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REVIEW: Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian

Dear Ms. Adrian:

Book CoverI finished your book at 12:28 a.m. on November 11. I know the exact time because when I was done reading the book, I ran to my computer to type out my thoughts – to try to capture the emotional high I was on when I finished reading the book. I am sure that I won’t do justice to the book. All I can say is that I recommend this book and that I will buy 5 ebook copies of it to giveaway to commenters today. I believe in it that much.

I first have to apologize for comparing your Breed series to Ward’s Brotherhood series. I hadn’t examined the worlds close enough but having read this book (and having gone back to read the second which I passed over), I realize that while there are similarities there are many, many differences.

The heroine.

Elise is a breedmate, a special human born to be the mates of vampires. The vampires of this world are born of an alien race thousands of years ago. The breedmate is a special bond wherein the women choose to whom they wish to bestow their bodies, the blood, and their love. She was bonded to a respected man of Darkhavens, the community of vampires that exist and do not kill to take blood. The Darkhaven community is a respectable society governed by a blend of feudalistic/militaristic tendencies. Elise’s mate died five years ago. She has not taken another lover since then, nor has she taken any blood for a breedmate to take blood from a man is an intensely physical and sexual experience.

By refusing to take blood, Elise has essentially chosen to die. She will begin to age and live out a normal, human lifespan. She chooses this route because she loved her husband and because she would rather not be a breedmate to one that she does not love. To worsen things, Elise’s son became a victim in the Rogue v. Breed battle when he became addicted to Crimson, a drug developed just for young vampires. He was shot down in front of her and so Elise leaves the haven of vampires and goes into the human world to seek out Rogues and kill them one by one, if she has to. Elise is an important part of the book and not merely a receptacle for the love of the hero. She has her own battles; her own angst.

The hero.

Tegan is a centuries old vampire who is engaged in an epic, but heretofore semi secret battle against vampires who have lost control and gone rogue. In order to preserve the safety of the existing vampires, Tegan and a number of others, work to eradicate these Rogue vampires. The war is not without casualties. Tegan’s mate was stolen from him, raped, drained to the point she became a Minion, or servant, of one of these Rogue vampires. She is returned to Tegan, physically alive but emotionally and mentally gone.

The merciful thing to do is for Tegan to kill her but he cannot kill his beloved. Instead, Tegan attempts to keep her alive by feeding her more and more blood which makes his own demands even greater until his capacity for control is eroded. His band of brothers lock him away and the leader puts Tegan’s beloved out of her misery. Tegan realizes that her death was the fault of the Rogues and he rededicates his life to the war but cuts himself off emotionally.

As the heroine comments, Tegan’s cavalier treatment of her is not cruel, because cruelty would require him to feel. The story that unfolds is how Tegan begins to realize that the greatest loss of the past centuries wasn’t his beloved, but cutting himself off from everyone. First desire and uncomfortable lust begins to rise to the surface, desire for blood and sex, and then, finally, love.

The mating.

The connections between the breedmates and the chosen vampires were intimate and bound in an almost ritualistic formality.

Respect for the act of blood-bonding between vampire and Breedmate demanded that both parties come to each other without concealment, coercion, or reservation. Naked in body, commitment, and intent.

When Elise is confronted with the fact that her decision to die was one motivated of self pity rather than sacrifice, she realized that she would have to take blood and she asks to use Tegan. Essentially, she asks for Tegan to be her food, her source of blood without the corresponding emotion. As he correctly points out, this is very disrespectful of her.

I thought it was a great twist on genre conventions to have Elise be the user; to be the one who has a savage beast that needs to be soothed. Tegan, on the other hand, is a Breed warrior and is viewed with disdain by the cultured Darkhaven denizens. He is in the role of being the social misfit and believing that he cannot fit into Elise’s world, even if he wanted to. These small conventional twists made me appreciate how subtle-y nuanced the story was.

The worldbuilding.

This is really where you excel. From the descriptions of the glyph tattoos which develop as the vampire ages to the formality of the breed-bond to the big bad(s), everything is plotted out carefully. There is no deus ex machina that swoops in to save Elise and Tegan in the fight against the Rogues. There is collateral damage and not everyone is saved. The ending had a big surprise for me that I didn’t at all suspect but fit the world you created and set up the next book perfectly, without sacrificing the bigger picture.

