Lara Adrian – “Midnight Awakening”

7 Mar

GENRE: Romance / Paranormal
PUBLISHED: Dell Books, 2007

WHY THIS NOVEL: Part 3 of a series.

The back blurb:
“With a dagger in her hand and vengeance on her mind, Darkhaven beauty Elise Chase prowls Boston’s streets in search of retribution against the Rogue vampires who took from her everything she cherished. Using an extraordinary psychic gift, she tracks her prey, well aware that the power she possesses is destroying her. She must learn to harness this gift, and for that she can turn to only one man – the deadliest of the Breed warriors, Tegan.
No stranger to loss, Tegan knows Elise’s pain. He knows fury, but when he slays his enemies it is with ice in his veins. He is perfect in his self-control, until Elise seeks his aid in her personal war. An unholy alliance is forged – a bond that will link them by blood and vow – and plunge them into a tempest of danger, desire, and the darkest passions of the heart …”

Compared to the other novels in this series, Midnight Awakening got the most positive comments as far as I know. What I don’t know is if it is because of these comments my experiences were too high or something else, but Midnight Awakening didn’t “wow” me the way I expected.

There are a number of too obvious plot coincidences for my liking:

  • minor ones: the custom to be naked when taking blood from a partner. I didn’t pick up on this in the novels before so I thought it a convenient way to get Tegan and Elise naked together early. Also, Tegan recovers really fast from being tortured and thinking he turned Rogue (did he or didn’t he?).
  • Elisa and Tegan go to Berlin to follow the trail of an old journal that the villain wanted to get his hands on. The only remaining vampire connected with this journal is currently being held in a facility because he turned Rogue (it’s thought he may be brought back). Elise meets the Breedmate of this Rogue and they talk. And now the coincidences start. One day later, this woman calls to say she found some letters which belonged to her brother-in-law, turned Rogue several years before her mate. She went through his things to put them away. Why does she do this now? After her mate turned Rogue, she left the Darkhaven and lived among humans. And she took things of her brother-in-law with her? Into a, I assume, smaller flat?
  • Elise and Tegan are looking for a minion all over Berlin. I think it’s right the next day that this minion turns up at a club that belongs to someone with close connections to Elise’s and Tegan’s contact in Berlin. What’s more, it’s a club the minion only visited a few times in the past and it’s also a club he got banned a couple of months ago. Why does he go there again? Other than for plot reasons, I mean.

As I said, Elise and Tegan are in Berlin to get some information about a journal. They talk with the Rogue held at a facility and he says one thing which is not just crazy rambling. He talks about a “he.” Elise and Tegan (and later the other vampires of the Order) can only guess at the identity of this “he” but I was fairly sure about it. So the suspense of that question didn’t really work for me.

And what’s the deal with Elise’s talent? Can she hear only nasty thoughts? Or do only nasty thought cause her pain? Do only humans, minions, and Rogues have nasty thoughts but never Breed vampires and Breedmates? Or is it that Breed vampires and Breedmates shield their thoughts all the time or is it just that Elise can’t read their thoughts or what? My thought about this: nasty.

One more (small) thing about why this novel didn’t work like I had expected: the meeting between Lucan and his brother was rather anti-climactic. After reading the other two novels I expected something more.

I liked Elise. She’s a refreshingly active heroine. For much of the story her actions are fuelled by revenge for the death of her son. She does everything to accomplish that. Sadly, she seemed a bit de-fanged at the end. Tegan is the loner, a I-don’t-do-feelings hero. And he’s got this act down pretty well. There are some nice confrontations between him and Elise, especially in the first half of the story when Elise needs Tegan’s help and he doesn’t know what to do with his unwanted feelings. They have things in common and this makes it understandable why Elise is able to touch Tegan emotionally. The steps of their falling for each other seem true although that this happens in such a short amount of time is something that always strikes me as unbelievable (mostly after I finish reading and realize the story took place no longer than one week). I also liked the change of place which makes Adrian’s world bigger than just one city.

A twist at the end puts Tegan in the role of his former mate (abducted and tortured) and I thought this could be interesting in terms of Tegan’s character development. The element was there but it wasn’t really followed up in the story. And that’s something I thought a couple of times while reading this novel: things are touched upon / indicated but for me, there’s missing something (more). Like when Lucan and his brother finally meet or Elise’s brother-in-law who’s nearly absent compared to what I thought he would get to/need to be part of Elise’s and Tegan’s story. Or just look at my “too obvious plot coincidences” – a bit more explaining and I’m sure they could have worked for me. I know that’s probably a question of page count but that doesn’t help my feeling that some parts were missing in Midnight Awakening.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Yes (as part of series).

Grade: 3,5 / 5


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