The Midnight Guardian by Sarah Jane Stratford
A Millennial Novel
Genres: Paranormal Romance / Horror
ISBN-10/13: 0-312-56013-3 / 978-0-312-56013-3 (St. Martin’s Press)
Reason for Reading: ARC submitted for review
Blurb from back cover:
Anne Rice fans will discover this tale of a team of ancient and beautiful vampires known as millennials attempting to infiltrate and destroy the Nazi Party on the eve of World War II.
It’s 1938, and the tentacles of Hitler’s terrifying Third Reich have commenced their stranglehold on Europe. The Nazi empire will soon be clean of all bloodlines deemed tainted or undesirable…including vampires.
London’s ancient tribunal of vampires is aghast at the destruction taking place on the Continent. Though vampires try not to interfere with human politics, Hitler’s terrible plans force them into action. They resolve to send five of their most formidable vampires to Berlin— millennials that have lived over 1000 years and whose age and wisdom make them close to invulnerable— to infiltrate, disrupt, and destroy the growing Nazi war machine.
The brilliant and beautiful millennial Brigit is loath to go, but her powers are needed if the mission is to have any chance of success. She must summon all her strength to endure the separation from her lover Eamon, whom she made almost eight centuries ago, but whose lack of millennial status makes him an unacceptable choice for this operation. Though he longs to join her, his duty to Brigit is best served from afar, by nurturing their deep psychic connection and reinforcing her spirit with his fierce devotion and memories of his tender embrace.
But as the millennials attempt to penetrate and sabotage Hitler’s armies, they discover that the Nazis are more capable than any human force they’ve yet encountered and more monstrous than they'd ever imagined. Forced to take bolder, more dangerous steps, they soon attract the attention of specially trained vampire hunters loyal to Hitler and his vision of a vampire-free Europe. Exposed, deep inside enemy territory, with vicious Nazi officers and hunters at her heels, Brigit must attempt a daring escape from the Continent, guarding precious cargo that marks the only hope of salvaging their mission.
The debut novel, The Midnight Guardian by Sarah Jane Stratford is filled with historical facts woven into the storyline, and gives you a real sense of what the atmosphere must of been like in Germany before and during World War II in Europe, dreadful and gray feeling. Sarah Jane Stratford brings home the real horror of the travesties the Jewish went through in the hands of the Nazis and times before.
The vampires in The Midnight Guardian have been said to be similar to Anne Rice’s vamps and I have to agree. They horrific when transformed into their vampire state. And they are just as cold and calculating about their views on humans as their food source, which is the reason for their interference with Nazis. They are trying to prevent another world war, since the Great War devastated their food supply. But you’ll find these terrifying and beautiful vampires are mostly monogamous, loyal and are very passionate in their relationships.
At the beginning of the book, I had a hard time getting into the story, it just wasn’t grabbing me. I didn’t feel much of a connection with Brigit, who was the main narrator at the start. It wasn’t until Eamon’s point of view, several chapters in, that my interest in the story started to pick up. Through Eamon, I started to get a better sense of who Brigit was. My curiosity was piqued about the beginnings of Brigit’s and Eamon’s lives as vampires as well as their story as a couple. Here’s an excerpt from Eamon when he was first turned:
The fangs were out before the eyes turned red. He felt them elongate and found it a peculiar and exquisite sensation. She struggled and he enjoyed that, too. The round, wriggling little body. The obnoxious flesh she’s wanted him to touch. She’d wanted his mouth on her, although she would not have been above spitting at his sister.
“You bought my bread, but you would have died rather than break it with me. Still, let’s have one last supper together, shall we? Well, your last. My first.”
The secondary characters, in all their evil glory both the vampires and the Nazis, certainly added to the plot of the book. The one that grab my attention the most was Mors. He’s not just a millennial vampire but a double millennial, who has been undead for over two thousand years. I’ve always been attracted the character that has that devil-may-care attitude, who lives for the excitement of adventure and chaos. That's who Mors is.
Over all, The Midnight Guardian gives you a feeling of a cloak and dagger spy mystery with paranormal elements. To me, there are almost two stories being told at once in this novel. One story being the mystery of the precious cargo Brigit is trying to bring back to England and the other, the love story of Brigit and Eamon. By the end of the book, Sarah Jane Stratford had me liking and cheering for even the worst of the vampires in this story along with an even greater disgust for the Nazi Party and those affiliated with it.
I couldn’t find any definite information about the next Millennial novel, other than Sarah is working on it. I’m hoping it will be on Mors.