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Darker After Midnight: A Midnight Breed Novel    by Lara Adrian order for
Darker After Midnight
by Lara Adrian
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

The centuries-long battle to keep the shadowy world of the Breed a secret has become a losing one. High-ranking individuals within the Breed's upper echelon Enforcement Agency are financing Dragos's centuries-long agenda to slaughter or enslave humanity, much like the Breed's GenOne ancestors did when the original eight crash-landed on Earth millennia ago.

The Order's secret location has also been exposed, not only to humans, but Dragos, much to his satisfaction; his quest to destroy the Order has been long and relentless. If not for Sterling Chase's suicidal plan to give himself up and take credit for a series of terror attacks, all would have been lost. Chase is more than willing to give up his life for the Order; he's fighting his own personal battles, ones that have already taken a heavy toll and that he's certain cannot be reversed. But once he locks eyes with Tavia Fairchild, a woman whose own uncertain background will eventually rock the very foundation of the Breed world, Chase's life takes on new meaning.

Time is running out, however; Dragos is set to unleash his final blow against humanity. Now Chase, Tavia and the Order must find a way to annihilate the megalomaniac and his army of followers once and for all.

Sterling Chase is a secondary character whom Adrian introduced in book one (Kiss of Midnight) and whose sketchy back-story, various losses and questionable motivations have intrigued over the course of the series. Adrian finally gives readers insight into his life prior to his joining the Order, and brings to light other dark secrets that explain a lot - but not everything.

Tavia too, is a strong and intriguing character and a good match for Chase. Both of them will have to deal with the revelations of her true nature (another nifty plot twist) and how that will factor into future stories.

Darker After Midnight also has its disappointments: a couple of uninspired revelations during the climax, uber villain Dragos's rather hurried and lacklustre comeuppance and a character heavy plot that detracts from Chase and Tavia's romance.

Even so, this 10th instalment shakes up the Breed mythology in a major way. The direction in which Adrian plans to take the Order and its warriors, and certain characters' re-genesis, remains vague. This of course leaves me, and Adrian's legion of fans, more than eager for the next instalment in this always richly-imagined and seductive series.

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