I’m not certain how to even start with a book like this! This is book number four in the six book Midnight Hunters series by Radclyffe, writing as L.L.Raand. These are fantasy books following the Wolf Ware Alpha Sylvan Mir and the Adirondack Timberwolf Pack. The previous books should be read in order as one will continue to build the story started by its predecessor. The Praetern Coalition seeks to get humans to acknowledge the other species, such as wares and vampires, as citizens with rights. This has made the Praetern individuals and societies visible after millennia of hiding amongst humans. Of course, powerful individuals seek to eradicate them and go as far as experimentation and assassination.
This book continues to tell the story of the Praetern and human struggle but centers around one of Alpha Mir’s previous guards. Lara was once a dominant ware turned vampire and now serves as Warlord for newly risen and powerful Vampire Gates. As she struggles to come to terms with her new identity while trying to hold on to her wolf, she finds herself alone and shunned by vampires and wares alike. This changes as she finds a dominant Cat Ware Alpha on the run. Together they must find a new place in their society and join the fight that threatens all Praeterns.
I will readily admit I’m not a diehard fan of any of these type of characters. In fact, the last vampire story exposure I had was through Hotel Transylvania (hey, first, I have kids! And second, the movie is actually good!). So for those diehard fans, I’m not sure if this is a typical example of paranormal or urban fantasy genres. What I can say without a doubt is that Radclyffe created a wonderful world for this series with rules that are followed throughout the books. There is justification behind the characters’ behaviors and actions. There is also science and interesting concepts that I believe only few authors can create so masterfully. The conspiracy and intricacies lesfic authors are used to reading in her books are also present and definitely make me want to continue to read to see how all the discord between the species is elucidated.
This series is very explicit when it comes to describing sexual behaviors by the Praeterns and humans. It is so abundant one becomes used to it and understands the need for those behaviors to be part of the story. Wolf wares are encouraged to ‘tangle’ with each other when they reach adolescence, and that sets the scene for the pack and everything else in the books. Likewise, vampires’ feeding rituals are tightly bound to their sexual needs and that of their servants. That said, the author manages to still create intimate scenes with the main characters that are not lost in all the ‘background sex’. Readers that are bothered by extensive explicit sexual content should avoid this series altogether.
This book’s audiobook version is available through Audible and free if you have their Romance Package subscription. The entire series is narrated by Maxine Mitchell, who did a marvelous job. As any lesfic fan knows, Radclyffe’s series have many women characters at any given time. Ms Mitchell was superb at creating different voices for each one so they would be distinct, and therefore, avoid any confusion while listening.
Overall a fantastic read or listen for anyone interested in this type of fantasy world. 4.5 stars