BOUND TO DARKNESS by Lara Adrian: Girl Power!

Bound to Darkness

Bound by Darkness_Cover

Midnight Breed Series #13
By Lara Adrian
Narrated By Hillary Huber

Published by Tantor Media
Series: Midnight Breed, Book 13
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
Release Date: 11-17-15

Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

Carys Chase is accustomed to making her own rules and letting her heart lead the way, no matter what anyone else has to say about it. A rare Breed female and a daywalker as well, headstrong, beautiful Carys is one of the most powerful of her kind. She lives passionately and loves without limits, especially when it comes to the lethal cage-fighting Breed warrior called Rune.

Rune has made his share of enemies both in and out of the arena, and his secrets run as deep and turbulent as his past. A dangerous loner who has survived by his fists and fangs, Rune has never allowed anyone to get too close to him . . . until Carys. But when the bodies buried in his past rise up to threaten his present, Rune must choose between betraying Carys’s trust or putting her in the crosshairs of a battle neither of them can hope to win on their own.


My Take Oblong


Obviously I mean the title tongue in cheek, at least to some degree.  Carys is a woman, but she is also a girl in that through most of the story she is “coming of age” — maturing and losing the egocentricity of adolescence.  The past few books in this series have been shorter but have also breathed new life into the series as the author moves us to a new generation of “Breed” and “Breedmates.”  

The “Breed” of the original series were men descended from immortal, alien (but here for millennia), all-male, vampires who could only breed with a certain group of apparently human women. Now we have Carys who has apparently broken the mold as a female of the Breed (the blurb says “rare” but she is pretty much “it”) and she can stand the rays of the sun.

The Breed was underground for centuries, and now they are not, and the relationship between the two races is shaky. A few books ago (in the story line it was a few weeks ago) we learned there is another alien race, the Atlanteans.  Apparently just as immortal, but apparently this race was the genesis of the “Breedmate,” the women with a particular mark identifying them as a woman who could mate and reproduce with the Breed males.

At some point, I find myself having to limit my questions and just skip over some of the tenuous parts of the world building in any series.  The history in this series is normal up to when the Breed was contemporaneously outed to humanity. Then it jumped forward many years.  So,it isn’t really an alternate world, nor can we say it is an alternate timeline.  Originnally, women couldn;t be breed, but Carys is a twin and so apparently picked up the Breed genetics through her male twin.

Anyway, back to this story which involves a criminal, subversive group of Breed males who seem to be plotting to take over the world using drugs and UV weapons. The storyline runs between the US, Britain and Ireland.  It involves a family reunion, and much like a human reunion not all of it is fun.

It also involves Carys’ finally going beyond being a rebellious teen in lurve to being a full member of her race, coming out from under her parents’ proverbial thumbs.  In this series, the woman often save the males, although until this generation they have mostly let the guys think it was the men who did all the saving.  Here, the women are now warriors and Carys is just as strong, but less experienced, then the males.

Unfortunately, what has happened in moving to this generation, is the last generation has all become fairly rigid, and nearly interchangeable – one of the old Breed order members could pretty much be the other, and since there are now so many I can’t recall which warrior is the progeny of which. 

It does make me wonder why there are so many of these “bad” Breed-race members.  How did the Order arise to protect humanity when there were so many bad guys?  And how is it they haven’t yet stamped out all the baddies?

In any event this story has a couple: Carys: high-born, immature and Rune: living in a lower level of society.  The thing is, the Breed is very classist. But Rune, lower-caste as he is, is more noble than many of the younger, higher caste members of his race. It’s a bit of a comeuppance for the old-guard (and the new) order members.   And between that and Carys’ maturing I think we have the thematic crux of the story.

Otherwise, there’s violence and sex a-plenty. Carys is still at that time of life where her sexuality has her believing that sex is love.  Rune is at an age where he has a hard time coming to grips with his past so he can move into a future. For some reason he believes he is too tainted to be with Carys.  I don’t get this thing with guys who think their parentage defines them.

There’s a lot to think about  in this short form novel. There are some holes in the universe, and it can be hard to track the characters, especially in audio.  In any event while I liked the story I would urge a newcomer to start much earlier in the series. The backstory is really important although Adrian makes a good attempt to fill in some of  the background.  It’s a pretty complex history. 

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