Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dark Demon

I can't help myself. I keep going back to Christine Feehan's Carpathian books, even though some of the recent ones have been less than stellar. (I gave the previous one 6/10 and wasn't exactly bowled over by it.) I still like the basic premise and I like the way she's been developing an overall story arc lately. I like the addition of the wizards and now there are dragons as well, which always gives a story or series extra points in my book. So I read the bad ones, enjoy the good parts of those and keep hoping the next one will be good.

I had high hopes for Dark Demon. More for the heroine - we met Natalya briefly in Dark Destiny where it was clearly indicated that Vikirnoff would be her lifemate - than the hero, who seemed to be a typically over-alpha male such as Feehan writes regularly and really needs to tone down. Happily, she did. Vikirnoff had some nice, steady character development as he discovered that he hadn't really had a clue when he's imagined the perfect lifemate and that Natalya is exactly what he both wants and needs. Natalya too moved steadily from seeing him as an enemy to loving him. She also had a good and sensible reason for disliking and distrusting him at first, that dissolved as she got to know him. Too often, Feehan's heroines move from "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you" to "I love you" over the course of about a page and without any truly sensible reason for doing so beside the fact the author deems it time. Dark Demon escaped this common problem and was a much better and stronger book for it.

Natalya is part Carpathian, part mage, part tiger - the granddaughter of a Carpathian woman stolen away from her lifemate by a dark wizard to bear his children and thereby make him immortal. She has been indoctrinated since childhood to hate the Carpathians, seeing hunters and vampires as the same kind of evil. She has come to the Carpathian mountains under a compulsion she doesn't understand, aware she is followed and hunted all the way. Virkinoff is one of those following her, determined to find her for reasons he doesn't fully understand himself since seeing her picture back in his brother's book, Dark Destiny. Their meeting shows him she is his lifemate - something she's not convinced about - and from there the story takes off, mixing romance, vampires, dark pasts, Carpathian history and a whole lot of potential disaster. While the immediate problems are solved within this book, there's clearly still evil out there with plans against all the Carpathians and especially the prince.

We're clearly building towards a major confrontation here, which may or may not take place in the upcoming reunion book Dark Celebration. Like I said, I can't help myself I keep reading the books and hoping each time I'll get a good one rather than the opposite. I hope Feehan can stay with the tone and set up she produced in this book. It was a good self-contained story and a good step along the overal story arc as well. Keep it up, Christine. Please don't backslide again.

Oh, and I loved the revelation of previously unknown elements to the long time alliance between Mikhail's family and Gregori's family.

1 comment:

Nicki said...

Sounds good - you got me hooked on these you know! ;) Some are definitely better than others. I'm still working through them, the last one I read was Dark Guardian, which I really enjoyed.