17 November 2011

REVIEW: Dark Predator by Christine Feehan

 dark predator
Christine Feehan
ISBN #:  978-0-425-24197-4
The Berkley Publishing Group
September 2011

As brutal as the undead he hunted, Zacarias De La Cruz was a master executioner. Over the long, dark centuries, he plunged into so many battles they blurred into an endless lifetime of evil that hardened the soul of this merciless, ruthless and implacable dark predator.

Now his stark and savage journey is over. After a thousand years in a gray world, he has accomplished everything he set out to do. His brothers are safeguarded. Each has found a woman who completes him. And they are at peace. For his brothers, Zacarias has walked the edge of madness, but with centuries as a killing machine now left to the past, and without a hunt to define him, Zacarias wonders, for the first time in his life, who he really is.

The answer awaits him back home in Peru, in an unexpected betrayal, in the vengeance of an old enemy, in the inevitable consequences of a bloody family legacy, and in the deliverance of a life mate he never could have imagined.

This cover isn't how I pictured the hero. And I know this is weird, but look at his upper lip, although I know it's part of the model's beard, but it really looks as if he has a cold sore.

Smoke burned his lungs. It rose around him in bellowing waves.

It took me forever to read DARK PREDATOR, mainly because I had read another bloggers review of this book and she trashed it. She trashed it in such a way that it made me think that I was going to have serious issues with this book. However, I eventually read DARK PREDATOR because while I love how thought out this blogger reviews books, I rarely agree with her. If she's egging me on to read a book saying she loved it, I read it and it's a DNF for me. If she hates a book, I don't mind it. But because of the way she reviews, I still like to read her reviews.

Still after finishing DARK PREDATOR, I am having a hard time putting my feelings down to words. Christine Feehan was one of the first paranormal romances that I read way back in the day before Twilight/Harry Potter, etc. when not a lot of people were reading paranormal romance. I've pretty much given up on the rest of the series she has written (I still plan to finish the Drake Sisters and that spin off of them, but just haven't gotten around to it, yet), but for some reason I still keep reading her Carpathian series.

The heroes of her books range from Alpha to Alpha-hole and the heroines from weak twits to kick-ass woman. Of course, I prefer books with the Alpha and the kick ass woman. DARK PREDATOR was not that book. DARK PREDATOR's hero is an Alpha-hole and while the heroine is not a twit, she fell a little short for me, in ways that it's hard for me to describe. SORRY, I SO NO THIS IS NOT HELPFUL. I'm trying to sort out my feelings here, people!

I think my problem is that I'm so over the mind rape premise of this series, especially when the hero is an Alpha hole. To be specific, when a Carpathian finds his mate, they are able to communicate telepathically, and the man can often bend the female to his will. That was done in this book. The hero totally mind rapes the heroine and that annoyed me, especially as he did it after she saved his life. The heroine believes that she deserved this mind rape because she didn't listen to his demands that she let him die. While mind rape has been done throughout the series, I think this time, I just got annoyed and was so over it. I'm like it's time to move on with this premise. Please.

This scene was in the first couple chapters of the book (I think Chapter 3) and after that, the story picks up and becomes a little more interesting but I think it's because of how the author switched up the whole life-mate premise that was interesting to me. However, because of the character traits of both the hero and heroine (him being an Alpha-hole and her being Ms. Susie Sunshine) I had a hard time connecting with them or caring about their happily ever after.

I found myself skimming the endless narrative in DARK PREDATOR, mainly because I didn't care, and mainly because I was looking for more interaction between the hero and the heroine and not the emo narrative that was given. I felt that I had been given what DARK PREDATOR presented countless times, the vampire chase, the society hoopla, yada, yada, yada.

While closing DARK PREDATOR, I realized that the book was very well crafted, but I had an epiphany. DARK PREDATOR was not a romance novel, because choice and free will were taken away from Susie Sunshine. I wanted to see more on why they were destined for each other than Alpha-Hole's constant Alpha-holeness towards Susie Sunshine.

Will I still read these books. Probably. I think because there was nothing in here that made me scream with rage to make me stop reading the series like I have from her other series (the Game one) or the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovitch. Both are long standing series that I followed for years and just stopped for various reasons.

And can I say, can authors who are doing such long series please take the J.D. Robb class on figuring out how to constantly make your series seem fresh even after a million books? Is that a class? If so it should be one.

Borrowed from my local library.


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3 people posted their 2 cents:

Shauni said...

I read this review and loved your presentation.. I had to laugh at your terminology and may even use it on occasion.. You had a very good point about CF's excessive narrative.. I have commented on this very thing in her past few books.

I think she fell short on the entire DLC arc.. There was so much missing. I know she said you would either love Zaccarius or hate him.. One of her best traits in a book is the interaction between past characters and the current couple.. and she totally missed the boat on that..

Sandy said...

I agree with Shauni. CF missed the boat on this one. The Dark series is at it's best, when CF has interaction between the Carpathians, and except for the small paragraph or two in the first chapter (the conversation with his brothers) and a sentence or two with Dominic and Solange...there is NO other connection with the Carpathians.

Fans of CF love her storylines, that involve more than a single couple, a mated pair....e.g. Ghostwalker Teams....and hopefully, she will take her storyline BACK to the Carpathian mountains for the next several books....

Loved you review...you don't hold anything back....

Lynette said...

Shauni and Sandy
As soon as I read your comments I realized what was missing with the book. Why WEREN'T the other brothers involved, especially given the situation and his confusion. I understand that Zacarius considered himself to be alone, but he wouldn't have connected with his brothers? Or barring that why wouldn't they have connected with him through their family bond. That was done is every other book so it is odd that it didn't happen in this one.

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"Do you see, Solange, that you are the only woman in my world? The one woman who can choose life or death for me. You are the center of my world and you always will be. When I tell you that your pleasure is mine, I mean that literally"— Christine Feehan



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