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Midnight Predator (Den of Shadows, #4) Unbound – Import, May, 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews
Book 4 of 8 in the Den of Shadows Series

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Product Details

  • Unbound
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Pub (May 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 037589019X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375890192
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Prior to this, Atwater-Rhodes' talents were more veiled in mediocrity with each book she wrote. I was surprised that I actually liked parts of "Midnight Predator." Atwater-Rhodes improves several of the weak areas of her previous books, but it was still quite flawed.
Turquoise Draka is a fighter for the Bruja witch guild, in competition for the elite Crimson with her rival Ravyn. After the two hit a stalemate, they are both approached by a mysterious businesswoman with a revelation and an offer. A vampire empire known as Midnight, once burned to the ground, has been rebuilt and repopulated by vampires and human slaves. And the savage vampire who founded Midnight, Jeshickah, may take control of it once more. An unknown employer wants some experienced fighters to kill Jeshickah. The problem is that Turquoise was once enslaved by one really nasty vampire named Lord Daryl, who murdered her parents and little brother, and kept her as his lapdog for a year before a vampire mercenary named Nathaniel helped her escape.
Ravyn and Turquoise soon take the task, and the reluctant Nathaniel sells them to the leader of Midnight. Except the leader isn't Jeshickah, it's a fledgling called Jaguar. Jaguar is strangely kind towards human beings, especially Turquoise and a teenage boy named Eric. Turquoise must confront her past, her fears and the questions about Jaguar's kindness before she can hope to deal with Daryl.
In many ways, this book is far better than the previous ones. Characterization is far superior: Turquoise has more depth than the execrable Jessica or the wannabe-tough-girl Sarah, though her past is too speedily covered. We hear about how horrifying her life under Daryl was, but we only get a few pages worth of flashbacks, most of which involve her getting backhanded.
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Format: Hardcover
I was supremely disappointed when reading this book. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes has shown previously to be an astounding battery of potential, with ideas writhing about in each story that are worth the price, even if the cardboard characters and under drawn plot conflicts detract much from what could be.
Amelia suffers from a sad syndrome that I cannot think of a name for. But it has clear symptoms.
- Many ideas and potentials from characters, with no time for any sort of realizations.
- Stiff and ill-fitting endings.
- Protagonists with little clear motivation.
A sad thing about Midnight Predator in particular was exactly how *good* it COULD have been. The beginning starts with an intriguing character, an uncomfortable (for the protagonist) situation, and good character foils (Ravyn in particular). The idea behind Midnight Predator, that Turquoise must willingly rejoin the world of slavery that she has desperately tried to distance herself from for several years, is more than slightly intriguing. You thirst to see the conflict she will have with strong-willed masters, where the entire world is out to get her for the reason that she kills their kind. So you wait, meeting the very interesting character of Nathaniel along the way, and get to the second act where everything she be just wonderful. They are in the building, sold into slavery.
And then it goes downhill from there. Her "cruel" master is a 'bleedin heart' vampire who won't let a hair be harmed. Jeshika, the could-be terrifying sire of Jaguar, who can do whatever she wants to Turquoise, backs off with little or no conflict.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Looking at the characters, the plot, I figured 'why not?' and gave it a try. It was the worst thing I did, my eyes are still bleeding and my mind is yelling 'WHY WHY, WHY VIKKI DID YOU INFLICT SUCH PAIN UPON ME? AREN'T ASSIGNED SCHOOL BOOKS ENOUGH?'

But now, where to start?

Characters are always good. Or, well, bad here. But what can you expect with character names of Ravyn, the 'y' makes it /so/ much more cool, Jaguar, Turquoise, Nathaniel and Jeshikah? None of the characters have a personality. I feel like I'm at fanfiction[...] I'm reading a first-time Harry Potter work. If this had been there, it would have been torn to shreds just for characters. We've got the underdog, the lustful one, the double-agent, the dictator, the rival. I'm pretty sure we're only missing the werewolf, although that might have escaped my mind since I've tried to forget it. Every character in this have emotions slightly more complex than robots, just basic emotions: Happy, sad, angry, love. No confliction. No doubt or desire, no nothing. And then, suddenly, two characters are hopelessly in love and all I'm thinking is, 'WTF, mate?'.

Now, to the plot.

Oh boo-hoo I'm the underdog I can't beat the leather-clad slut and she chose the contest where I'm awful and now I have to go undercover with her in the city of vampires where humans are slaves and defeat an evil vampire dictator. That's pretty much the plot in a nutshell, or a run-on setence as it may be. Sure, there is some love in there, but I wouldn't call it 'love'. It's too simple, to...blah. Nothing. And there literally are no twists and turns, as if the writer /thought/ about putting them in, but decided not to, letting the reader keep reading searching for them. And then it's the end of the book, no plot twist, and you're left with nothing afterwords, just a rather disgusted feeling that you've wasted your time and money on that.
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