My biggest complaint was that there was a bit too much of the “see how happy my previous couples are”. I think that some of those scenes could have been eliminated and the story wouldn’t have suffered a bit. In grading this book, I looked back to see what I had given JR Ward’s books because I felt that this was superior. I hate giving an A grade and I think because I had a complaint, I can’t give an A. But it’s way close.

Best regards

Jane

Note to the readers: I’d like to throw down the gauntlet to Ward fans. Read this book, Midnight Awakening, and tell me it doesn’t grab you by the throat, make you shiver, wet your eyes, and clutch your heart in all the ways that Ward did in the past and maybe even better. Challenge me in the comment section that I can’t change your mind because I was a skeptic once like you and I’m now a convert.

This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

72 Comments

  1. Kerri Brennan
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 04:16:06

    I wasn’t planning on buying this book.

    I’ve read the first 2 and enjoyed them. But afterwards if you had asked me what it was about I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

    Now though I just might give her one more try.

    Thanks for the review.

  2. Jia
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 04:52:59

    All right, I admit I’m one of those Ward fans who’s been skeptical of these books but maybe I’ll give them a try.

  3. Jane
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 05:34:56

    I’ve heard so much about JR Ward that I had to put her on my TBR pile. Even though I have yet to read any of Ward’s books, I am somewhat surprised to hear that you think “Midnight Awakening” is superior to her series. This review definitely caught my attention, where normally I would have dismissed this book to be the same as JR Ward’s.

  4. Dobby
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 06:22:35

    I have heard that the first two in the series were not great books but good ones. With this review I think I will give Midnight Awakening a try. Ward’s latest didn’t hit the right notes with me, in fact I don’t care about her next one.

  5. Mary Jane
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 07:09:53

    I’m interested in reading the third book of the series, but it is only available in Mobipocket format. Will I need to purchase the print version, or will other e-book formats be available in the near future?

    Thanks for the review!

  6. Laura
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 07:15:51

    Ward’s Brotherhood is on my wishlist. I’ve wanted to read the series for a long time, but this great review definitely piqued my interest.

  7. Jan
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 07:27:48

    I read an early book by both Ward and Adrian and didn’t like either very much (though I love urban fantasy, fantasy, and dark fantasy), but I am going to try Midnight Awakening. It sounds good! Thanks!

  8. Jill Myles
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 07:37:49

    I’m a huuuge Ward fan on this end. *g* I actually don’t think the two series are that similar, to be honest.

    I actually read the first book and thought it was decent. I got to the end (which is a major plus for me, really, since I chuck 80% of what I pick up after page 50) and wasn’t dissatisfied, but it wasn’t a ringing endorsement either.

    I have book two on my nightstand (have for months) and I’m now looking at it with new eyes. I think I’ll pick it up this weekend and give it a shot.

    Great review, Jane. Thanks!

  9. Kat
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 07:51:56

    I’ve been hearing Lara Adrian mentioned next to JR Ward for a while now, and the last couple of reviews I’ve read have convinced me to give this series a go. Is it possible to skip the first 2 books and go straight into this one? Or do I have to read the series in order?

  10. Angela James
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 08:03:37

    I can practically picture Lara squeeing right now. What a great review for her!

  11. Phyl
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 08:15:26

    This sounds intriguing and I’m going to make a point to read this one right away, whether I win one of the copies or not. Then I’ll have to come back and answer your challenge!

  12. Devon
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 08:27:47

    Okay, I’ll give it a try. I had dismissed this series before. I think I’m over vamps (What!!!), but you threw down the gauntlet. After some disappointments, I’ll be happy if it’s good.

  13. Larissa
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 08:39:52

    I thought this was a great review. I really wasn’t planning on reading this book. I’ve heard so many comparisons to Ward’s series, plus another series on another brotherhood is just proving too much for me. I don’t know if I’m going to read it despite the A…I usually go straight out and give recommendations a go, but this time, I don’t know. I’m kind of over it a bit…

  14. Lara
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 08:44:23

    (((Jane)))

    Thank you again for all the generous praise (wow!) and for taking another chance on my books. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! Now I think I’ll tiptoe out of here before anyone picks up that gauntlet….

    Thanks again, and thank you to everyone who’s considering reading Midnight Awakening. I hope you enjoy it!

  15. Jaci Burton
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 08:51:01

    *wiggle*

    What an awesome review for my pal Lara. And so well deserved for such an amazing, talented writer.

