Friday, September 13, 2013
SUSAN: BOOK REVIEW "After Midnight" by Santino Hassell
Gordon Frost is a survivor. He survived a war that ravaged the nation, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it's his, and it beats what he was doing before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that seemed good enough before, isn't quite the same.
Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead.
When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.
Gah! So good...Gordon is my f'ing spirit animal (minus the drugs and the crime and the...well, maybe not spirit animal...but I LOVE him!)
Ok, so I'll preface this by saying yes, I'm a huge fan of the "In the Company of Shadows" series and it is, indeed, one of my favorite reads. BUT, I tried really hard to read After Midnight as the standalone that it's meant to be. And I can assure anyone who questions it that yes, it is a standalone. There are places and names that are familiar to fans of ICoS, but the book even has a bit of a different feel.
After Midnight is nothing that I'd typically find my "type" of book: it's not a traditional romance (the MC's have a bit of a contemptuous relationship) and I'm not sure if any of the characters are actual likable and it's set in a dystopian world...BUT IT WORKED FOR ME! *scratch my head*
Romance be damned - the 2 MC's have a crazy sexual tension and every interaction, whether hate-filled, confused, mocking...WAS HOT. And by the end, you'll shock even yourself, that they somehow became a couple you're ROOTING for!
Likable characters be damned - Gordon is an antihero. He's insecure. He's a brat. He tries too hard. He's needy. And he would not admit to any of that. And by the end, you'll shock even yourself, that you're overwhelmed by the need to care for him, protect him, hang out with him, be his bestie (get out of the way Carla...there's a new BFF in town...ME!) And Adam...three words...I WANT MORE.
Dystopian world be damned - Something about Santino Hassell's writing transforms you to that time and place and makes you feel like you're right in the middle of it. I felt this way in ICoS and I felt this way in this book as well. And by the end, you'll shock even yourself, that it didn't feel fictional...it felt like just another town for some reason.
Now, I have to admit that the book started a bit slow for me, but picks up quickly once the 2 MC's finally meet. And to be truthful, the sap in me wishes there was MORE Gordon & Adam time and, you know, one of those perfectly wrapped up "and they lived happily ever after..."s. (There had BETTER be another book after this that extends the story...PLEASE!)
IN A NUTSHELL:
I found the book captivating, satisfying, and I highly recommend it.