I believe she may have lost a fan of the series with this one. I'm also wondering if most of the five star ratings on here might be by die-hard Radclyffe/LL Raand fans. Otherwise, maybe the reviewers didn't read the first two books because I completely don't see how someone could have read them and still have given THIS one five stars. I really enjoyed the first book in this series (Midnight Hunt), and the second one (Blood Hunt) was a little disappointing (because I thought it would focus on Jody & Becca, but it didn't really) but still not a bad read. I was really looking forward to reading Niki's story since she went through so much in the first two books. This one, I'm sorry to say, was VERY disappointing for me on many levels.
First, I had to wait until the Kindle edition was released. It wasn't available when the paperback edition first came out, which only built my anticipation even more-especially after seeing so many glowing reviews. When I finally downloaded and started reading it, I was so excited by the first few pages thinking we were FINALLY getting a conclusion for (or at least missing details from) Jody & Becca's story and answers that were left open at the end of BH as well as Niki & Sophia's tale. Well, sorry to disappoint those of you who might be as excited as I was prior to reading this. We were given even more about Sylvan and Drake-AGAIN. Yes, their story is still going strong. So strong, in fact, that we get much more about them than any other couple-including Niki & Sophia-AGAIN. I guess I'm just so disappointed in this story (the series, really) partially because I like independent books, which these most certainly are NOT.
**Note** You shouldn't read this one if you haven't already read the first two books. They aren't stand-alone. It's a continuous storyline, and it won't make as much sense if you don't read them in order. It's almost like a lesbian paranormal soap opera.
That brings me to another let-down. Even though they were released about a year apart, all three books take place in an extremely short time frame. I may be a little off, but I think from the beginning of the first book to the end of third, only like a couple of weeks might have passed yet all of the couples are Madly in love-which I know is due mainly to the hormones of their species etc., but still... This brings me to a third point, and I believe a previous reviewer stated it perfectly...If I read "I need you" one more time, I think I would have hurled!!! It seemed like every other page, someone-especially Drake & Sylvan-was declaring a severe need for their mate.
Also, as I stated in my review of BH, I am soooooo NOT a fan of series that focus on one person/couple. I think that this author definitely has the talent to create a new story for each couple that allows them to shine and their story to be told. She doesn't do that in this series, though. Everything seems to revolve around Sylvan and Drake's relationship. As the same previous reviewer said, several couples had sex in this one, but the supposed main couple (Niki & Sophia) only did it a couple of times towards the end of the book. So who was having most of the sex? Yep, Sylvan & Drake. Even though Drake was finally out of heat-because she and Sylvan were actually able to conceive-apparently being pregnant is just like being in heat because the "need" was just as strong as before, if not more so. Don't get me wrong, I love a hot, well-placed sex scene, but between MH, BH, and now Night Hunt, the sex between Sylvan & Drake just got tired. I found myself skimming their scenes and only pausing for info pertinent to the plot-so it goes without saying I did a LOT of skimming through this book.
Which leads me to, yes...another gripe-Plot??? Hmmm... I know tastes are subjective as with most other things, but this was kind of a repeat of BH. Maybe some readers don't mind that, but I do. Nothing new really happened in this book except we were given a bit more info about Jody's & Becca's relationship and Risen vamps-and I do mean a TINY morsel of info. Some of the changes in Lara were alluded to, and we also learned a little bit about Sophia's background. As much I love a great sex scene, I would much rather have had Sylvan & Drake's "heat"-or whatever they were in because of the pregnancy that caused them to continuously want to jump each other's bones-mentioned rather than detailed. Maybe then we could have gotten more of Niki's & Sophia's story. I was actually able to put this book down and do other things, which doesn't happen when I truly enjoy a book. If it's even remotely interesting, I usually get through it in an evening or two, but this book was so similar to the second book that I lost interest at times and could walk away from it. That says a lot about the somewhat redundant yet elusive plot.