    I loved this book. Love this series. Her writing blows me away. I wanna be Lara when I grow up ;-)

    Well done, Jane. :-D

  16. Larissa Ione
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 08:55:20

    I LOVED this book! It’s my favorite of the three — the series just keeps getting better. WTG, Lara!

  17. kardis
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 09:11:55

    Wow. After a review like that I guess I need to check this book out right away. And by right away I mean when I have money again! I like Ward’s book fine (haven’t read the last one) but I would love to read an awesome heroine like the one described here.

  18. Julie
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 09:40:32

    Sounds like a great book. People keep recommending JR Ward’s books to me, too, but I haven’t read one yet. Aaah. More for the TBR stack.

  19. Jane A
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 09:48:12

    I’m excited you like this book so much. I didn’t read books 1 and 2 until recently, I was really on the fence about them after reading the reviews. But I finally broke down and bought them from Fictionwise and really enjoyed them a lot, they were probably B reads for me. In reading the synopsis and excerpt of Book 3 I thought this one looked like it could be awesome and perhaps the best one yet, and I can’t wait to read it.

    As far as the Ward comparison, well yes, they both have vampires. But so do a lot of other series! I just didn’t see them as being too similar as some have complained. For me Ward pretty much bombed with Lover Unbound, so although I might pick up Phury’s book I am no longer excited about her series. I’m with you in thinking (if I read you correctly) that Lara Adrian has a more carefully constructed, thoughtfully planned world which I will enjoy watching unfold.

    And now I want to know where I can get the ebook in something besides Mobipocket! Right now I see this book and Linnea Sinclair’s are out only in Mobipocket and I’m frustrated about that!

  20. Meriam
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 09:53:36

    I’ve yet to read a Ward, but I’ve been meaning to see what all the fuss is about. I suppose I could read Midnight Awakening and Dark Lover and compare and contrast, since the gauntlet has been tossed.

    Coincidentally, I’ve just finished Viehl’s If Angel’s Burn, which was a B- for me, but I’m curious to see how the rest of the series unfolds. In the absence of any compelling historicals (my preferred sub-genre), it’ll be interesting to compare three different takes on the vampire romance.

  21. Janine
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 09:58:24

    How important is it to read Kiss of Midnight and Kiss of Crimson before Midnight Awakening? Can Midnight Awakening be read on its own?

  22. Jaymi
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 10:29:15

    Jane, I couldn’t agree more. Great series!

  23. M.
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 10:32:09

    um. I read the first book and it was an okay read for me. Haven’t read the second and can’t even remember if already bought it or not. I would not compare her to J.R. Ward, though. Where J.R. Ward hooked me off the bat(and had me hooked until the latest installment, which was dissapointing, though I intend to get the next book) it does sound that it may be the other way around with Adrian’s new book. After reading your review I may skip book 2 and then read this one. God knows that there have been previous ocassions in which the first couple of books in a series didn’t really hook me, only to end up loving latter titles in the same series. I can be weird that way.

  24. Lucy Christie
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 10:47:35

    I got my copy in the mail yesterday and will read it tonight! I have been following the excerpts from Lara’s newsletters and can’t wait to see what happens. What a great strong heroine! Lucy

  25. Jennybrat
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 11:18:06

    Your high recommendation makes me want to read the book.

  26. Jane
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 11:23:57

    When I read Midnight Awakening, I had not yet read the second book and while I had read the first book, only small details remained in my mind. I think you could easily pick up MA and be fully apprised of what is going on.

  27. KCfla
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 11:34:46

    Well darn!
    Looks like a trip to the bookstore for me today! And thank you Jane- I was wondering whether I would need to buy the first 2 books. But if this one is as good as you say ( and you all haven’t steered me wrong yet) I’ll probably buy them anyway.

  28. Meriam
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 11:38:01

    Sandy Coleman at AAR does a brutal dismemberment job of the first book in the series (Kiss of Crimson), so I’m picking up from the third if the first two aren’t necessary.

  29. Jane
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 11:38:29

    I definitely think that this was one was the best of the bunch. I didn’t really enjoy the first one. After I was done reading MA, I went and bought KofCrimson and read that and while I liked it, it wasn’t as strong as MA. I personally felt that the series went from meh to good to OMG.

