January 27, 2012

Review: Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian

January 26, 2012
Darker After Midnight (Midnight Breed #10)
by Lara Adrian
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: January 24th, 2012

My Thoughts
Midnight Breed is among the best Paranormal Romance series out there and you will always get a great read when you pick up a Lara Adrian novel.  Perfect clarity in writing, flawless delivery, compelling characters, passionate, emotional, suspenseful, intrigue… I could go on and on.  Some novels in this series will give you more action and some more romance.  All are fabulous!

This particular one, Darker After Midnight, resonated with me a little more than the others.  Both Chase’s and Tavia’s inner struggles are closer to true life.  Chase with a harrowing addiction to blood (similar to a drug addiction) and Tavia finding out where she thought she came from is a lie (akin to finding out later in life that you were adopted, or your father isn’t really your biological father).  These are true to life circumstances that we see every day. 

Not to say that we don’t get our dose of escapism with this novel because we do.  We are still enveloped in a world of otherworlders and a blood war between enemies.  

Background on Midnight Breed Series
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series, here’s a little background to give you an idea of what to expect. 

Midnight Breed is a paranormal romance series that acquaints us with otherworlders called The Breed.  Blood-drinkers with a sensitivity to the sun would make them akin to vampires, however they are part human. The Breed lives among the human population with a select few acting as protectors and enforcers of Breed law - The Order and the Enforcement Agency.  The Order is a brotherhood of warriors that protect Breed and humans alike against Rogue vampires (those who have succumbed to the Bloodlust and kill mercilessly).  The Enforcement Agency protects as well but deemed to be the more “civilized” of the two.  At least this was the case early in the series.

The Breed race began thousands of years ago when a ship crash-landed on Earth bringing with it biologically advanced blood-drinking warriors they refer to as the Ancient Ones.  They savaged, killed and raped humans leaving genetically unique females known as Breedmates.  Or so the story goes.  

Most thought all the Ancient Ones were dead, however it was recently discovered that one remained.  Dragos, a Breed male, has been the enemy of The Order for the entire series.  Dragos has been hiding the last Ancient in his lab for decades running genetic experiments and trying to create an army of Breed assassins for his own ambitions and ideas of world domination. 

The stories in this series so far have been about fighting Rogue Breed and trying to catch Dragos before he unleashes mass destruction upon the world. 

Chase’s History
So let’s talk about Chase and his role in the saga since this is Chase’s book.  Sterling Chase (aka Chase, aka Harvard) came to join The Order after taking his leave from the Enforcement Agency.  Aware of Chase’s reputation as an esteemed member of the Agency, a Harvard graduate and the fact that he was next in line to be Director of the Agency, Lucan (the Order’s leader) wasn’t keen to accept him at first since he wasn’t really like the others. However, they gave him a chance to prove himself and he didn’t let them down.  However, no one suspected his burgeoning addiction for blood or the extent of his inner turmoil leading to the addiction.

At a pivotal time in the war against Dragos, Chase’s struggles with Bloodlust came to a head and he progressed quickly toward rock bottom for a Breed - turning Rogue.  Endangering the lives of the brotherhood and the Breed, he was ostracized from The Order. The last novel left off with Chase sacrificing himself for the Order by giving himself over to the human police thereby stopping the police from charging the compound.  Shunned by his brothers and half insane with Bloodlust, he figured he had nothing to lose by accepting the blame and giving the Order a chance to escape.  An act of tremendous heroics that led us into this novel.

Before this novel, you either you liked Chase or you didn’t.  On one hand, he seemed like a spoiled boy from a rich and influential family, had the world at his feet, every opportunity handed to him and could have anything he wanted.  So why the pout?  However, things are never really what they seem on the outside. 

Chase has some seriously dark skeletons in his closet.  In love with his brother’s wife for years, shooting his nephew albeit necessary, hiding how long his Bloodlust has really been going on to name just a few.  He spent his life living under the shadow of all the ‘great and perfect’ Chase men.  Trying to live up to the high expectations of being perfect like his brother and father put a tremendous amount of pressure on him.  When he didn’t live up to it, his father didn’t care because he had his other perfect son.  Chase lived his entire live feeling inferior and suffered deeply for it. Turning to a vice to relieve his suffering (a very human thing to do), his addiction to blood started and quickly got out of control.

When we first meet Tavia, she seems fragile with a mysterious ailment that ensures she is heavily medicated at all times.  If she went too long without her medication, she would feet ill, feverish, start to lose control and have panic attacks.  Not to give you the wrong impression though, Tavia is still competent enough to hold a very high profile position as assistant to a US Senator and it’s clear early in the story that she has good instincts and is far from naïve.   

Tavia has no idea about otherworlders and as you can imagine is quite alarmed when she finds out.  At the same time she discovers some disturbing things about herself and her past that rips her world apart.  After her initial meltdown, she comes to terms showing incredible courage.  As we get to know her better, we see that she’s down to earth, kind, understanding and very brave. 

I found Chase and Tavia to be exceptionally well suited for each other.  Both are trying to cope with incredibly difficult life-altering situations.  First I thought that it might be too much for them to actually help each other.  However, it worked.  Understanding the turmoil each was going through actually gave them understanding and kindness that maybe would have been missing otherwise. Their struggles were emotional and believable since they were so true to life.  And how did they overcome them?  With love, affection, kindness and trust.  Again, true to life.

Their chemistry and passion for each other was mind-blowing and Chase’s…um...vigor was quite impressive.  I won’t be forgetting those scenes any time soon.

New Possibilities
This novel spent a good deal of time talking about Jenna and the vivid dreams she’s been having.  Ever since Jenna was implanted with a seed from the last Ancient One, she’s been changing.  Into what hasn’t been determined yet.  Her dreams are leading to questions about the history of Breedmates.  Is this a potential new direction for the future of the series?  Can’t wait to find out!

There’s very little I could say that I didn’t like.  Lucan was suffering from the stresses of keeping the Breed, the Order, and the brotherhood and most importantly to him the Breedmates and children safe.  In his stress, he seemed to be a wee bit testy.  But that’s understandable. 

There were no big surprises in this novel.  What was resolved was done so in a way that left us with a warm fuzzy feeling. 

Bottom Line
As I said before, Midnight Breed is among the best Paranormal Romance series out there and you will always get a great read when you pick up a Lara Adrian novel.  For me, Darker After Midnight is the best in the series thus far.  If you are considering reading this series, do so from the start.  You will miss too much of the backstory otherwise.

Happy Reading!!

5 Bad Boys – Absolutely Loved It!!!!

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