REVIEW: Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian
Dear Ms. Adrian
I had a difficult time reviewing this book. It’s a vampire series at a time when there is a glut in the vampire genre. It features a super alpha male vampire who struggles against his nature to feed and a woman who basically is alone, who finds completion in her vampire lover’s arms.
Gabrielle Maxwell is an up and coming artist, a photographer who specializes in abandoned property to tell her story. She feels detached from the world around her, out of step and alone. Her secrets separate herself from her friends and companions as no one would quite understand her secret compulsions. She comes across the an assault in progress, calls 911 and takes a photo of it on her camera phone. She reports it to the police but no one believes her.
Lucan Thorne is a Breed vampire whose sole goal is to eliminate the Rogue vampires. This sounds very familiar to me despite the variations you put in. The vampires stem from an alien race. Lucan is a Gen One vampire who was born from a mating between an Ancient (an original alien)and human. Usually the matings were violently and against the will of the human. All vampires suffer the danger of succumbing to Bloodlust, basically an uncontrollable addiction to blood. Some vampires who have advanced Bloodlust addiction will kill himself. Others turn Rogue and ravage the human race like their Ancient ancestors.
Lucan can feel the Bloodlust creeping upon him. He’s determined to take out as many Rogues as possible before he succumbs to the sun. In the alley where Gabrielle sees the assault take place, Lucan arrives to dispatch the Rogue vampires. He realizes that Gabrielle has seen something and follows her to wipe her memory clean. When he attempts this, Gabrielle is resistant and Lucan realizes that there is something unique about her.
The villain is a shadowy figure whose goal is to build a Rogue army that will take over the . . . well, world I guess.
There are pockets of the story where I was really engaged. There were shocking revelations that captivated my attention. But there were also large parts, particularly in the beginning when I felt my focus drifting and I struggled to stay interested. Some of this may be due to the slow developing story in the beginning. The pace of the book picked up toward the latter 1/2. Part was due to the dense writing. In an effort to show us and not tell us things, there were long descriptive paragraphs that to some readers will invoke atmosphere and to this reader, made her eyes glaze over.
She let her gaze drift to the night outside the car, watching in queer detachment as lights and lives flickered past. The streets teemed with people: couples strolling hand-in-hand, groups of friends laughing and talking, all of them having a great time. They dined at cafe tables outside trendy bistros, and paused to look at store window displays. Everywhere she looked, the city pulsed with color and life. Gabrielle absorbed it all with her artist’s eye, and yet felt nothing. This bustle of life–her life as well–seemed to be speeding by without her. More and more lately, she felt as if she were caught on a wheel that wouldn’t stop spinning around her, trapping her in an endless cycle of passing time and little purpose.
I liked each character individually: Gabrielle for her secrets and empathy and Lucan for his struggle with his Bloodlust. Together, though, I had a difficult time grasping the connection between Gabrielle and Lucan. Because they spent very little time together initially, I had a hard time believing that they had the feelings you said that they felt for one another. It seemed a very superficial attraction.
It’s a book that I felt like I should like more (and I suspect it will be wildly popular) but I was curiously detached. One character that I liked against my will because he is such a stereotypical character and that is the dark, brooding, menacing Tegan. I’ll probably read the entire series just for glimpses of him. C+