    Amazon had it as one its top 10 books of 2007. Of course, they also had a Lori Foster book there that I didn’t like but it was interesting that Adrian’s book made it on there as did Ward’s earlier 2007 but not Lover Unbound.

  30. Beth
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 11:47:20

    Comparisons to Ward aside, I think Adrian is a major talent. I loved the first book in the series, but the second did not grab me as much because there was not enough relationship development between the hero and heroine for my personal tastes. I agree that Adrian’s worldbuilding is amazing, though, and I always knew I wanted to keep reading just to go back her world for a little while. After this review, I cannot wait to read the third book. Thank you!

  31. sherry thomas
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 12:07:35

    I met a bunch of Bantam authors at the Random House party at RWA Dallas, among them Shana Abe, Kelly Armstrong, and Lara Adrian. Since then I’d tried both Abe and Armstrong and loved both (thank you Jane for your recommendation of Armstrong) and I’ll pick up Lara’s books the next time I’m in a bookstore.

  32. sherry thomas
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 12:09:38

    P.S. No need to enter me in the drawing. I’ll be buying my own.

  33. Jane
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 12:09:38

    Do all the Random House paranormal authors have to have a pen name ending with an “A”?

  34. Jaci Burton
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 12:13:00

    Burton starts with a “B” Jane. *grin*

  35. Jane
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 12:17:06

    True. . . .

  36. sherry thomas
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 12:31:22

    Maybe it’s just the Bantam paranormal authors.

  37. LesleyW
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 12:33:14

    I do think the Midnight Breed books have improved with each story. So I’m very much looking forward to the third book, which I think (going by the excerpts I’ve read) will push LA out of Ward’s shadow.

    I don’t think you were wrong to previously mention a similarity to the BDB books, as I think there is one. Evident more in the first book, and definitely one scene in the second. I’m hopeful book 3 will stand on its own without those comparisons.

    Don’t put me in the draw, as I have a copy coming. :)

  38. Stephanie Z.
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 12:59:01

    Hmm . . . I don’t have a copy coming, and this one sounds interesting. :)

  39. Laura
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 13:32:51

    I’m a big fan of the BDB books, and decided to read the first two of this series because they were supposed to be similar, and was pleasantly surprised, but I wasn’t planning on buying the third one because they just don’t really stand out for me yet… but maybe this one will change my mind.

  40. 2Wild
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 14:14:54

    I’ll pick up that gauntlet and accept your challenge. ; )
    I’ve read the first two Adrian books (after I’d read all the BDB releases currently in print) and honestly, wasn’t all that impressed…frankly, I thought them embarrassingly similar to Ward’s. However, yesterday I decided to buy and read “Midnight Awakening” and while I was pleased to find it quite a bit more enjoyable than the two previous releases, IMO, it was practically identical to Ward’s story of Zsadist in “Lover Awakened”…even the title, “Midnight Awakening”, is a virtual dead-ringer (no pun intended). lol

  41. kristenmary
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 14:28:47

    I have yet to read a Ward book. All the extra anghst Hs kinda throw me. Plus everyone’s review of how they are like crack that leaves you disappointed the further you go into the series. Maybe I’ll read the first one or two one of these days. This one sounds very interesting. I kind of like the fact her series is getting better as it moves along. I don’t mind starting at book 3 if it doesn’t leave me too lost. Plus I can always go backward in a series without too much internal strife if they are written well.

  42. Allison
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 14:44:46

    Definitely going to check out this third title. Thanks for the review – sounds like a book I’ll enjoy and it’s recommended too! Can’t beat that combination!

  43. sula
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 15:17:01

    Hmm. I’m intrigued. I am a big fan of the BDB series, recent releases notwithstanding. I don’t know if another vamp series could quite take their unique place in my reading library, but I’m willing to try with such a glowing recommendation.

  44. Susan G
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 15:25:24

    I enjoyed Ward’s early books but she “jumped the shark”, IMO, with the last two novels. To be fair to her, though, I am very weary of vampire storylines in general so that makes it much easier for me to stop caring about her Brotherhood. (Also, I should never have visited her website’s message board. I have never seen anything like it. The depth and rabidity of her fans’ adoration scared and saddened me.)

    So! With that horrible attitude it’s difficult to imagine Ms. Adrian could draw me back in to the world of vampires. But great writing and storytelling is hard to pass up so, for you, I’d give it a try.

