Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dark Predator by Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan delivers the most startling novel yet in her “must-read” series (Night Owl Reviews) as an immortal male comes to the end of a long and violent journey—to reach a far more dangerous and inescapable threat…

As brutal as the undead he hunted, executioner Zacarias De La Cruz’s 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, and each has a woman who completes him. But with his 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 in the vengeance of an old enemy, in the consequences of a bloody family legacy and in Marguarita, a woman he once saved—his lifemate, his deliverance, and the greatest risk yet to both their lives.

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Though Zacarias has been spoken of, and even heard from briefly, in previous books, we've never had a chance to really see him or learn who he is and what he's like. And while Gregori may hold the title The Dark One, if anyone deserves it, it's most likely Zacarias, for he is truly the darkest of all the Carpathians, the one who walks a hairsbreadth or less away from the line between Carpathian and Undead, yet still manages to never once cross the line. It is little wonder then that when such a dark and shadowed man who had finally decided to lay down his burdens and meet the sun is confronted with his lifemate that he wouldn't know how to deal with her, or even recognize her for what she is to him at first. Perhaps it is because she is physically unable to speak, and literally has no voice - the thing that has seemed to be the trigger for turning on emotions and colors for all of the other Carpathians that have found their lifemate - that recognition is slow to come. Just as likely though is Zacarias's unique nature, and the fact that he is so heavily shadowed that even his lifemate can only temporarily bring him those things with her presence.

This book is much less action packed than recent books in the series have been, and while some important advances are made in the larger story arc that ties the various books together, it is far more focused on Zacarias and Marguarita and their individual story. It is very reminiscent of the early books in the series in this regard, and is a welcome break from the story of the larger plots and dangers that threaten the Carpathians as a race. That is not to say that this is a relaxed read, for it is still full of tension and drama, and for the first time in a long while the reader is left to wonder at times whether Zacarias and Marguarita will truly be able to overcome the various obstacles they face and find a way to make it work between them. For even lifemates have to learn how to get along and to respect one another as people, however much they may be drawn together by chemistry and fate. The story of how they find their way together, and learn more about themselves in the process, is engaging and keeps you wondering what will happen next. While this isn't necessarily the best book in the series in my opinion, neither is it the worst, and fans of Ms. Feehan's certainly won't want to miss it.

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