The Dark Tide opens shortly after the end of Death of a Pirate King (Book 4). Adrien has still not fully recovered form his heart surgery and is slightly resentful. His situation has changed and he's having to re-evaluate his life and he hasn't quite found his footing yet. I think this also explains why he's a little obtuse a little bit blinkered where Jake is concerned. He also has a new step-family who worry about him and who he worries about. He has old lovers popping up out of the proverbial woodwork and he has a fifty-year old skeleton in his floorboards.
What I loved most about this book is how Adrien and Jake have changed. Both characters have evolved over the course of the series. I think on a second read-through you'd appreciate more how Jake and Adrien are out of sync at the beginning of the book. Now Jake's out of the closet, he's mellowed a little. Whereas Adrien is more uptight - it's as if they're finally meeting in the middle.
All the things I love most about the series are here. Adrien's snarky inner voice,
I resisted the temptation to undo my apology by throttling her.beautiful...
I wanted him so much, I could have cried. I wanted him now, and I wanted it to be three years ago when I had loved him without fear......and also brilliant dialogue:-
She summoned her patience. "I said perhaps this friend would be willing to act as your support partner."And I realise how much I'm going to miss this series.
"I don't think so."
"We never know until we ask."
"Sometimes we do."
I also really like how Adrien has gone from being an only child, to having siblings. He doesn't have a perfect relationship with his stepsisters. But it's a very familial and loving relationship, with all the dramas that that entails.
I think this book ties up all the loose ends from earlier in the series but leaves it quite open as well. When I first finished the book I was a little uncertain about the ending. But having thought about it, I think it works, everything's resolved but it isn't all tied up with a nice pretty pink bow on the top. And I think it's better for that.
I've consistently said that A Dangerous Thing (Book 2) is my favourite Adrien English story. I think Jenre posted (possibly on my review of Book 4 or one of my other posts about this series) that The Dark Tide would change my opinion. And she's right. The Dark Tide is now my favourite Adrien English book and I look forward to re-reading the series again, in the not too distant future, reading it from the perspective of knowing how it will end. And I console myself with the fact that there are still many Josh Lanyon books for me to read.