  45. Barbara B.
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 15:59:11

    Sounds kinda interesting. I can’t believe I’m saying this because I generally detest vampire romances. I just put the first two books in my Fictionwise cart. I’m not familiar with Mobipocket so I’ll have to get a print copy of the third book.

    Thanks for the review, Jane.

  46. Wendy
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 17:29:55

    I can’t wait to read Midnight Awakening – hopefully I’m getting it this weekend. Lara has been slowly torturing us on her newsletter list with chapter previews but finally, I”ll get the whole story! :)

  47. Miki
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 17:57:48

    I bought the first book in this series, but haven’t read it yet. I have to be in the right mood for vampires…

    …but, uh, how are you going to give away eBook copies of a book with DRM on it? This is published by a mainstream publisher, right?

  48. Josie
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 18:55:37

    The last couple of Ward’s books kinda cured me of my ‘the BDB is like crack’ theory. To be honest, I haven’t really been interested in reading any vampire stories in months. However, this does sound pretty fantastic so I will definitely give it a try.
    My TBR is rapidly getting out of control – I really need some Christmas holidays so I can catch up!

  49. Keishon
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 19:06:43

    Ok, I’m intrigued and I can’t stand the Ward books. Your review was excellent and I will be buying this and reading it. Soon.

  50. Jane
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 19:16:48

    Oh lord, the pressure. Miki- fictionise allows you to send a book as a gift.

  51. Kitty
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 19:39:10

    I’m so glad to see this book got a good review! I read the first two in the series as ebooks through Fictionwise and while the first was much better than the second, I really enjoyed them and thought they brought something new to the vampire genre. There are the obvious superficial comparisons between Ward’s BDB of course, but I think both series are very different.

    Honestly, I was pretty disappointed in J.R. Ward’s last book.. It felt a little sloppy and rushed, and the characterizations were a little off.. Overall, it was okay but it didn’t make me want to start counting off the days to the next book. IMHO, the best two books in that whole series are Lover Eternal and in a different way, Lover Awakened though I have to say that Bella annoyed me quite a bit. Why do Ward’s heroine’s suck so much? Bah.

    In any case, Midnight Awakening is on it’s way to me from Amazon.com right now. :)

  52. Ann M.
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 20:42:38

    I’ve never compared the two worlds but have enjoyed each for their own sake. :) On Lara’s group she talked about who this series came about and in fact was in the works as BDB was being released.

    Can’t wait to read Lara’s latest.

  53. Shannon C.
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 21:37:49

    I need another series to read like I need a hole in my head, but I’m intrigued enough by the dark fantasy elements that I think I’d enjoy this.

  54. Sylvia
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 22:08:16

    I’ve read the first two and while I enjoyed the first book the second I still haven’t picked up to finish and I do think Lara Adrian’s are too similair to JR Ward’s and if it wasn’t for that fact I would have been able to finish the second one. Though I’ve been planning on buying Midnight Awakening and reading it because she does have interesting characters. She’s a good writer, maybe Midnight Awakening will be the change and pull me in.

  55. Brenna
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 22:54:47

    Another vampire series? I feel the urge to ignore this book and series as a whole but you’ve put a very convincing review for this 3rd book. Plus the fact that –

    Sandy Coleman at AAR does a brutal dismemberment job of the first book in the series (Kiss of Crimson), so I'm picking up from the third if the first two aren't necessary.

    is incentive enough for me to give this series a chance. *g* I don’t oftentimes agree with SC of AAR’s A reviews, so maybe I’ll try her D reviews instead.

  56. Ann Bruce
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 23:06:44

    Another paranormal series? I’m down to reading only 3 paranormal authors and I like it that way.

    BUT…she’s better than Ward? And I don’t have to deal with world-building inconsistencies? Or steroid-enhanced, uber-violent metrosexuals who talk like they’re in a 50 Cent music video? Tempting…

  57. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 01:28:45

    I wouldn’t mind taking the challenge!! ….running off to get the eversion.

  58. Miki
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 02:18:30

    Miki- fictionise allows you to send a book as a gift.

    Huh. I knew you could send coupons for a book you already own…didn’t know you could do gifts. Cool!

  59. Meriam
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 06:27:06

    I don't oftentimes agree with SC of AAR's A reviews, so maybe I'll try her D reviews instead.

