Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Dark Melody, Christine Feehan
For many reasons.
So, if you remember, everyone in the band (Dark Challenge, Dark Fire) has a lifemate except for Dayan. At the end of Dark Fire, he went on the run with the human, Cullen Tucker, evading the human society of vampire hunters.
He meets Corinne, a songwriter. The complication? Corinne has a heart condition, she doesn't have much time to live. On top of that, she's pregnant with her husband's child. You read that right, husband.
But don't worry, no adultery here, she's a widow. Her husband was murdered by the society.
So, all that creates a few of the dynamics I've been hoping for.
In Dark Symphony, I talked about the idea that the conversion process would eliminate any illnesses or handicaps. Here, however, we have to consider the idea that while conversion does do that, the body has to be strong enough to survive the process. In addition, can a baby be converted? Can it be converted in the womb? If conversion shifts and reshapes the organs, could a baby survive?
The answer is no. A baby could not, and the body can be too weak to survive.
Then there's the husband thing.
We've seen how possessive the Carpathians are, we've seen their desire to just ignore the fact that other men might be in a woman's life - her previous life. Now one has to face that their lifemate cared enough about this other man to marry him! As you can imagine, Dayan is not thrilled about it, but he really does make a genuine effort to understand. It comes out that Corrine didn't love her husband quite as much as he loved her. They'd grown up together in a really shitting situation and, while she did genuinely love him, it wasn't....a passionate love, if that makes sense.
She's decided to have the baby regardless of the risks to her health. The doctors have told her she won't live to give birth, and if she does, she'll never live through the birth.
This creates another dilemma for Dayan. He's driven by instinct and love to protect Corinne at all costs, but she would never forgive him if he traded the life of her child for her life.
Now, of course there's a happy ending. Corinne, and baby Jennifer, live. Corrine's sister(-in-law), Lisa, falls in love with Cullen. And all is right with the world.
This is the least sex we've seen in the series. Because of Corinne's heart and the baby, sex is off the table. So the whole relationship is about emotion, and boy did I cry!
Another good thing was that Shea was back and we learned a little more about her research into how and why females are having such trouble. She helps ensure Jennifer makes it, creating an incubator type machine. Gregori is also present to help heal Corinne and keep her alive through the conversion.
Oh! And Shea's preggers, too!
Also, with the band gathered, and Shea and Greggori around for the healing, all of them with their lifemates, it makes for the biggest gathering we've had. And that leads to the feeling of...camaraderie and humor, really, that I've been waiting for. Despite all the serious moments with death hovering, the family of it really brought a lightness to it.
Things I didn't like? Lisa. Feehan does a good job of justifying her actions, of making you like her. And to be fair, it's not that I didn't like her, really. She's just not the type of person/character I'd like to spend any real time with. They try to call her weak in the book, and Corinne and Cullen defend her. I don't really think she's weak. And if she were, I would be able to appreciate her more. She's willfully ignorant, and knows she is, and I think that's selfish. She would rather other people put themselves on the line so she doesn't have to face what she doesn't want to see. And she knows it. And instead of saying, "I can't help, but I won't make things worse," she just does whatever to make herself feel like everything is ok.
It's not that I don't sympathize, I just can't condone it. I'll be ok if we don't see much more of her.
Overall, I think this has been one of my favorites so far. It was another that had some of that depth that just puts it over the others in the series.
I'm hoping we see more and more of the broad plot. More about the research and causes of the issues plaguing the Carpathians. Oh! Plague, that reminds me: Shea said something about the fertility issues arising during the plague era. I've been thinking maybe it was the last shot in the war with the mages....
We'll see what comes of that.
Dark Melody, Christine Feehan