Darker After Midnight
Published 2012 369 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Summary (from the book jacket)
In the dark of night, a blood war escalates within the hidden world of the Breed. After maintaining a fragile peace with the humans who walk beside them unaware, a single act of retaliation has put the 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, before his push for domination explodes into catastrophe.
At the centre of the Order’s quest is Sterling Chase, whose biggest battle is the one he wages against his own savage nature. But when his eyes meet those of Tavia Fairchild, Chase finds himself drawn to the woman – and convinced she is something much more than she seems. And while everything logical warns Tavia against getting close to Chase, she cannot deny that he stirs something ravenous within her. As the Order’s enemy mobilizes for the battle of the ages, Chase and Tavia are thrust into the heart of the violence. With time running out, they must find a way to defeat Dragos once and for all – or die trying.
Darker After Midnight is the tenth book in Lara Adrian’s popular Midnight Breed paranormal romance series. The series is based around the activities of the Order, a group of vampires dedicating to protecting both humans and their own species from Rogue vampires who would drink the population dry of blood if given half a chance. Over the course of the ten books, readers have seen the original members of the order all overcome personal difficulties and find their life mates against a backdrop of shadowy conspiracy orchestrated by Dragos, a vampire who thinks that humanity should be slaves to the Breed. Along the way there has been no shortage of bloody violence and deadly action, yet Darker After Midnight manages to amp up storyline even further into an electrifying climax to the long-running story arc.
Readers new to the Midnight Breed books would be best served to start their reading somewhere nearer to the beginning of the series. For established series readers Darker After Midnight offers recaps of events so far within its story, so if you’ve missed the odd book along the way or can’t remember the exact detail of plot points you first read years ago, the author’s got you covered.
Darker After Midnight is more than just the climax of myriad plotlines; it’s also a stand alone romance. This time it is Sterling Chase’s turn to get the romantic treatment. Chase has been a member of the Order for sometime, joining up after his Agency career in law enforcement went sour. He’s never been a favourite character of mine; in fact he’s probably my least favourite character of the series excluding the villains (who you’ve supposed to love to hate). While I’ve been a passenger on his dark ride from upstanding citizen to blood-addicted menace I’ve never really understood his downward spiral, and as a result never been able to connect with his character. With minimal effort the author fleshes out his trauma – and finally Sterling Chase makes sense – his descent into bloodlust being another symptom of his feelings of inadequacy that go back to his youth.
Chase isn’t so far gone into blood addiction that he can’t redeem himself and in Darker After Midnight he battles his addiction at the same time as thwarting Dragos’ latest set of evil plans for the Order, sacrificing himself to the police to give his brethren time to escape. In police custody he meets Tavia, another pawn in Dragos’ game, and soon establishes that she is much more than she seems.
Tavia makes a great addition to the plot as well as a worthy love interest for Chase. She is another of Dragos’ genetic experiments, a female Breed, an anomaly in the Breed world. Whilst Tavia is a departure from the established rules of Midnight Breed mythology the story is hugely enriched by the presence of the female vampire – she makes a strong partner for Chase and also has her own part to play in the coming global upheaval. With the backdrop of constant action and drama, Chase and Tavia’s relationship needs to be equally dramatic to stop it from getting lost within the greater framework of the story and the author is successful in this endeavour – mixing sexy romance with heart-wrenching drama to good effect.
You’d think that Dragos’ plans for a vampire apocalypse would be the sum of the plotting but even at the time that the Breed world seems to be coming to an end the author finds time to spawn another potential future plotline with a revelation regarding the origin of the Breedmates. Darker After Midnight is the pay-off readers have been waiting (and hoping) for; it is an explosive, must-read climax to the series so far. But best of all Lara Adrian is showing no sign of running out of ideas for the series anytime soon – I can hardly wait to see where she will take this phenomenal vampire series next.
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