    Ah. I tend to agree with a lot of her Ds and quite like the same books she does. There you go.

    I bought the ebook last night and am quite enjoying it, even though wounded psychic beauties with lavender eyes do tax my patience a little. To be fair, she is moving the plot along.

  60. Jill Myles
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 10:23:53

    BUT…she's better than Ward? And I don't have to deal with world-building inconsistencies? Or steroid-enhanced, uber-violent metrosexuals who talk like they're in a 50 Cent music video? Tempting…

    Hah! This made me snort into my coffee.

    But I still love me some Ward. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right? What if we don’t want to recover? *g*

  61. Jane
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 13:44:13

    Winner Winner Winner:

    kerri
    Jan
    Stephanie Z
    sula
    Brenna

    Will you guys email me and I’ll send you the book from Fictionwise. It will be the mobipocket one of course.

  62. Holly
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 14:52:51

    I already have the books, but I haven’t read them yet. I think this was a great review. Casee has been ragging me for months to read them, and you shouldn’t get her started on the whole “LA is like JRW” thing. She gets kind of testy about it. :)

    Can’t wait to see what those who won have to say about it.

  63. sula
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 15:19:55

    woohoo! Email is in the mail (hope it doesn’t get sent to spam hell). I’m psyched to try this book out. *g* Thanks Jane!

  64. Jane
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 17:37:40

    I'll pick up that gauntlet and accept your challenge. ; )
    I've read the first two Adrian books (after I'd read all the BDB releases currently in print) and honestly, wasn't all that impressed…frankly, I thought them embarrassingly similar to Ward's. However, yesterday I decided to buy and read “Midnight Awakening” and while I was pleased to find it quite a bit more enjoyable than the two previous releases, IMO, it was practically identical to Ward's story of Zsadist in “Lover Awakened”…even the title, “Midnight Awakening”, is a virtual dead-ringer (no pun intended). lol//

    2Wild – Thanks for commenting. Having read all of ward’s books and all of Adrian’s books, I’ll give my rebuttal here.

    1. The title: I don’t find the titles to be indicative that the Breed series is derivative of the BDB series simply because I doubt Adrian picks the title. Most of the titles are picked by the editor/marketing team, at least that is what I have read other places. I didn’t even recall the similarity of the titles (both using some derivation of the root word Awake). When there are 400 new titles put out a month, I would guess that it’s hard to find new titles. But alas, it is a valid complaint and I made it before in regards to another series featuring vampires and “Brotherhood”.

    2. Zsadist’s story: I know you haven’t articulated specifics so I would be guessing at what you might view as similarities. Instead of guessing (and likely guessing wrong, I’ll try to address how I found the stories different.

    a. (I think in outline format, if you haven’t guessed that by now). Zsadist v. Tegan. Zsadist and Tegan were both tormented souls but the cause of their torment, the reason for their emotional frigidity was very different. Zsadist was beaten, abused, both emotionally and physically. He needs to be beaten on a regular basis. He is mentally and emotionally crippled. His main outlet is anger. Tegan, on the other hand, was the victim of Rogue violence. His loved one was taken from him and returned to him a shell of a person that needed to be killed in order to be merciful to her. His response to this loss was to become emotionally removed. He did not have anger or pain or hurt because to do so would to feel. In fact, in this, his characterization is more internally consistent than Zsadists. Further, Tegan’s awakening was not dependent on Bella. It was a self awakening. He learned to love, not because he had to but because eventually he wanted to.

    b. Bella v. Elise. There is a huge difference in the female characters. Bella is captured and tortured by the lessers. She returns and seems to suffer no consequences. She soothes Zsadist’s savage internal beast. Her love is his salvation.

    Elise, on the other hand, was victimized in a different way. She had loved and lost, both her husband and son. She was not captured and tortured by the Rogues. She was not targeted, initially, in anyway.

    c. The worldbuilding. The similarities are that there are good vampires and bad vampires, yes? But that is the case in alot of books, even dating back to Anita Blake’s stories and probably before then. I found the construct of the Darkhaven, the Order, the Breeds, to be sufficiently dissimilar to the Ward series. Plus, there is no scribe virgin, thank god. Since the Scribe Virgin is the basis of the vampire mythology, I think that the lack of one in the Breed series provides enough distance to create a differentiation between the two.