The author has also mentioned other Praetern species in the books, but that's all she has done-mention them. I think she could utilize them to make her stories richer and way more interesting. I'm, quite frankly, totally over Drake & Sylvan. She doesn't even have to include them in the next few books, and I would be A-OK with it. That's how sick I've become of reading about them. Why not make them secondary or even tertiary in the stories? Their tale has been told loud and clear. Repeatedly. Introduce us to some new characters and other species, maybe the Psi or Fae, or even other Weres. She could also write about other vamps. Why create these species if not to use them to enrich the tales? Three books into this series and we have met ANY. That seems odd to me... It's almost as if she had an idea for a world that she wanted to create but didn't completely work out the details before she began writing it.
My next issue with this book is that the author doesn't have very many femmes in her stories, or at least she doesn't portray them as "femme" in any of the stories I've read by her. I'm not a "girly girl" per se or docile by any means, but I am what many would consider a pretty feminine lesbian. I do wear a lot of skirts-and heals too, when the mood strikes-but I'm still a very strong and independent woman. So we are out here, and we also like other women like us. Hellooo! Can we get some representation? Just saying.... Her characters don't exude very feminine qualities. I don't believe in conforming to gender roles unless it's one's own choice, but it seems like this author goes far out of the way to avoid feminine traits in her characters, particularly in dress and names. The closest to a feminine character I think I have read by her is Francesca. Raand is so descriptive when it comes to her settings. I wish she gave that same level of attention to her characterizations. Pretty much everybody wore black slacks with a dress shirt when dressed up, and when dressed down, they either wore jeans or cargo pants with a black t-shirt or no shirt at all. I suppose this is because, as that same previous reviewer pointed out, no one ever seemed to actually remove their clothing. It was always clawed, ripped, or shredded from their bodies. I guess it never occurs to any of her characters to simply put their hands UNDER their mate's clothes when they want to get frisky. They're always torn from their bodies, which can be hot in doses, but as a girl who loves her some clothes, I'm a bit offended at the lack of care for them. In addition, the ripping off of clothes lost its appeal after the hundredth time it happened and lent itself to the redundancy in these stories. I don't think anyone unbuttoned a shirt, unzipped their slacks, and hung up a single item of clothing in any of the books.
My last complaint and maybe the most important...Can you say CLIFFHANGER! UGH!!! That alone knocked at least a star off this book for me. I abhor-and I really do mean HATE-stories that don't have a proper conclusion. I don't mind allusions to upcoming tales, but the book just ended with no conclusion to Sophia's story-we don't even find out her condition. I also wanted to know what's up with Lara and her "abilities" and what's going to happen with Francesca when they get to Nocturne. That dynamic between Michel & Katya is very interesting as well. I won't spoil it, but we were just left hanging at the end with a LOT of storylines dangling. I probably wouldn't mind this so much if we only had to wait maybe a few months between installations-absolutely no more than six, but if the record holds true, we won't likely see the next book until spring 2013!!
My final thoughts...As I was reading this book, I seriously contemplated whether or not to write a review since I truly hate giving a bad review-especially for a lesbian author as talented as Raand. However, I really can't agree with most of the reviews on here so far, and I want to forewarn others who may have similar tastes to my own. I waited a day after finishing this story to write my review because I wanted to let it all soak in and not make a snap judgment. I will say this, if you don't mind a series that focuses mainly on one couple and leaves you hanging at the end of each book (as in BH & NH-especially) and you like a LOT of sex in your stories in lieu of plot, then you should give this one a try. Just make sure you read them in order or it won't make as much sense. If you're like me and prefer proper conclusions to each story featuring one couple, then I would suggest borrowing the books in this series before purchasing them. Will I buy the next one? Maybe, but it won't be an auto-buy like this one was, simply because I really feel like we were totally gypped of J&B's and now N&S's stories. I'll try to find the next one elsewhere first, and if she fixes these problems, I will purchase it-but not before reading it. I hope this review helps someone. Happy Reading!