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REVIEW: Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Dear Ms. Adrian:

044024449801lzzzzzzzI have to confess that I like the longer wait between your books. In part because some of the past stories, particularly Lucan’s and Tegan’s, wherein the heroes tended to overshadow those around them. This can linger beyond the story. When I picked up Veil of Midnight, enough time had passed that I felt new to the world of the Breeds and the power of the others’ stories had faded.

Veil of Midnight features Nikolai, described as a "combat-lving adrenaline junkie" and Renata, a Breedmate with a powerful gift. Nikolai is sent to Montreal to make contact with Sergei Yakut, a Gen One vampire. Gen One vampires across the world have been the subject of assignation attempts. Most have been successful and Nikolai’s Order is reaching out to gather up a coalition to fight those behind the assignation attempts.

Sergei Yakut is law unto himself and he does not need any protection or alliances to fight off the Gen One killers. He has his own bodyguards including a human female, Renata, who is also a Breedmate. Breedmates are gifted humans who, by some genetic whim, are specially designed to well, breed with the Breed. Given blood from a Breed, Renata and others like her will heal quickly and live nearly an immortal life span. Renata’s gift is the power to zap a Breed’s mind, causing anything from discomfort to death. Her gift is not without consequences. Every exertion of power is met with an equal psychic reverberation.

Renata is owned by Yakut. She cannot escape him and even if she wanted to, she would not because he holds the one thing of value to Renata, a young girl named Mira. Mira is an oracle whose eyes reflect glimpses of one’s future. Mira has immense value but once she loses her power, will become expendable. Yakut holds Mira to keep Renata in check.

Nikolai is able to make contact with Yakut but soon finds that Yakut is corrupt and grotesque. He would like to wipe Yakut out but is ordered not to. He’s unsure about Renata because a glimpse at Mimi’s eyes shows the Renata and Nikolai locked in a passionate embrace. Events conspire to throw Renata and Nikolai together, but Nikolai’s allegiance to the Order is strained by his growing feelings for Renata.

Renata’s story of abandonment and acquisition by Yakut is emotionally powerful as was the suspense of what would happen to her and Mira; whether the two could ever escape to safety. Nikolai’s desire for Renata was also emotionally compelling. What was not as interesting was the actually culmination of the romance. The transition, particularly for Renata, from cold, efficient bodyguard, to "I love you Nikolai, drink from me" lover was rough and abrupt. While the sex scenes didn’t seem forced, the emotional overlay to them did. It appeared that the growth of the relationship was on super sonic speed and didn’t match the natural develop that the characters’ setup seem to call for. I wished that the story were longer and that the resolution didn’t occur so quickly because the characters seemed to be so vibrant.

I also thought that there were shortcuts taken in the plot. For example, at one point, Nikolai gets in trouble for taking action that was inconsistent with the careful thinker that he appeared to be up to that point. It was easy for the reader to see the negative repercussion of his actions and I wondered why Nikolai wasn’t allowed to realize those as well. We weren’t really led to believe that Nik was a shoot first, think second kind of a guy.

I appreciated that the villains were given backstories so that while their actions were heinous, they were also understandable to some extent. This lent an even greater sense of tragedy to the tale and heightened the emotional stakes. This one is tough to grade because I did feel that so much of the story was gripping but the love story left a lot to be desired. I don’t regret reading this story and I am eager to read the next one due out in May but given the struggles I had with the romance, I am going to give it a C+ although it could easily be a B-.

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers.

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

11 Comments

  1. Lisa J
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 16:14:26

    The grade worried me a bit, but knowing it could have been a B- makes me feel better since I have been waiting for this one. I gave up on JR Ward, so if this series goes the same way I would be an unhappy camper.

  2. KristieJ
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 20:07:34

    I liked this one much better than you did Jane *g*. I found Renata a breath of fresh air in a genre that tends to have ultra Alpha heroes and rather weak heroines. I found her to be the ‘larger’ character in this book and I quite liked the fact that a few times she was able to knock the hero on his ass – or out cold rather :-) In fact that’s one of the big reasons I prefer Lara Adrian’s series over that of ‘the other one’. I gave it (in letter form) a B+.

  3. Jane
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 20:14:00

    @KristieJ: Kristie J, I liked Renata alot but I felt that her emotional development from being an outsider not relying on anyone to “I love you” was so quick but I like it better than the other series too.

    @Lisa J: No, don’t be worried that it is going ghostie on you. It’s still a strong, emotional series. I had a tough time grading it.

  4. Skye B
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 22:27:35

    Lara Adrian has grown on me. At first, I didn’t like the similarities to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but with each passing book, Adrian is making this series more her own.

    This one was a B+ for me and I liked the set up that leads into her next book. She has managed to keep the element of romance alive, unlike J.R. Ward’s last two offerings, which really put me off that series. Veil was worth the read.

  5. Rachel
    Dec 30, 2008 @ 09:29:36

    Isn’t her name Mira?

    I completely agree with your review. I enjoyed both Renata and Niko but did have to ask “Wait, and how did we get here? Throat exposed?” And I have always felt that Adrian’s men are a bit more, um, flowery in the romance department than I prefer. Mostly their love talk doesn’t ring true for me somehow.

    I, too, wished that we had seen some consequences for Niko’s actions.

    Having said that I do really love the series and can’t wait for the next one. I hope we get to see more of the new addition to the team. I am very interested in that one. Heck, I hope we get to see more of the old team as well!

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    Dec 30, 2008 @ 09:42:38

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  7. Bonnie
    Jan 01, 2009 @ 19:24:06

    Just started reading this book on Kindle and have to ask: has anybody else noticed some seriously bad editing?

    Or is it the Kindle version?

    Weird.

  8. Scooper
    Jan 03, 2009 @ 20:30:18

    Did you read an advanced copy? I ask because the copy I have named the little girl Mira.

    I had an ARC a couple of months ago that gave me one name for the heroine, and when the book came out for sale a different name was used. The author said it was a mistake, but since then I’ve been hyper aware of names. Stupid, I know, but it is what it is.

  9. Margie
    Jan 03, 2009 @ 20:58:59

    I just finished this book on Mobipocket reader and there were really annoying editing mistakes. That aside, I agree that the characters were great. I especially loved Niko’s talent. For some reason the idea of a badass hero with a natural gift to grows flowers just tickled me.

    I had a much bigger problem with Niko not having any consequences for his decisions at the end of the novel than I did with the unrealisitcally quick romance. The main tension for Niko (I felt) was between his competing desires to help Renata save Mira and complete the Order’s mission to stop Dragos. He has equally compelling motivation for both tasks. He loves Renata and Mira, but by stopping Dragos he could save the world. The fact that he was able to completely ignore the Order’s mission, fail to stop Dragos, and then have no consequences for that decision makes his ultimate decision to help Renata mean a lot less. There wasn’t even very much internal conflict felt by Niko over his decision. If the decision was so easy and without any real consequences then why was it causing tension for such a large part of the book?

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    Jan 04, 2009 @ 01:32:49

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  11. Jane
    Jan 04, 2009 @ 20:43:22

    @Scooper I bought the e version of the book and deleted the ARC. I can’t remember. I’ve gotten names wrong before. I’ll go and change the review.

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