We've met both MC in the previous installments, Brynne was helping the Order with a mission outside of her work as investigator in JUSTIS, also making her lose her job for acting outside of her authority, that's how we find Brynne in the first chapter. Feeling a bit out of sorts, now that the most important piece of her life seems to be missing... Zael the Atlantean came to Jordana's help when her father (a close friend of his) died and by that gaining the trust of the Order. He was also amazed to meet Dylan (Rio's mate) and realize she is actually his daughter. Lucan doesn't have a specific need for Zael at the moment so they mainly keep in touch about the problems Opus Nostrum and Selene (the queen of the Atlanteans) are causing.
Zael is inetersted in Brynne from the moment he met her (in the previous book), but Brynne (though interested herself..) keeps her distance and when Zael seems to get closer she pushes him away as far as she can. Brynne have her secrets, one in specific keeps her away from getting attached to anyone including her half sister Tavia Chase and her family. Tavia and Brynne might share the same Ancient father, but that's were the connection ends when it comes to their past with Dragos.
I gotta say, there were times when I thought Brynne must be over reacting, she felt like a fledgling vampire with her need to keep her distance from others so she won't harm them.. boy I was WTONG! Zael didn't kow what her secret is, but he knew she has her reasons to stay away and it comes with a very high price for her, which is why he is determined to push her out of her comfort zone enough so he can get to her. It works in the end, but it makes Brynne very frustrated! She wants him so much! but he confuses her, he has too many "sides", she isn't used to people being so complex. For her, it's always black-or-white and Zael just doesn't fit the bill! Brynne is drawn to Zael with every act he makes. He might not be the kind of guy who stays with the woman he fancies, but with her it's different from the start and what he gives her, the sort of peace of mind, connection, caring for her, is something she NEVER experienced and having it now with him makes her yearn for it, for him. But also, for Zael, caring for Brynne is something he is surprised to find in himself, and when he realizes how much she means to him, he is willing to fight - her or anyone else - to keep her by his side.
I was surprised with how the book was concluded, I really didn't see that one coming but I think it was truly for the best. I'm really intriged who the next book is going to be about! and what is going to happen with both the Order's enemies! Listen, there are only 4 novels left!
Recommended! But you must start with the first installment, or rather, you can dig in with any of the short novellas in the middle which are totally dependent, they just give you the overall feel of the world with characters that are in no way connected to the main plot line of the main characters in the series, but once you are hooked to those - start at the beginning, you won't regret it!
Zael is an immortal Atlantean, we've meet him "Crave the Night" in which he helps Jordana after her father is killed, from then on he becomes a friend to the Order. In this novel we see his special connection to the Colony were some of the Atlanteans live (the ones who left Queen Selene). For him the Colony is the only place he can call home and he is actually the only who can come and go between the worlds. Zael wants peace and so he is willing to help both sides - Order and Colony, to achieve that, but while the Order is listening the colony is having a hard time accepting an alliance specifically as they realize Zael is involved with a Breed female. Zael has another reason to stay in touch with the members of the Order, he recently realized Dylan is his daughter.
Hair: Golden with copper, Eyes: Cerulean Blue
Unique ability: Atlantean powers.
Brynne is a daywalker, half sister to Tavia Chase, meaning she have been born in the labs of Dragos, but that's where the resemblance between them ends. Brynne is keeping a HUGE secret from anyone around her. Keeping this secret means not getting close to anyone, which is why Zael's intents are something she feels she cannot act upon.
Brynne used to work as investigator in JUSTIS but she was fired in the beginning of this novel after JUSTIS heard she helped the Order with their mission (in the previous installment).
Hair: Brunette Eyes: Forest Green
Bloodscent: Vanilla and Rain.
Unique Ability: Part Ancient.
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..).
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!
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) ★★★★
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) ★★★★★
11.5. 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)