Lara Adrian – "Midnight Rising"

6 Jul

GENRE: Romance / Paranormal
PUBLISHED: Dell Book, 2008

WHY THIS NOVEL: part of series

The back blurb:
“Fueled by pain and rage over a shattering betrayal, the warrior Rio has pledged his life to the war against the Rogues. He will let nothing stand in his way – least of all a mortal woman with the power to expose the entire vampire race. But now an ancient evil has been awakened, and a stunning darkness is on the rise.
For journalist Dylan Alexander, it began with the discovery of a hidden tomb. Suddenly she is at the center of a gathering storm of violence and secrets. but nothing is a dangerous as the scarred, lethally seductive man who rises from the shadows to plunge her into his world of dark desire and endless night. Here she is powerless to resist Rio’s tough, even as she uncovers a shocking link to her own past. Now Dylan must choose: Leave Rio’s midnight realm, or risk it all for the man who has shown her true passion and the infinite pleasures of the heart…”

Midnight Rising is a tightly plotted and fast paced story. There were only two small things that made me go “huh?” but aside from that I enjoyed reading this novel. After discovering that an Ancient is still alive in Midnight Awakening and missing, in Midnight Rising the Breed warriors are hard at work searching for him. There are two short scenes where the reader learns more about what’s going on with the Ancient; knowledge the warriors have only at the end of Midnight Rising. What struck me with these scenes is the question they raise: clearly the Ancient is evil but what about his captors and the way they treat him?

I liked Dylan, the heroine. She’s described as a smart person and thankfully she acts like it. I trust her to count 1 + 1 together and not arrive at 3,173. I also liked Rio. Despite his treatment of Dylan at the beginning (see next paragraph), I see him as a honourable person. Although he’s determined to end his life, he owns up to the mess he made (let Dylan discover the tomb because he didn’t blow it up right away) and doesn’t just leave and let the other warriors deal with it.

The beginning of the romance in this novel is not an easy one. Right away, it has one point against it because it begins with the abduction of the heroine by the hero. As a captive romance it relies heavily on the readers willingness to belief that a captive can fall in love with the abductor. The captive plot doesn’t last for the whole novel, although it’s difficult to say when it really ends. After Rio discovers that Dylan is a Breedmate (really hate that word), his behaviour changes even though he can’t let her go right away. Apart from the captive plot line, the credibility of the romance is made even more difficult because – and that’s what I count as a second point – the whole story lasts just a few days (7 days with the last chapter one week later).

Adrian goes to some lengths to make the reader believe in the romance despite these two points against it.

  • abduction isn’t Rio’s first choice to keep Dylan from spreading the news of her discovery
  • There are some touching scenes between Dylan and Rio, most notable probable when it’s about Dylan’s role in Rio’s life. It worked like a “up the OMG-factor to make the reader not think about the plausibility of falling in love with your abductor in just a few days” device for me.
  • One thing that surprised me a bit later in the story I see as compensation for Rio taking Dylan captive at the beginning. Of course, this also makes it possible for the climax to happen the way it does and takes care of the couple’s way to their HEA, so viewed cynically, the compensative effect is just an added benefit of the external plot’s progress. But it accomplishes three different things with one move, and that’s not bad.
  • I also had the impression that the ghost of Rio’s ex-wife, Eva, helped to reduce the problems with the credibility of the romance. It’s again a three-for-one deal, in that it’s also tied to Dylan’s gift (each Breedmate has a special gift) and the external plot.
  • I see Dylan’s treatment as a captive in contrast to the Ancient’s treatment. There is a difference. (I also think that’s one reason why the reader gets to read the scenes with the Ancient.)

So, on the question of the credibility of the romance, I think Adrian did a good job with it despite two points against it. If I can swallow that someone falls in love in a total and complete, this-is-forever kind of way with another person 1.) in the course of a few days and 2.) when this other person is something the someone didn’t even know existed before meeting, then I can suspend the rest of my disbelief to go the whole way and believe this can happen when the someone was taken captive by the other person at first. At least, when I have the impression – like I did with this novel – that the author is aware of the problems. Of course, more time would have helped the romance but it would also have slowed down the external plot and maybe weakened it there instead (which is probably what made me enjoy Midnight Awakening less).

Final thoughts:

  • Funny thing I noticed when I read the abduction scene again for this post: when it’s 5 a.m. in Boston, it’s 11 a.m. (= already day time) in Berlin, not the other way round.
  • Do all the novels in this series have to end the same way?

Would I recommend this novel? Yes

Would I read this novel again? Yes.

Grade: 4+ / 5


5 Responses to “Lara Adrian – "Midnight Rising"”

  1. Kristie(J) Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    I just finished this one myself yesterday. Though I haven’t caught the JR Ward Brotherhood bug – I’ve only read two with no urgency to read the rest, I’ve really been enjoying this series. I read all four in about a month’s time span – now it seems like such a wait until the next one *sigh*.

  2. Taja Monday, July 7, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    I really like Adrian’s series. I think it’s better in terms of world building than Ward’s series and that Adrian has a better grasp on the story than Ward. Adrian writes “tighter” – there are (nearly?) no unnecessary scenes which is the way most of the Lesser scenes struck me with Ward’s series, for example. But initially, I was bitten by the Brotherhood bug. It started to be on the wane with Lover Awakened, and Lover Unbound cured me of the “when will the next one be out?” symptom completely.

    I haven’t read many reviews about Midnight Rising because I knew I wanted to read it. Now I could probably go and look for other reviews. I’ll keep a lookout for your thoughts on it on your blog. 🙂

  3. Kristie(J) Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at 12:51 pm #

    I posted mine last night and we matched grades on this one *g*

  4. Christine Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 4:45 pm #

    Great review, Taja. I agree with all your points on Adrian’s efforts to make the reader believe the captive could fall in love with her captor so quickly. I think she did a pretty good job of making the romance between Dylan & Rio believable considering the circumstances, but a week is rather quick.

    Something else that made the romance more believable to me was given the fact that Dylan was kind of a lonely person and going through such a sad time with her mom’s illness. I think that probably contributed to her wanting or needing a connection to someone. And Rio happened to be there at the right place and time for her. So for me, I understood how both of them would gravitate to each other and they’ll grow to love each other more each day here on in.

    I’m looking forward to Veil of Midnight in December!

  5. Taja Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    I’ve often problems with romances that only span a short amount of time (that’s where real life intrudes on the story), whereas the captive element in this story only registered with all its implications when I stopped and thought about it (no real life experiences to compare it to). The reaction to the first thing is more immediate than the reaction to the last one (does that make sense?).

    I like what you said about Dylan. I didn’t consider it from that angle before, but this perspective really strengthens the story. I thought there was a slight imbalance in the romance when I mostly saw Dylan’s importance to Rio and not so much the other way round (now what does that say about me as a reader? *grin*). But I believed their love would grow and didn’t have a real problem with it.

    Good stuff, this comment thing. 🙂

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