  65. Beth
    Nov 30, 2007 @ 07:35:31

    I think there is a major difference between Ward and Adrian, especially in Midnight Awakening — and that is the characterization of the heroine. I just finished MA last night, and let me tell you, there is no heroine — indeed no female — in any of the Ward books that comes even close to Elise’s strength, physically, mentally, and emotionally. She solves problems with her weapons and her intelligence. She kicks serious ass, even saving the hero at one point. And she is very honest with the hero, short circuiting those all too familiar adolescent misunderstandings between hero and heroine that give romance a bad name.

    I really enjoyed it.

  66. EllieDenning
    Dec 02, 2007 @ 08:09:12

    I totally agree. None of Ward’s female’s, even Beth, had Elise’s strength and purpose. Yes, she had a purpose! She doesn’t just sit around waiting for Tegan to get home!

    That was probably my favorite part. She didn’t wait for Tegan to do anything. She asked him to help with something, when he refused, she moved on and tried to fix it herself. And did just fine, too. I ADORED her.

    I loved Ward’s “Lover Awakened”, but that was one of the things that bugged me, the way Bella wouldn’t leave, even when Zsadist wanted her to. Granted, it had to happen that way or he would never have let her in, but it grated. I can’t see Elsie doing that.

    Loved this book. I have a new series!

  67. 2Wild
    Dec 06, 2007 @ 15:57:49

    Wow Jane, I’m flattered at receiving such an extensive rebuttal! That’s a first…thanks for actually reading my comment and caring enough to reply. ; )
    OK, here’s my rebuttal to your rebuttal…I’ve no doubt we could go at it for days regarding our perceived similarities/dissimilarities between the Ward and Adrian books/character/plots. However, I’m of the opinion that while these aspects of their work may possess some differences, those differences are so subtle, slight and indistinct, they are quite easily unnoticed. I’m of the opinion that the basic storyline’s are identical and it is only the character’s names and bits of minutia that have been changed. To me, this all appears to be very contrived.
    Perhaps my opinion stems from the fact that as I’m not the most avid reader of romances, I was caught totally unaware regarding the vast amount of very similar work within this genre that actually existed and as a result, I possibly harbored unrealistic expectations pertaining to originality? So much so that immediately after finishing Adrian’s first book, I contacted Ward at her official site, indirectly, to inform her that another author had plagiarized her story! Can you believe that?! Imagine my embarrassment when I was politely informed that it was not at all uncommon for many authors, some prior to Ward, others not, to write books with similar themes, characters, etc. Yep, you guessed it, I felt really stupid/naive.
    Anyway, Midnight Awakening was an improved effort and yes, I totally concur, “Elise” is a great heroine. If other authors wrote their heroines to appear as strong and dignified as was “Elise”, I’d definitely read more of their work.
    Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

  68. Kathy
    Dec 08, 2007 @ 22:29:52

    First I have to say “Thank You” – for turning me onto a very enjoyable day of reading (well several since i read the previous two books before this one just to catch up). Here’s my response to your gauntlet.

    First comparison to Ward: Aside from the obvious (Vampires, Good v Evil War complete with Warriors) Adrian does a far superior job defining the world of the novels. I found the explanation of the existance of vampires intriguing and unique, providing an explanation of their original and continued existance that was much easier to accept than the good/evil god-like explanation used by Ward. I agree whole heartedly with your assessment of her worldbuilding – I loved it.

    Secondly, the characters in Adrian are much more completely defined. Their personal histories, their personalities, etc. They remain true to themselves throughout the story.

    Thirdly, the female characters are wonderful. They are equal participants in the relationships, having equal parts in drawing the story out from beginning to end.

    And last but not least, having read all three books in order, these books are much better books in that they pick up from the last, lead to the next, but do not sacrifice the current story in doing so.

    I loved the main characters. They were believable and empathetic. The growth of their relationship was believable given their personal histories. And their particiaption in this story contributed meaningfully in advancing the greater story forward.

    With all that said, reading Ward is SO addictive – a drug that kept me speeding through the story(s) on a high and enjoying the experience while it lasted, but in the end after I finished, I felt let down and vaguely (and sometimes sharply) disappointed when the high dissapated and I could assess the book as a whole. Adrian’s books didn’t have me on such a high-speed high, more like a really-good buzz, but there was only anticipation for the next book when I was finished. The only disappointment was that I had finshed the book. These books are staying on the “keeper” shelf.

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