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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Midnight Sun by Rene Lyons

When things go bump in the night, Allison Parker bumps
back. As the resident Ghost Hunter in a quiet, rural town,
she's thrust into the nocturnal world of the Templars.
Embracing the night, she finds a place where she belongs.

Damned by God, Sebastian of Rydon knows only blood and
death. After eight hundred years of merely existing, he
learns what is to live after Allie comes bursting into his life.
Her spirit guides him out of the dark.

Caught up in a web of hate and revenge, they search for love
as their world is torn apart

I have been anxiously awaiting this novel. Over the course of the last few months, I've come to know Rene Lyons quite well, and I'm very pleased to announce that I don't have to write a terrible review for her first book. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Allie Parker is a Ghost Hunter. She spends her nights walking through creeping houses and buildings looking for the things that go bump. One night, however, her entire world changes. She's attacked in a park by some vampires and is saved by...some other vampires. Damned Knights Templars to be exact. Through them, she's drawn into an entirely different world. She's also drawn to one of the Knights, Sebastian of Rydon.

Seb doesn't want anything to do with Allie. Sure, he's attracted to her, finds her funny and intriguing, but he's damned to live as the un-dead for who knows how long, and contrary to popular belief, Allie's of the living. He's not touching that with a ten-foot pole. His counterparts (the other Templars), however, have a totally different plan, so they set it up so that Allie finally gets entrance into Seb's home, which she's wanted to check for ghosts, but she was set up, because Seb is there. Something she didn't plan on at all. They share a moment of extreme passion and then Allie walks out, leaving Seb reeling.

In the meantime, the Templars are searching for The Daystar, a holy relic which will allow vamps to walk in the daylight and give them absolute power. Through one mean, creepy renegade who's after Lucian, another Templar, the other renegades figure out that Allie is the key to the Daystar and start stalking her. Of course, Allie knows nothing of any Daystar, but that doesn't stop the renegades from going after her, of course.

Throughout this, Seb and Allie find themselves together more often than not and falling totally in love, much to the amusement of the other Templars.

Overall, I loved this book. The Templars themselves are amazing. Each of them has their own personality, and they're all fiercely loyal and protective of those they consider their own, like Allie. The humor and sarcasm was awesome and I found myself laughing out loud several times while reading. But unlike some other books, I didn't think the sarcasm seemed out of place.

The best part? Allie. She was an amazing heroine. She didn't suffer from Penis Envy, she didn't fight her feelings for Seb, and she didn't act TSTL by trying the whole Ultimate Sacrifice thing. She was a real woman, and one I was very pleased to read about. I was totally cheering her on! She acted like a real woman would, too, when faced with dangerous situations! Loved her.

Seb? Well, I loved him, too. He was more withdrawn than some of the other Templars, but he was tortured and once he committed to Allie, he fought with everything he had to keep her and prove to her that she was his world. I loved that.

There were a few things that bothered me. The beginning is kind of confusing. RL was setting the stage for the series, I think, but the POV's jumped around too much, IMO. I was also a little disappointed in the ending. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read it yet, but basically what I thought was going to happened DIDN'T and it bugged me. Of course, that's totally personal preference and doesn't have much to do with the story itself.

To be honest, I'm very anxious to read the rest of the series (you might remember from our interview with her that there will be 5 books total), especially Constantine and Lucian. For a first novel, this one was amazing and I can't wait to see what RL has in store for us in the future! I highly recommend this book!

4 out of 5

Dylan's Review:

Okay, Holly gave you guys the run down of what this book is about so I'm just going to skip right over that part of the review...

Hero: Sebastian of Rydon
Heroine: Allie Parker
Grade: A

I really enjoyed this book.

A whole lot.

No, I'm serious. It met all of the expectations that I had for it. A hot hero, a great heroine and a great storyline. It didn't drag on and on like some of the books that I've read lately. And the secondary characters were second to none. Especially my Raphael. But don't mind me because where he's concerned, I'm all kinds of biased. hehe.

Now, Sebastian of Rydon.

What a fantastic hero. He's one of those heroes that grabs you from the very beginning, at the beginning when we first meet Sebastian and he's his usual surly, grumpy self who gets all pissed off at Raphael and Con for their little prank, it was so cute to me. I think what I loved the most about him is he didn't turn away from his feelings for Allie. They were strong and they were true and he didn't shirk them aside like most heroes do, he knew what he had was special and he guarded her as best he could. He was such a strong warrior and the softer, tender side he showed Allie was just too sweet for words, he was sweet without being a wuss, I liked that very much.

My favorite Sebastian part of the book is when he thinks this about Allie:

The smile she gave him when he told her they were already friends reminded him of the sun he hadn’t seen in hundreds upon hundreds of years.


That’s what she was—a blinding midnight sun cutting through the darkness of his existence

Say it with me now, Awwwww....

Now, onto Allie Parker.

She is probably my most favorite heroine to date, I'm talking from any book that I've read or even written myself, Allie Parker is one balls to the wall girl that I think is absolutely awesome. She's definitely one that I can relate too, she's outspoken, fun and witty like no one's business. Her sparkling personality and her razor sharp wit is great to read about and just her character in general, I loved that she didnt feel the need to fight battles bigger than her body. She didn't have penis envy, she didn't try to 'help' Sebastian out by doing stupid things to get her into danger and she was just out and out great fun to read about. Her growing love for Sebastian was sweet and how she fought to keep Sebastian for herself was something I admired about her, she didn't let the future bother her so much, she savored the time she had with Seb and it was just fantabulous to read.

Sebastian and Allie as a couple was probably my favorite part of the book, they just worked well together, they didn't function well apart and so they spent a great deal together and I just loved that very much. They completed each other and as corny as it sounds, it was GREAT to read about.

What I liked about the book and about Rene's writing is that her characters stand out in my mind. Sebastian of Rydon is Seb to me, he doesn't remind me of anyone from any other books that I've read, he's seperate in my mind and he's an individual, I mention this because as much as I loved J.R. Ward's Brothers from her Black Dagger Brotherhood books, Zsadist to me, is Zarek of Moesia incarnated. Same pissed off attitude, same back story, tortured and all that jazz, it's just, familiar to me. And that's fine and dandy, I can still love both series (well, that last statement can be said for one of the series still anyway) and be okay with that but in Rene's Knights Templar series, each of her characters are individuals, Tristan, the Leader of the Knights Templar does not remind me of Ash nor does he remind me of Wrath, he's Tristan and he's unique in his own way and I very much look forward to getting to know him in the upcoming books, as well as the other Templars.

I wasn't as confused as I was when reading the other series when I read this book, it's easy to follow, the storyline flowed well and the book was just awesome, I really do love this book. It's a fantastic start to a great series and I'm very anxious to read the rest, so Rene sweets, brava sweets, brava!

One thing I hate about this book?

You know my cover snob ass had to comment on this one...I hated the cover! Ugh, I know Mailyn could have really hooked up your cover, you're lucky I can overlook the not so greatness of your cover to look deeper into the greatness of your book.

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