Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian

Midnight Awakening is the third in the Midnight Breed series. And I think I'm possibly the last person to review it. Following the events of Kiss of Crimson (Bk 2), Elise Chase has left the safety of the Darkhaven to seek revenge on the Rogues and Minions whose schemes led to the death of her son. But as the psychic gifts she uses to pursue her vengeance threaten to overwhelm her, it will take the intervention of the Breed warrior Tegan to bring her home.

I think for me this is the first story where I didn't feel the shadow of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. The Midnight Breed series is finally standing on its own. It helps that Lara Adrian writes such independent heroines, and also that we change locations, a large chunk of Midnight Awakening takes place in Germany. It places the series in a larger world.

Elise is another strong female character who knows her own mind, she's got a brain and she uses it. This is important, this story just wouldn't work with a heroine who wouldn't stand up to Tegan. There's a scene where Tegan chases Elise off by being his charming self, and she does run away. But, she also stops, thinks and goes back. That was a nice illustration of their characters.

The progress of Elisa and Tegan's courtship isn't simple, and it shouldn't be. They both have a lot of history and emotional baggage to deal with. It's realistic that it takes them over three quarters of the book to get themselves sorted out. And I think at the end, this gives us the most believable relationship of the series so far.

I think my favourite conversation between them, is the one about the brothel. :)
"I'm not afraid to go to a nightclub."
..."It's, uh, not that kind of club. You wouldn't be comfortable there. Trust me."
Her eyes widened in understanding. "Are you telling me it's a brothel?"

Although this story is very much focused on Tegan and Elise, and we don't dwell on the previous pairings, there are some moments with characters from the first two books. Tess helping Rio, Gabrielle taking photographs of the daylight world for Lucan - little touches that give us an insight into their relationships. Sterling and Elise come to an understanding about their relationship. I still find Chase (Sterling) to be the most interesting seconday character and I have to add here, that I KNEW Dante and Chase would end up as friends. :)

If I had any complaints it's that Marek who had such potential to be an outstanding bad guy is reduced to the status of pantomime villain. To me this feels like a wasted opportunity, and is almost too easy. I felt a little like the author thought, 'Oh, I've come up with a better idea, let's just scrap the first one.'

Midnight Awakening acts as a conclusion to the first three books, whilst at the same time the plotline is opened up with a new and more threatening danger awakened. I look forward to Rio's book to find out what happens next.


Carolyn Jean said...

I agree, an independent heroine is always so much more fun! And Rogues and Minions are great names for villainy types.

Carolyn Jean said...

Okay, I'm finally reading kiss of midnight and loving it. I'm glad to read that book three doesn't have the shadow of BDB over it.

LesleyW said...

Carolyn Jean - Yep it's worth hanging in there. And I think Lara Adrian does write stronger heroines that JRW.