Friday, August 2, 2013

Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed #1 - Lucan and Gabrielle) by Lara Adrian

I'll start with the obvious. this book is VERY similar to the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. naturally I don't know how the next ones will be but this book even portraits the same idea as "Dark Lover" the first book of the BDB, here we have Lucan who is a leader of a group of vampires who fight to protect the Breed (of vampires) and in the BDB we are hearing the story of Wrath - a leader of the vampires (the black dagger brotherhood) who fight against their evil opponents (the Lessers). Wrath and Lucan are both warriors, they are both consumed with fighting the enemy and both don't consider themselves "worthy" or "appropriate material" for a serious relationship with a woman. they are also not really "king" material because all they want to do is fight. But both have the authority to being the leaders. Gabrielle (Lucan's HEA) is similar to Beth (Wrath's HEA) in the sense that they are both outsiders. they don't know about the world of vampire around them and they both have to manage with the little Wrath/Lucan tells them (and the "small lies") and when the truth is revealed they understand that "myth has it all wrong".

So that being said - this is the reason this book get 4 stars instead of 5. 2 years after Dark Lover is released we see a series that is basically the same.. we have a group of (very disturbed) warriors living together and fighting for the race. I even think that Tegan in a "kind of" Zsadist (which means I'm dying to get to HIS story. yeah, it will be in the 3rd book, like Z was on the BDB...)

Yes, Adrian made things different then Ward, in a sense some are better. I like their adversary better then the Lessers in BDB which I find quite boring.. something about them just isn't "catching" enough for me. The Rogues - the enemy in this series is much more interesting in my eyes. these are actually vampires who "went over the edge" with bloodlust and now is addicted to blood (and cannot be cured.. so must be killed..). I like the idea that this could happen to anyone of them. any vampire, that this is some danger they have within themselves. I think it's a little soon to have an opinion on the interaction between the warriors. I remember in the first book of the BDB I had a hard time remembering who is who. but later on their interaction between themselves is important and I'm waiting to see how it is in this series. Saying, waiting to see how fucked up they are :D

I like the way Adrian built the vampire race. It is different than Ward, the explanation for the being of vampires, their connection to the human world around them. The way a mate is found for a vampire and the fact that vampires are actually alive - beating heart and breathing.. (like in the BDB that they are simply another race not the undead). 

And also I like that not ALL the warriors are single. we have 7 vampires almost half of them are coupled which means that Gabrielle comes into this world of theirs and see it though their (womanly) eyes. yes, Beth had Welsie but well, I liked the interaction of these three with Gabrielle because each one is different. 

So all in all - I'm enjoying myself with this first book. I'll be starting the next one very soon. I"m waiting to see how the series will progress. though I feel a little "bad" about this being some sort of a copy of Ward's idea. I do believe that lately vampires became more "popular" everyone wants to "jump" on the wagon and write "their side of the story" and I'm thinking - how many different concepts of vampire can there be? They are bound to start repeating themselves.. so if we have a good story here, I'm game.

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 434 pages, 1-2 August 2013 / On GoodReads
Lucan Thorne
Gen One Breed, leader of the Order. The youngest of three brothers, the other two deceased (Evran and Marek). Lucan is no less than nine hundred years old. Founder of the Order in mid-1300s in Eastern Europe with Tegan, Marek, and five other Gen One Breed warriors. Led the uprising against the Ancients during same period, following the killing of Lucan’s mother at his father’s hands. The war against the Ancients resulted in the slaying of all but one, who was secretly hidden for centuries by Dragos. After the Order eventually dissolved in Europe, Lucan later established a Boston headquarters in 1898 with Gideon in an effort to combat Rogues in that city. Lucan is considered one of the most formidable Breed males in existence. As a Gen One, particularly one who’s seen firsthand the devastating results of what Bloodlust can do to one of his kind, Lucan’s greatest fear is losing himself to blood addiction. It is a fear he hides behind his contempt toward Rogues, but deep inside he dreads turning into the monster his father was. Lucan drives a black Maybach and carries two titanium-edge swords, in addition to other weaponry.
Hair: silky jet-black, falls to near his collar Eyes: piercing pale gray
Unique ability: Hypnotic manipulation.

Gabrielle Maxwell
Orphaned as an infant in Boston twenty-seven years before the Midnight Breed series opens. Gabrielle’s unwed teen mother was institutionalized, and later committed suicide, after claiming to have been attacked by a vampire. Gabrielle doesn’t know who her father is, was raised in foster care until being adopted by local (human) family, the Maxwells, when she was twelve. Gabrielle had a troubled youth. At twenty-eight, she was living on her own and had become a gifted art photographer whose images, unbeknownst to her, often featured Breed locations. Gabrielle knew nothing about the world of the Breed, nor her place in it as a Breedmate, until her path crossed with Lucan’s one harrowing summer night in Boston.
Hair: auburn Eyes: soft brown
Breedmate mark: behind her left ear Bloodscent: night-blooming jasmine
Unique ability: can sense, and is drawn to, areas of Breed presence.
Midnight Breed by Lara Adrian is one of my absolute favorite Paranormal Romance Series. Like many of the series in this genre, we have a group of vampire warriors who are in charge of defending their race. 

