Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dark Possession, Christine Feehan

So, at the end of Dark Celebration, Manolito is mortally wounded saving Shea and her baby. We know he survived but that's about it.

We also know that he found his lifemate, MaryAnn, took her blood, but didn't tell anyone.

We start this one with him waking up before he's supposed to. See, we know Carpathians use the earth to heal and rejuvenate them. When one is so badly injured, the healer will command you to sleep, which the patient shouldn't be able to disobey.

So, he wakes up in the rainforest with no idea how he got there or what's going on. Even worse, because his wound was mortal, they had to pull his soul back from the afterlife (stick with me, it's fantasy). So, that means when he wakes up early, part of him is still in the afterlife. Because of that, he's existing both worlds. Think: really freaky hallucinations that can make you feel pain.

So, the question is, what made him wake up early? An evil vampire plot?

Nope. Distressed lifemate.

See, MaryAnn was invited to the jungle to help Jasmine and Solange. Manolito planted the idea after he discovered MaryAnn. She came, but she's been grieving for Manolito. Of course she has no idea why. And no one else recognizes the issues because Manolito never told anyone.

She thinks he's dead. She saw him attacked and go down. He was transported back to Brazil in a coffin (so he could be in soil of course, but she doesn't know that). She thinks no one cared about him, they were more interested in Shea. And there's no way he could have survived.

But she doesn't understand why she's grieving so much for a man she never even spoke to. She can barely function, definitely not enough to help Jasmine and Solange.

Riordan tries to contact Manolito when he wakes to help him, but the crazy otherworld visions plus Riordan not knowing about Manolito's lifemate makes Manolito think Riordan is a vampire trying to trick him. His memory is a little wonky. He doesn't even remember MaryAnn, only that she exists, let alone that he didn't tell anyone. So, he runs.The exchange does encourage Riordan to consider why MaryAnn has been melting down. MaryAnn helps find Manolito, and love ensues.

There are a few important things we learn in this book.

One, MaryAnn is a werewolf. Like the jaguars, they've been mentioned before, but never really dealt with in any detail until now. MaryAnn doesn't know. She has some flashes of memories that her parents aren't her birth parents, she just doesn't like to think about it because she loves her family.

Werewolves don't work like other shifters. Most of the legends are wrong too. For one thing, they're actually the weakest at the full moon. See, it's more like they're entirely different entities, not a part of their host, like the jaguars. The wolf is the guardian of their host, it comes out when the host is in danger, but is pretty much content to remain hidden otherwise.

The other thing is werewolf and Carpathian blood is equally strong. MaryAnn hadn't taken Manolito's blood enough to convert, be he'd taken hers and her wolf blood changed him. Not from a Carpathian, he's still that, but he does have his own wolf now.When MaryAnn is converted, his wolf helps calm hers into accepting the change. I'm not sure if once she's converted if they both keep some of the benefits of the wolf, though, like the ability to stay out in the day longer.

It seems her status as a wolf has encouraged the Carpathians to try to find others and form an alliance.

Two, part of the reason for the need of allies is because of the part the De la Cruz and Malinov brothers played in the current attacks. The other De la Cruz brothers have mentioned it (Dark Hunger, Dark Secret), but this is the first real explanation we've had.

See, back in the day, the 2 sets of brothers were very close. They were both a little different, that stronger, smarter, more aggressive, more domineering thing? Yeah, that times 2...or 10 since there were 5 brothers in each family. Whatever.

Anyway, these brothers thought they were better suited to rule than Mikhal's family, at the time Mikhal's father was Prince. They used to discuss what they would do differently, where they Prince had gone wrong in his decision making. Most importantly, how they'd overthrow the family. It was all just intellectual discussion for the most party.

The last member of the Malinov family was Ivoy, a girl and put up on a pedestal by all 10 brothers. She was talented in magic and wanted to attend Xaviers mage school. As we know, Xavier is the enemy of all Carpathians and most other supernatural races, as well as all around bad dude. This was before that was known, though there were concerns, so Ivory's brother - all 10 - refused to let her attend.

Meanwhile, the Prince's eldest son had a "sickness," which basically meant he was a rapist and murderer in waiting. Usually, that would mean death, but the Prince didn't want to kill his own son, and being that Ivory seemed to be the object of his obsession, the Prince allowed Ivory to go to the school without telling the brothers when she appealed to him.

The school where she was killed. The Prince's son turned her over to vampires.

This obviously caused quite a bit of anger and grief. The brothers, all of them, took their talking to a new level, really hashing out the details of how they'd get their revenge on the Prince and his family. In the end, the De la Cruz brothers decided to maintain their allegiance to the Price. They thought the Malinovs did as well. Now it looks like the Malinovs have turned and are using the plans constructed in those long ago conversations to eliminate the Carpathians and all their potential allies, including the jaguars and werewolves. The brothers send Nicolas to renew their allegiance and to tell Mikhal about the plan the Malinovs are using.

Three, Manolito converted a jaguar male. Luiz was under vampire influence but recognized something wasn't right and allowed Manolito to help him. Luiz also helped protect MaryAnn, Jasmine and Solange when vampire influenced jaguar males attacked. He was mortally wounded and MaryAnn and Jasmine told Manolito to convert him. Being there aren't enough lifemates for all the males now, converting yet another male isn't top priority. However, this means something for Gabrielle and Gary. We'll just have to see what happens with both.

This is another of my favorites, I think. We got a lot of back story. The interaction with the underworld was interesting. Manolito and MaryAnn are pretty freakin' adorable, and MaryAnn seems to be helping Solange and Jasmine - they're moving to the Ranch where the brothers and the Chavez family can help protect them. Oh! and Jasmine's pregnant! I don't know how long MaryAnn will be able to stay away from her city or Destiny, her best friend (Dark Destiny), but she seems to be embracing the rainforest more than when she first arrived.

I think the next book will be about Nicolas, but I think Zacarias, the eldest De la Cruz, and Solange will be in the fairly near future. For one reason only: Manolito said the 2 should never meet. :)

Dark Possession, Christine Feehan

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