of love and sacrifice.

As for Dragos and his evil plan? Well be prepared for one hell of a shock! I think the series was initially supposed to end with Darker After Midnight and this comes across massively with the consequences of Dragos's actions and the ending of the book. I'm pleased Lara Adrian is continuing the series (it starts off 20 years in the future), but I hope she manages to keep everything good about the series intact. Sometimes when authors continue a series after a-sort-of ending the writing suffers.

I could have done with less of the insta-love from some of the characters and this instalment is very baby-centric (they all seem to be having or planning to have vampire babies), but this does allow Adrian to create a whole batch of new warriors for future books!
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "Now, that's what I call making an entrance."
  • "I don't want you getting used to anyone poking you, unless that someone is me."
  • "Is it a big present?" His eyes gleamed devilishly, lit with amber sparks. "Very big." "With a big red bow on it?"

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