The Midnight Guardian by Sarah Jane Stratford
Series: Millenials #1
Source: Personal shelf
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.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I was really excited when The Midnight Guardian showed up in my mailbox. It’s gotten blurbed by some fantastic people and I loved the idea of an underground vampire group trying to overthrow the Nazis before the start of World War II. Unfortunately, despite such a promising premise, I wasn’t as captivated as I’d hoped by the book.
There are some great elements in the Millenials world. Sarah Jane Stratford does a wonderful job developing her vampire mythology. The bond between maker and new vampire is explained with detail, highlighting the effort the author has put into her craft. It’s a nice mixture of responsibility and love when done right, and quite the jumble when done wrong. I also enjoyed the way we jumped back and forth across time since the slow reveal of plot points got built up in a nice way.
I also thought the idea that millenial vampires — those who have been vampires for at least 1,000 years — are different from others was neat. They’re more resilient and can’t be killed in the same way as other vampires, which makes them good candidates for this type of work. Other authors have used the idea that age increases a vampire’s power but this take on it seemed a bit more unique.
I did have a tough time connecting with the main character, though. Brigit’s history is really interesting but I found her to be rather cold at first. Over the course of the novel, I did warm up to her but there were other characters in The Midnight Guardian who interested me more, like Mors, who has his own book now, The Moonlight Brigade. I may read The Moonlight Brigade but I think I’ll wait until it comes out at the public library. This isn’t an investment series for me, at least not right now.