Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dark Predator, Christine Feehan

This one was weird.

We finally get Zacarias' story, but it raised a few questions.

So, at the end of Dark Peril, the vampire coalition was going to test their attack plan for the Prince, against the De la Cruz family. After that, Zacarias was going to end his life feeling his brothers were ok without him.

We start here at the end of the battle, the good guy having won, of course. Zacarias decides to leave to go die, not even bothering to heal his wounds. His brothers try to stop him, but he's determined. He leaves to go "home," suddenly determining that home is the estate in Brazil. If you'll remember Dark Peril took place in Brazil. That's where the vamp attacked and injured the woman Zacarias saved.

So of course that's who saves him. Against his will.

So, he gets there, and he sees Margaurita, the woman he saved, riding her horse. He doesn't immediately know who she is. Watching her makes him happy, gives him peace, so he decides to sit out in the sun watching her and waiting for death. She sees him as he's starting to smoke, literally, and drags him inside to his lair.

He. Is. Pissed.

Once he wakes, he shows her exactly how pissed. Scares the crap out of her. She thinks he's turned. She realizes why he was trying to die, how close he was/is to turning. He thinks maybe she's in league with vampires or mages. That maybe she wants him to turn.

So, here's where the questions start. Every other couple has immediately known that they've found their lifemate.Why doesn't Zacarias immediately recognize Margaurita? My original theory was that it was because she couldn't talk. When she's attacked in Dark Peril, she's left mute. However, this doesn't hold much water when they start communicating telepathically. That should have the same effect. It has in the past. Though, not every time. