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Midnight Rising: Midnight Breed Book 4    by Lara Adrian order for
Midnight Rising
by Lara Adrian
Order:  USA  Can
Dell, 2008 (2008)
Paperback, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

High in the mountains of eastern Europe an elite cadre of Breed warriors discover the empty hibernation chamber of the last surviving Ancient, one of the nine otherworldly creatures who'd crash landed on Earth thousands of years before, and whose vampiric bloodlines runs through them all. Left behind to destroy all evidence of the crypt and its missing inhabitant is Rio, who's still dealing with the near lethal injuries he sustained during a mission. The fact that his Breed mate Eva was responsible for betraying him and his comrades only exacerbates his hatred toward her as well as his own self-loathing in not identifying her duplicitous nature much sooner. Now all Rio cares about is ending his physical and mental torment.

However, moments before he's ready to set off the explosion that will seal him inside the cave forever, a human intrudes. Rio is prepared to wait out the curious and oddly alluring young woman, but when she begins snapping pictures of the empty crypt and the hieroglyphs that decorate the surrounding rock walls, Rio's warrior senses snap back to lethal life. Over the centuries the Breed has secretly insinuated themselves into human society. Even the Order's ongoing war to control the Rogues has gone virtually unnoticed in today's increasingly violent society. But if the pictures this young woman is snapping should find their way onto the network news or onto the Internet, the Breed could well find their secretive race exposed.

Rio goes on the defensive but his target fights back - and in his weakened condition he's unable to stop her. He tracks her to Prague, only to learn that Dylan Alexander has already filed her story, including the pictures. Determined to clean up the mess he's created, Rio sees no other alternative but to persuade Dylan to travel back with him to Boston. But the growing storm has already begun as Rio, his Brethren and Dylan work to uncover the identity of the one responsible for resurrecting the Ancient. What they eventually discover is more shocking than any of them could have imagined - and could well herald the beginning of an even bloodier war to come.

While this current instalment has a few inconsistencies in character motivation and in the mythology surrounding Breed mates, as a whole Midnight Rising is another memorable addition to the Midnight Breed story arc. Adrian does a perceptive job of examining Rio's inner demons, particularly the seething and dangerous anger he harbours towards Eva. His eventual acceptance of her betrayal becomes even more poignant as Dylan and Rio fall in love and she helps him confront, understand, and ultimately accept Eva's disastrous choices and the lasting effects they will have on him and the Order. Adrian also continues expanding the plot threads she introduced in Midnight Awakening and seeds intriguing new ones that bode well for future storylines.

If you haven't already sampled this well written, highly imaginative and richly layered paranormal series then make your next stop your local bookstore. If you're lucky you'll be able to hurry home with the entire Midnight Breed series in hand.

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