Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary 1: Though she was once a happy teenager with a wonderful family and a full life, Turquoise Draka is now a hunter, committed to no higher purpose than making money and staying alive. In a deadly world of vampires, shape-shifters, and powerful mercenaries, she’ll track any prey if the price is right. Her current assignment: to assassinate Jeshikah, one of the cruelest vampires in history. Her employer: an unknown contact who wants the job done fast. Her major obstacle: she’ll have to mask her strength and enter Midnight, a fabled Vampire realm, as a human slave. Vulnerable and defenseless, she faces her greatest challenge ever.
Summary 2: An up-and-coming star mercenary in a world of shadowy creatures and naive humans, Turquoise has been offered the task of eliminating a bloodthirsty vampiress named Jeshickah. As a bounty hunter, Turquoise is ready to accept any challenge for the right price, especially when Ravyn — her competition for the leadership of an important Bruja guild — is given the same offer. To accomplish the job, Turquoise and Ravyn must do something unheard of: enter Midnight, a treacherous domain where vampires rule over human slaves, and act as servants until one of them can finish the job. When the two are sold into Midnight, Turquoise is given to the realm’s protective master, Jaguar. But while Turquoise moves closer to him and looks for the right time to complete her assignment, she unexpectedly comes face-to-face with a horrific part of her past — Lord Daryl, an evil vampire who killed her family and was once her master. Now, as Turquoise faces the dark creatures before her, she must deal with the ghosts in her own mind and make a decision that could change her life.
Commentary: It sucks that when you become older and re-read a novel you loved as a younger child, you find so many more flaws and mistakes and it distracts from the magic that made you like that book so much when you were little.
That’s what happened with Midnight Predator when I re-read it yesterday, but I was kind of expecting that. I wasn’t as pulled in by Atwater-Rhodes’ writing this time around (in fact, I was distracted by her purple prose and awkward writing in several spots) but it was still a good read. There’s a lot of new contemporary and urban fantasy out there right now that follows this basic plotline, but what usually turns me off from urban/vampire fantasy is the “kick-ass, snarky, sarcastic, sexy, smart, and clever!” heroine type that is so popular right now–I’m not saying that’s a totally bad thing, but it seems like very single urban/vampire fantasy novel out there has that female protagonist personality, and often it’s not done very well.
What I do like about Predator is that Turquoise is nothing like that–she’s much more grounded, real, and she doesn’t piss me off or annoy me like the aforementioned character stereotype does. I really like her as a heroine. Atwater-Rhodes also focuses less on the steamy, hot, passionate sex scenes (which actually aren’t so steamy, hot, or passionate) that a lot of recent urban/vampire fantasy features, and I like the way she dealt with the attraction between Jaguar and Turquoise. Kind of there but not there, more intriguing.
I thought it had quite a mature ending and I liked where Turquoise ended up.
Anyway, good read. I haven’t liked her recent stuff as much (Wolfcry) and I’ve stopped reading her except for the old stuff.