Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review: Shades of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Something inhuman is stalking the frigid Alaskan wilds, leaving unspeakable carnage in its wake. For bush pilot Alexandra Maguire, the killings stir memories of a horrific event she witnessed as a child and evoke in her the inexplicable sense of "otherness" she has long felt within herself but never fully understood . . . until a darkly seductive stranger with secrets of his own enters her world.

Sent from Boston on a mission to investigate the savage attacks and stop the slaughter, vampire warrior Kade has his own reasons for returning to the frigid, forbidding place of his birth. Haunted by a secret shame, Kade soon realizes the stunning truth of the threat he faces--a threat that will jeopardize the fragile bond he has formed with the corageous, determined young woman who arouses his deepest passions and most primal hungers. But in bringing Alex into his world of blood and darkeness, Kade must confront both his own personal demons and the even greater evil that could destroy all he holds dear.

As a "Midnight Breed Novel" this latest in the series of stories is about one of the newest members of a Boston-based group of vampire warriors who are seeking to find a rogue vampire who has awakened one of the original vampires from centuries before, and who is forcing breed-humans to have children who are then turned into automaton warriors. Obsessed with world domination, the one group who stands between himself and success are these powerful and resourceful warriors, one of whom is the former Alaskan resident, Kade. Born and raised in the northern reaches of that frozen land, he has returned to a land and family who he feels have rejected him and who have withheld their support and approval for what he is now doing. Yet his presence, his powerful skills, and his superior knowledge are needed to find the rogue vampire or whatever is causing the terrible wholesale slaughter of families and outlying villages.

I have enjoyed all the novels in this series. I think Lara Adrian is an exceptional writer who has done her geographical research thoroughly and who has developed this entire series of stories carefully and in exquisite detail. We are introduced not only to Kade but to Alex -- a breed mate who doesn't know why she has always felt "other" and who is a woman who is lonely and feeling "on the edge" of reality. Little does she realize that Kade's world is beckoning to her. Little does she realize that the story of Kade and his reasons for leaving Alaska in the first place are going to stretch her credibility as well as force her to face her own strengths as well as her weaknesses. A woman of skill in her own right, she finds her stride within the challenges her growing love for Kade present to her. She is the stuff of which true pioneer women are made. Living in Alaska has given her the context in which she can grow, but she has brought with her the memories of the massacre of her family in Florida. Her relationship with Kade require that she face not only his unique reality but the horror of her own past.

This story is so very well written and it engages the reader from page one. It is just a bit formulaic--all the stories in this series are really about each warrior finding his true life mate -- but within that formula there is a unique quality to the characters that outweighs the shape and form of the story. If you have read the other novels in this series, you will like this one. There is enough "hair-raising" to keep any paranormal fan happy. And there is love and friendship and forgiveness in abundance. I think you will find this a good read. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

This was a good addition to the series. I was a little leary after the last one but I liked this one. I'm looking forward to Brock's book which will be next. Of course we have to wait until next Sept. for it but oh well. :)