The Order mainly protect the general population (vampire AND humans) from rouge vampires. Vampires whose crave for blood have reached a point of no return meaning they can no longer control themselves and since there is nothing to be done about this situation these rouges vampires have to be put down. Besides obvious risk to the human population, rouges / rabid vampires also are a treat in the sense that vampires live in secret groups (called Darkhavens) there they can live their separate lives without probing human eyes. Naturally they are a part of the general population but the way they live, in a sort of community, helps them maintain their traditions and way of living. 

In the recent years, the Order became infamous. There is no respect for the members of the Order and moreover they are treated like "barbarians", the vampire population doesn't believe that they are even needed but boy oh boy they are wrong.. dark days are ahead.. 

In the beginning, years and years ago, a group of highly strong vampires crushed on Earth. They are the base of the vampire population nowadays. As is seems there are no female vampires, only males. The females that can reproduce with vampires are called "breedmates" and they can be distinguished by a certain mark (crescent moon with a drop) that each breedmate has somewhere on her body. Each breedmate also has a special (inhuman) ability which she transfers to her vampire son. Thus every vampire has a special ability passed to him from his human mother. Breedmates need to drink blood in order to enhance their special ability and sometimes so they can control it and it won't take over her life.  It takes time until the ancestry of the breedmates is explained, it adds another layer to the story and brings the Order with another adversary they weren't expecting. 

Each book has it's separate story in which each warrior finds himself a breedmate / compatible mate. As you can guess, the Order isn't notorious for no reason.. most of the warriors are somehow "damaged", preferring to live a life in the Order rather than build a life of their own. Finding their mate makes them deal with their past and free themselves from its bindings. Beside the personal plot line there is also a bigger plot line about the main villain progressing from the first book until the 10th. From the 11th book (till the final 18th installment) there is a very significant change following a progression in 20 years changing the whole setting of the series with different villains as well as introducing new characters to the series - some the sons and daughters from the first 10 installments and of course we get to meet the older version of the parents as well. 

The main issue I had with the series in the beginning was the similarities between it and the general setting of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. It only feels this way at the first, it takes a TOTALLY different direction plot-wise and character-wise which after reading enough of the two series I gotta say I MUCH prefer this one (I actually abandoned that one a while back..). 


When the whiffs of the end of this beloved series started to get suffocating Lara announced a Spin-Off called "Hunter Legacy". The series will consist of stand-alone novels of the "Last Boys" - the Gen One Hunters who were bred as weapons of war by Dragos and were freed by The Order round the middle of the series. 

0.5 A Touch of Midnight [Gideon & Savannah] (published 15 July 2013) ★★★★★
1. Kiss of Midnight [Lucan & Gabrielle] (published 1 May 2007) ★★★★
2. Kiss of Crimson [Dante & Tess] (published 29 May 2007) ★★★★★
3. Midnight Awakening [Tegan & Elise] (published 27 November 2007) ★★★★★
4. Midnight Rising [Rio & Dylan] (published 25 March 2008) ★★★★★
5. Veil of Midnight [Niko & Renata] (published 30 December 2008) ★★★★ 
6. Ashes of Midnight [Andreas Reichen & Claire] (published 26 May 2009) ★★★★★

7. Shades of Midnight [Cade & Alex] (published 29 December 2009) ★★★★  
8. Taken By Midnight [Brock & Jenna] (published 28 September 2010) ★★★★★
9. Deeper than Midnight [Hunter & Corrine] (published 28 June 2011) ★★★★★
9.5 A Taste of Midnight [Danika & Malcolm] (published 5 December 2011) ★★★★★
10. Darker after Midnight [Chase & Tavia] (published 24 January 2012) ★★★½ 
 --- The Midnight Breed Series Companion (Volume #1) (published 26 June 2013) ★★★★★

11. Edge of Dawn [Mira & Kellan] (published 21 February 2013) ★★★★★
11.5. Marked By Midnight [Mathias Rowan & Nova] (published 30 June 2014) ★★★★

12. Crave the Night [Nathan & Jordana] (published 5 August 2014) ★★★★★
12.5. Tempted by Midnight [Lazaro & Melena] (1001 Dark Nights #10) (published 14 October 2014) ★★★★★
13. Bound to Darkness [Carys & Rune] (published 30 July 2015) ★★★★
13.5 Stroke of Midnight [Jehan & Seraphina] (1001 Dark Nights #26) (published 13 October 2015) ★★★★★
14. Defy the Dawn [Zael & Brynne(published 1 June 2016) ★★★★★

14.5 Midnight Untamed [Ettore & Bella] (1001 Dark Nights #47) (published 11 October 2016) ★★★★
14.6 Midnight Unbound [Scythe & Chiara]
 (published 14 March 2017) ★★★★½
14.7 Midnight Unleashed [Trygg & Tamisia] (1001 Dark Nights #69) (published 10 October 2017) ★★★½ 
15. Claimed in Shadows [Aric Chase & Kaya Laurent] (published 23 January 2018) ★★★ 
16. Break the Day [Xander Raphael "Rafe" Malebranche & Devony Winters] (published 30 July 2019) ★★★★½ 
17. Fall of Night [Micah & Phaedra] (published 31 January 2021)) ★★★★½
18. King of Midnight [Darion Thorne & Selene the Atlantean Queen] (to be Published 31 March 2022)

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