January 2009, Vampire Romance
Dell, $6.99, 358 pages, Amazon ASIN 0440244498 Part of a series
I reviewed one of the Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed vampire books in 2007 and wasnít impressed. Positive buzz on this series convinced me try it again though and, I have to admit, Iím glad I did.
Itís been a while since Iíve read the author so I obviously havenít followed this series, but the good news is that I had no problem reading Veil of Midnight as a stand-alone. Suffice it to say, the book is set around an overarching story of some bad guy vampires out to destroy the good guy vampires.
Breed warrior Nikolai is sent to Montreal to try to convince one of the rarest of the oldest vampires that he is in extreme danger from the bad-est of the bad guys. On his first night in the city searching for the old vamp, Bad Ass Warrior Nikolai is knocked off his own Bad Ass Self when he is taken down and taken captive by a group of vampires led by a female human.
That human is Renata, a powerful and strong woman who is cruelly bound to the old vamp by her desire to protect a child he holds prisoner. It seems the child is an oracle whose eyes foretell the future of those who gaze into them. To make Renata's bondage even more cruel, the old vampire is a tyrannical monster who seems to be operating as some sort of modern day Genghis Khan, engaging in all manner of brutal activities forbidden by vampire law.
Every instinct Nikolai possesses tells him to kill the old vamp, but Breed law forbids it. Still, the old vamp has other powerful enemies and the situation soon escalates out of Nikolaiís control.
Veil of Midnight is definitely an action-driven book, but character isnít sacrificed since I believed and enjoyed the developing relationship between Nikolai and Renata, while also getting totally caught up in the authorís story. Okay, conceptually this series is derivative of We All Know Who, but in this book the author seems to have found her unique voice and way of storytelling. In short, it seemed w-a-a-a-y less like that other series featuring Extra Large Vampire Warriors and more like Lara Adrianís own.
I also had a problem with the book I previously reviewed in that the heroine was so idealized andÖwell, just so sappy that she seemed cartoonish. Not so here. Renata is a real woman and a real warrior and I very much liked her.
Bottom line? I got so caught up in this story that I spent much of one afternoon and one evening devouring it. Since I canít even remember the last time that happened, Veil of Midnight gets an unqualified thumbs up from me. This is a good one.
-- Sandy Coleman
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