Monday, November 25, 2013

Dark Celebration, Christine Feehan

This book was intended as an enjoyable book for fans to revisit the characters they love.

According to Feehan, it got away from her a bit.

All the Carpathians are invited to a Christmas celebration. Most, but not all attend.

Mostly, it's an update book. Mikhal goes around visiting all the people who've come for the celebration.

There are some attacks against the women and children, particularly against Shea and her baby, as well as Skyler, but that's a fairly minor part of the story.

So, let me give you the highlights.

Raven wants Mikhal (Dark Prince) to play Santa for the kids. He's not a fan of the idea so decides to make Gregori, his son-in-law and 2nd in command, do it instead. Gregori. The Dark One. The boogie man of all Carpathian children.

Seems legit.

And hilarious.

So, as he goes around to visit, he tells them all his plan. All the men want to see it happen. All the women think it's mean. And funny.
One of my favorite updates was Barak and Syndil (Dark Challenge, Dark Fire). She still struggles at times with her trauma. Barack does tell her that he's known she was his lifemate since before her attack. See, he never acted on it because he was ashamed. You have to remember they weren't raised in Carpathian society. They didn't know about lifemates. And they treated each other as siblings. So, when Barack has the lifemate reaction to Syndil, he thinks it's something twisted and wrong he feels for his sister. He was a ladies man because he was trying to get away from his feelings for her. Basically to sex himself out of love. (*eye roll* boys are dumb.) He finally gave up and was about to tell her when she was attacked. We already know that after her attack, Barack had to be put in the ground for months with her because he went a little nuts. Ok, a lot nuts. After, he kept up appearances so she didn't feel any pressure since any change in routine would have been questioned, but he gave her space. I liked this back story. There were some left over questions for me and this answered them. I liked the idea that he stayed away for a reason. I had wondered, especially with his reputation as a ladies man. Overall, they're doing well together.

It's also discovered that she's incredibly important because of her affinity with the earth. When Mikhal finds out what she can do, he asks her to help with Shea's birth. As we know, Carpathian women are having trouble keeping their children alive. Mikhal thinks Syndil can help.

She does.

Byon and Anoneitta (Dark Symphony) are attending. She's still working on her sight, but, more importantly, their presence means Joseff is back! Good ol' Joeseff. I think I've finally figured him out though. I think he's the first ever nerd Carpathian. He likes computers and video games, and has very few social skills. He even goes out of his way to be weird sometimes. As a nerd myself, that seems about right. And looking back on Dark Symphony and his attempted Spiderman act, it seems even more likely.

Joseff is of course friends with Josh, who is only like...maybe 8 or 10. Josh is Alexandria's brother. She and Aidan (Dark Gold) are lifemates.

Francesca and Gabriel (Dark Legend) are there of course, with their kids. The means Skyler. Skyler is Joseff's other friend, though she doesn't see it that way, not knowing how to have friends. Skyler has her own story here, too.

Back in Dark Legend, I predicted that Skyler and the guy with the wolf preserve, Dimitri, would be her lifemate. Well, Dimitri is also there for the celebration. And he is. Because of her trauma, she's older emotionally than her chronological years, which makes him have the lifemate response to her. He knows she's too young. He doesn't even try to claim her, but he is struggling. She gets attacked - a few times - which makes it even more difficult. As her lifemate it's his duty and right to protect her. But he can't, won't and shouldn't claim her. Which means her protection is left up to Gabriel and Francesca. But every time she's attacked, he gets that demon. Kind of like Barack when Syndil was attacked. He actually handles it fairly well, considering he's not safe from turning vampire until they're together.

I'm sure we'll see more from them later. When she's older.

Joie and Traian (Dark Descent) are there as well. Along with her parents! Now, in Dark Demon, when Gabrielle was attacked and had to be converted, Joie and Traian were visiting her parents, but felt the attack and the healing/conversion. So, I was very confused when I realized Mr and Mrs Sanders had no idea Joie and Traian were Carpathian. Let alone that Gabrielle was attacked and converted. It comes out when Mrs Sanders and Mikhal try to read each other's minds at the same time and realize the other isn't entirely human. Mrs Sanders is jaguar. Once they recognize the other, the tension actually reduces a bit.

Until Gabrielle and Gary come in, that is. The Mrs. Sanders loses her shit! She shifts and attacks. She says she's going for Gary once she calms down, but she doesn't seem to care who's in the way. She attacks Mikhal and her other children. They actually think she's attacking Gabrielle because she's been converted, at first. She claims that Gary is jaguar and that he's lying to Gabrielle because jaguar males are just that way. We've seen that's not exactly untrue. Once she's under control and the crowd speaks on Gary's behalf, she backs off a bit, but still plans on keeping a wary eye on him.

Speaking of Gary, Colby and Rafael (Dark Secret) are there too, with Paul and Ginny. Paul wants to meet his potential uncle Gary, which brings up family and Colby's concerns about telling Paul that her biological father is the evil enemy of the Carpathians. It does back up my idea that Gary is their uncle. It also means that Mrs Sanders is right and Gary is at least part Jaguar. And if he is, that brings up the possibility that he can be converted.

I wonder how long it will take for he and Gabrielle to get there...

Nicolae and Destiny (Dark Destiny) are also there for the celebration, along with their friend MaryAnn. MaryAnn is along to support Destiny in this overwhelming and unfamiliar social situation. MaryAnn also talks a bit to Skyler to try to help ease her struggle some. That's what she does after all. I had a feeling we'd be seeing more of MaryAnn, but up until Vikirnoff got his picture of Natalya, I though she and he would be lifemates.  But no. See, along with Colby and Rafael are Riordan and Juliette (Dark Hunger). They're still concerned about Solange and Jasmine, and think about looking for a counselor like MaryAnn.

Well, they think about that after Manolito, another De la Cruz brother, plants the idea. And he plants the idea after seeing MaryAnn and realizing she's his lifemate. Only everything goes horribly wrong. See, Manolito overhears MaryAnn talking to Skyler, trying to lighten her spirits about Dimitri, and saying she, MaryAnn would never be with a Carpathian. Manolito, being a ancient who suddenly gets his emotions back, doesn't exactly react rationally. He treats it like a hunt. He doesn't even tell his brothers he's found her. He sneaks in a takes her blood and then erases her memory.

Then, there's an attack on Shea and he's mortally wounded protecting her. It's actually the 2nd time he's been badly wounded. It's heartbreaking how he knows (both times) he's probably going to die and knows he's leaving MaryAnn to suffer.

What happens next, I assume will be in the next book.

I'll leave off with the good stuff: Gregori and Savannah (Dark Magic) are having babies. Yes, plural. Twins. Twin girls even! Gregori is not prepared. In fact, he refuses to believe it. He says its one boy. That his family always has boys. Hunters.

It's really quite adorable.

He also does a magnificent Santa - with the help of his world famous magician wife, of course. And the vast number of bugs and rodents (read: Carpathian men) that invade his home when Mikhal tells him is just amazing.

Dark Celebration, Christine Feehan

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