Friday, January 18, 2008

Kiss Of Midnight (Book 1) by Lara Adrian

Insatiable desire. Endless seduction. One touch is just the beginning.

He watches her from across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle Maxwell’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night – or this man – is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never knew existed – a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite.

Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind – and the unwitting humans existing alongside them – from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but when Gabrielle is targeted by his enemies, he has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands.

Here, in the arms of the Breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront an extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction and the darkest pleasures of all …

I’ve heard of this series being a Black Dagger Brotherhood clone. I read comments and reviews - good, ambivalent and derogatory. I wanted to find out for myself, so I kept an open mind, and bought all three books all at once (something I don't usually do).

Kiss Of Midnight, the first book of the Midnight Breed series. I liked it.

The storyline is fairly straight forward. Six vampire warriors – Conlan, Dante, Gideon, Nikolai, Rio and Tegan – are led by the oldest and purest Breed warrior Lucan, to wreck havoc to the existence of a band of Rogues. Rogues are vampires who have succumbed to the Bloodlust and are becoming more bloodthirsty and vicious by the minute … they feed and kill indiscriminately. Humans are the blood source for both vampires and Rogues. These seven warriors have sworn to protect both their own kind and the humans with their lives.

The world that the author has built is dark, realistic and – I especially appreciated this – uncomplicated. It’s easy to follow the history, the characters and their motivation, and the tableau that is unfolding. I found the writing style to be crisp, to the point and very readable. The urban lingo is not over-the-top. The author wrote awfully good palpitating suspense/creepy scenes. The scene where Gabrielle was photographing the abandoned asylum … my word! … that really gave me the chills! I also appreciated that there are no deities involved in this story, hence no easy or convenient solution to life’s harsh blows.

I liked Lucan and Gabrielle. They are true characters. They behave believably from start to finish, and their romance is a natural progression. It was a relief, personally, that Gabrielle is a smart and down-to-earth girl, hence she doesn’t do stupid things or spew flippant speeches. For these alone, I will gladly read the next book.

The depiction of the secondary characters, namely the other six warriors, is somewhat lacking in depth, but that is only to be expected. I’m sure these characters will come into their own in their individual stories.

Ok, the next question … is this a BDB replica? There are undoubtedly some similarities, but the seven warriors are not clones of the brothers. There’s an easy-going computer geek, a sexy charmer, a high-octane thrill seeker, a soft- spoken and serious tactician, a cold-dark-menacing-ruthless killer, and last but not least, the emotionless-mysterious-tortured dude who’d love to hate Lucan. The mates to these men are called Breedmates, and they are all humans. Their world is much simpler (at least so far) but no less dark. I also thought that these warriors are less dramatic and more straight forward as guys typically are, and they just do what needs to be done without much hue and cry.

The author has her own writing style, and I’ve enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading the next two books.

My rating4
Sensuality ratingWarm +


Brie said...

I started this series on the third book, Midnight Awakening. I liked it okay.

I was expecting a lot more likeness between Adrian's writing and JR Ward's but didn't find much. There are some similarities in the world structure though. But like you said Adrian's world is much simpler.

I think that since Ward came first Adrian will continue to be compared to her until she breaks out and comes into her own. The same way that Ward was compared to Kenyon for along time.

Jace said...

Brie, I think it's an injustice to Adrian when people say this series is a BDB is not! The similarities between the two are on the surface only, and the tone and feel of both are different. I'm sure, if one looks hard enough, one will find BDB elements in other paranormal stories too.

After all the drama and emotional rollercoaster that Ward puts us through book after book, I really appreciate Adrian's writing style and characters. The warriors come across more believable as guys, as they are less dramatic and emotional. The heroines hold their own against the guys, and that's very good too.

As I'm ready to leave Ward's world behind after Phury's book, I'm glad Adrian's books are a good alternative.

Brie said...

Hi Jace, I completely agree.

The truth is, there is only so much that one can do in paranormal romance that hasn't already been done. Especially with vampires.

In my opinion the similarities between Adrian and Ward are barely existent. They may both be writing about vampire males but their takes on them are polar opposite.

Jace said...

The truth is, there is only so much that one can do in paranormal romance that hasn't already been done. Especially with vampires.

Oh Brie, I can't stop grinning because I just remembered that I thought the Atlantean warriors (Alyssa Day's Atlantis Rising) reminded me of the BDB vamps. LOL Isn't that just the darnest thing? My reading buddy Kat (whom I read the book with) thought I was mad. LOL

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just started this series about a month ago. I am a big BDB fan, so while I wait for Phury, I picked up KoM. It's really good. Yes, it has some qualities like Ward's series, but Jace I do have to agree with you, she has her own style. The book is well written. I can't say that this is my favorite. I am in the middle of Dante's book, and I seem to like it more. I can’t wait for Niko’s book. All in all, it's a great series worth reading!

~ Sarah

Jace said...

Hi, Sarah. :)

Some people like this series a lot (like us) but some just aren't impressed. Personally, I like the writing-style and the gradual and coherent expansion of the plot.

For me, the third book is the best of the lot. :)

I'm really looking forward to Niko's story too. :)

Have you subscribed to Lara Adrian's newsletter (at her website)? She's now mailing to all subscibers the first few chapters of Niko's book - I've just got Chapter Two.

Anonymous said...

I have subscribed to her newsletter, however, it's really hard reading them when I'm only on the second book. It feels like I'm never going to catch up, but I am almost there, lol. Still, I can't wait for that book too.

I don't think this was discussed, but I love how all the Breedmates have their own special abilities. It is truly interesting to read about.

On a side note, Jace if you have not already, you may want to check out Rob Thurman's books. I really like them. It has a Supernatural, urban paranormal feel. Well, TTYL!

~ Sarah

Jace said...

Hi, Sarah

Yes, it'd be hard to make sense of the excerpts of Niko's book when you're still reading Book 2. Sorry ... I didn't think. :(

I like the Breedmates' abilities too. Those are so cool. :) The Breedmates themselves are very helpful to the warriors' cause instead of just standing around doing nothing.

I'll check out Thurman's books and see what they're like. Thanks for the tip.

When you're done reading Kiss Of Crimson, do share your views with us. ;)

Meanwhile, happy reading!