It's been a while since I've last read this series but coming back to it always feels so welcoming. I read this book almost in one setting, enjoying the ride, and everything that is unfolding towards the final installment. I admit I waited with this one a bit because I wanted it to be closer to the release of the last book and I think it was a good idea as the ending brings even more complexity than I would have thought. Also I really enjoyed getting a bit more of the original couples - Tegan and Elise - as Micah's parents but also a quite surprising part with Jenna and Brock (From "Taken by Midnight"). Truth being told I forgot there were some unfinished business concerning her special ability.
Micah and Phaedra couldn't be more different. He, the son of Breed Warrior Tegan and his breedmate Elise, worked hard to become a fighter his legendary father can be proud of. Sharing his mother's gift of telepathically hearing the sins of humans has hardened him even more, making him one of the best warriors in the Order, currently in command of covet ops. She, and Atlantean living among humans for centuries dedicating her life to stopping the cycle of violence, running a shelter for women and children in need. They meet for the first time in the deadlands of Siberian taiga for a brief moment before a deadly light kills all Micah's team, and severely wounding him. For Phaedra this was just a bad dream, or so it seems, after a week long of dreaming of walking through those deadlands following a white doe. Micah experienced those same dreams himself which is what made him try and find this place. He didn't expect it would cost him (and his teammates) so much.
Distraught, Phaedra accepts her friend Sia's recommendation of visiting the Colony (where the Atlanteans who oppose or were banished by Queen Selene live). Meeting Zael (in order to get there) at the Order's compound in Rome brings her face to face with the Breed Warrior from her dream but his angry face is not what she expected to see.
The only way Phaedra can interpret her connection with Micah (through the "Dream World") is them having a special bond, similar to the one her parents shared, in which they walk together in Dreamscape (seeing with one set of eyes - as one). But Micah doesn't buy the whole "Destiny" , "Fate" or whatever the Atlanteans call it. Yet it doesn't take him long to realize there couldn't really be anything suspicious about her and her actions. She is generally a good person, liked by people he knows and trusts it's just THEM together, really is confusing. He is drawn to her, but it's not enough. His life is his job at the Order.
While Phaedra was suppose to return home (to Rome) after she (and Micah) explained to Lucas Throne (the head of the order) what happened in the Deadlands, further circumstances prevents her from retuning right away and not only because of Opus Nostrum and their involvement with further attacks with lethal weapons (to the Breed). Yet what Micah and Phaedra stumbled upon in the Siberian taiga is FAR more complicated and has a direct link to everything they have been working on concerning the crystals and the Atlanteans. I wish I could say this book brings a closure to ANY of the things they were dealing with but sadly on ALL fronts (except for Phaedra and Micah themselves) the book ends in a more cryptic way than it started. I wouldn't say it's a cliff hanger exactly.. But there's A LOT to uncover in the last and final installment..
And what about our couple? There's the instant connection we're used to, though both parties feel a bit reluctant - each for his/her own reasons - and yet even with how different they are they still have a a similar fierceness. Micah is a formidable warrior, but Phaedra isn't the kind to cower in fear. I liked the progression of their relationship mostly from her POV. She wanted him and she wasn't going to apologize about it, when she decided she wanted his company it was from her own free will. He was far more complex. I think mostly because she was offering him something that would change his life and he wasn't ready for it. Not now and maybe not ever. But not everything is as it seems..
There's less than a month till the final one! Truly can't wait!
Son of Tegan and Elise. A fierce warrior (like his father) who works on cover missions for the Order. Sharing his mother's gift and seeking his father's approval he has built a firm wall around his emotions focusing on his skills as a warrior. After surveilling the head of an emerging terror group he finds himself drawn to a scorched forest in Siberia of which he had recurring dreams of him following a white doe. Upon arriving, he sees the white doe, this time when following her he meets an Atlantean woman. When he reaches her a white light detonates killing all his team members leaving him the sole survivor. Badly injured he is found and brought back to the Order's compound in Rome where he Phaedra (the woman from the deadlands). He is highly suspicious of her even if she seems to be innocent (and she did save his life). He has a very hard time believing the "fate, soul bonds" and all the other definitions the Atlanteans offer for how they met but the little time they spend together makes him doubt himself even if it's not that easy to admit that out loud.
Hair: Tawny-Brown cut short Eyes: Lavender
Unique Ability: telepathically hears the sins and negative energy of humans (like his mother Elise)
Phaedra is an Atlantean who has been living with humans for centuries. Her parents Maenos and Sindarah were among the most powerfully gifted psychics. Through their shared interest in science and alchemy they created the 5 crystals. Upon trying to create the 6th one it cost them their lives. After a falling with Selene (the Atlantean Queen) she relocates to Rome where she builds a shelter for women and children. She is mentioned in "Midnight Unleashed" as Sia's friend. Her life was rather peaceful until she started dreaming of the deadlands following the white doe. After the final dream in which she meets the breed warrior and experiencing the detonation she feels distraught and so she is offered to take a little break by her friend Sia. Upon arriving at the Order's compound in Rome, where she was suppose to meet Zael (Another Atlantean and the MC in "Defy the Night") she sees Micah and they both realize what they shared in the Deadlands was unique. She sees it, as an Atlantean, as a proof of them being "soul bond", sharing what she calls Dreamscape - like her parents, being able to walk together in their dreams sharing the same point of view as one. Micah's attitude towards her (in general) and her race's sacred beliefs hurt her feelings but she herself needs to find a way to understand what is happening to her and all the new findings when she learns of the issues the Order has been dealing with lately.
Unique Ability: Atlantean powers, shield of light, special connection to the crystals.
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 30 September 2021)