Reviewed by Helyce
NOTE: Small spoilers from previous books included.
Darker After Midnight picks up right after Deeper Than Midnight. Sterling Chase, bound and determined to get to Dragos before he can do any more damage, had attended a soirée with the who’s who of the political world. Unfortunately, his attempt to kill Dragos was not successful, starting a chain of events that the very secretive Order may never recover from.
Sterling Chase has been fighting the lure of bloodlust for a while now. Ever since the deaths of his brother and nephew, Chase has been fighting not to fall over the edge. He’s never forgiven himself for what happened to them and he feels that there is nothing he could do to ever redeem himself. His focus on bringing Dragos down, drives him forward, but in his haste he’s become unpredictable and his fellow members of the Order are worried. Chase’s major faux pas at the senator’s party has now given Dragos exactly what he needs to expose the Order to the human world and Chase cannot let that happen. When he realizes Dragos’ intent, he takes matters into his own hands, turning himself into the human authorities in the hopes of giving the Order’s members and families’ precious extra time to get out of town and get to safety.
Tavia Fairchild has worked very hard to get where she is. She’s overcome a lot in her life; she’s survived a fire that scarred one side of her body and she lives with a rare illness that requires her to take medication every day. To miss even one dose could have dire consequences. She is Senator Clarence’s personal assistant and she takes her job seriously. The recent events have her shaken and confused, but she is determined to support Senator Clarence and do her job well.
It is while Chase is being held that he once again comes into contact with Tavia Fairchild. His brief encounter with her at the senator’s party, made an impression, though at the time he didn’t know why. When he’s brought in for a line-up and he sees or senses Tavia through the protective glass he begins to talk to her, trying to warn her. Of course, Tavia doesn’t understand anything he’s saying or who Dragos is. When the Senator arrives and Chase sees him and that dead look in his eyes, he realizes that Dragos has already infiltrated not only the human police, but major political members as well. Dragos’ need for power knows no bounds and Chase is even more determined than ever to stop him. Throwing another inmate through the glass, he makes his escape. If he can get to the Senator in time, perhaps he can still get to Dragos before he does any more damage. But nothing is ever simple where Dragos is concerned. When Chase sees Tavia being taken into protective custody by a cop he knows is one of Dragos’ minions, his protective instincts flare. Making his way into the safe house, he kidnaps her and takes her his old Darkhaven, a place he never thought he’d return to.
And this, my dear Breed fans, is where the ride begins. I have always had a soft spot for Chase; the loner, the underdog, the one member of the order who is slightly misunderstood. Ms. Adrian does him major justice by giving him Octavia “Tavia” Fairchild. You see, Tavia is extremely special and she is so much more than you can possibly imagine. She is strong, smart and quite remarkably…..unexpected.
Chase has no choice but to bring Tavia into his world once he’s taken her. He explains who and what he is and tells her what he knows of Dragos. Tavia is not convinced, but she listens and tries to be opened minded. Most of what Chase tells her is completely unbelievable, but at the same time she senses that Chase is being truthful. She also cannot deny her attraction to Chase, something she fights until it is impossible to deny any longer.
It’s doesn’t stop her from trying to escape, though, and upon returning to her Aunt Sarah’s home she sees for herself that Chase was telling the truth. While she’s resting in her room, she over hears her doctor speaking to her Aunt and everything starts to fall into place. Her childhood, her illness, all a lie. There is no one else she can trust, now only Chase.
With the help of Mathias Rowan from the Breed Enforcement Agency, Chase and Tavia uncover additional information on Dragos and his inhumane projects over the years. Eventually, Chase knows that he must involve the Order and together they make plans to finally bring Dragos down. As they move forward with their plan, it becomes clear to Tavia that her involvement may be exactly what the Order needs to infiltrate Dragos’s security and get him exactly where they want him to take him down, even at the expense of her life.
Lara Adrian has really outdone herself in this installment. I was completely taken in from the moment I started this book and read it so fast that when I tried to write this review I found my thoughts jumbled and so full of spoilers, I had to read through it again. And still I do not think I did this book justice with this review. It is simply impossible to give you anything good, without being totally spoilerish.
This story is going to blow you away. There is so much happening behind the scenes as Tavia and Chase find their way to each other, but it is done smoothly and with such precision that you do not feel overwhelmed at any time.
Here are some bullet points:
*Jenna continues to ‘evolve’ and will use Claire’s dream walking skills to learn much about the Ancient who not only gave her his DNA, but all his memories. She dreams of another civilization that the ancients were fighting with, before coming to earth. I do believe I read the word Atlantis…OMG, I can’t wait to see where this goes! Hint: Breedmate birth mark
*Hunter and Corinne return to the new compound with Corinne’s son Nathan. I can’t wait to see what happens with him. He may only be 14, but all he’s known is training and killing. I think Mira will be key here.
*Lazaro Archer and his grandson Kellen continue to live with the Order. It is thanks to Lazaro that the Order was able to move out of Boston as quickly and safely as they did.
Lazaro is one of the last Gen One Breeds as are Lucan and Tegan. I’m thinking this is important.
*Tess and Dante’s baby is born-Xander Raphael. And he’s not the only one!
I’m happy to add that while the main conflict is dealt with to an extremely satisfying end, there are parts of said ending that will definitely surprise you. There is a very interesting epilogue as well that takes us out one year from the conflicts end. I am still left with a few questions. Which begs me to point out that in the ARC that I received it states, and I quote:
“The tenth and final novel in Lara Adrian’s New York Times bestselling Midnight Breed vampire romance …”
I believe the story arc is done with this tenth book, although the series isn’t done. I think Lara Adrian is moving onto the younger generation of Breeds – Possibly Mira’s book taking place 20 years in the future (Not confirmed though!)
If you are a fan of this series, RUN out and buy this book right now. You will not be disappointed.
Rating: A- (because I have questions and I need answers!)