Bee's Reviews > Kiss of Midnight

Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian
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I was recommended this series because it was supposedly similar to J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I just had no idea exactly how similar they would be. Interestingly enough the two authors also know each other, Lara Adrian thanks Jessica Bird (aka Ward) in her acknowledgements, and praise for the book by Ward is printed on the cover…it’s safe to say they were inspired by each other. So…a comparison is really hard to escape, but I’ll try to keep it mostly spoiler free.

In both series we start out with the leader of a Vampire Warrior Brotherhood; Wrath in Ward’s case and Lucan in Adrian’s case. Both of them are sworn recluses of noble blood who have vowed never to take on a mate…yeah, that doesn’t work out so well for either of them. Both of them have physical flaws, caused by their “pure” blood. Both lead a brotherhood with a scattered category of men, each battling their own demons. Both operate in an urban environment, and live in a compound away from prying human eyes. Both fall for a human female (Beth and Gabrielle), both conduct their fights with special daggers…the list goes on. It’s all so similar I kept expecting the brothers to drop down into Adrian’s world any minute…I still kind of do.

The differences are found mostly in the origin of the races. Ward’s vampires, though a separate race from humans mate with females of both their own and the human race. They are of both male and female gender and most of the members of the race are diluted half breeds. Adrian’s vampires are solely males, descendants from eight alien ancestors who landed on earth a long long long long time ago. They only mate with the human females known as breedmates, who display a special birth mark and carry genetic features strong enough to breed hybrids. All heirs are male. This is also where Adrian’s story fails a bit for me, because if the vampires are alien life forms, how on earth (literally) can the human females have evolved to ensure the growth of the vampire race? And even if I buy that it happened at the origin of the race, how do the breedmates keep existing? If they only ever produce male offspring, how is the female breedmate gene carried on generation after generation? Oh well…

Another thing that differs is the attention to details. Ward is superior to any author I know when it comes to creating wonderful multi-facetted characters, and especially interesting secondary characters (sometimes she goes a bit overboard with it too). She has an amazing attention to detail that brings life and joy into both the worlds she creates and the story she’s telling. Adrian is much more economic in her writing. She stays focused on a few main characters and tells her story in a much more direct way. I can however feel that she has a plan with her writing, whereas it sometimes feels like Ward is just making things up as she goes. On the other hand I don’t experience quite the same joy with reading Adrian’s characters. They have just a little bit less personality and ‘umpf’. What Adrian clearly excels in though is her action writing, the story is much more tighter and with a continuous level of tension than what is found in Ward’s writing. The enemy feels more well thought out and the fact that Adrian doesn’t make her battle about good vs. evil in the way Ward does with her involving the Scribe Virgin and the Omega, is a clear plus for me. The fact that Adrian’s enemy, the Rogues, isn’t a separate and purely evil race like Ward’s Lessers is also a positive thing in my opinion. Adrian’s evil force is something that is found within everyone, even the good vampires, and it brings a humanizing recognition element into the plot. There are good vamps and bad vamps just like there are good people and bad people. It’s not as black and white as in Ward’s universe. I miss Ward’s wit and artistic quality a bit in this first book of the series, but I would still say that it is as strong, if not stronger, a beginning to a series as Ward’s Dark Lover. But perhaps that is simply because I was more intrigued by Lucan than by Wrath.

The romance between Lucan and Gabrielle is one of those too much too fast stories all over again, and the way Lucan dubiously enters Gabrielle’s bed without her explicit consent leaves a bit to be wanted… but aside from that the story was engaging, and I constantly found myself eager to turn to the next page. I am definitely interested in continuing the series, and I hope that the next few books will give more insight into the brotherhood as a whole. That’s something that makes Ward’s series so special, it’s never about just one brother and his love it’s always about all of them…and that is something I kind of missed here. I have no idea whom the next book is going to focus on; if it had been Ward she would have foreshadowed the story already in this book…but we’ll see.

So we have two very similar bases for stories, but two very different authors. I know what an excellent job Ward has done with developing her series, I can’t wait to see where Adrian takes hers. And hopefully I can end the comparisons between the two series here.
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Reading Progress

01/18/2012 page 48
12.0% "Hmmm...I find the sneaking into her bed slightly creepy."
01/19/2012 page 216
54.0% "It's actually better than I expected so far..."

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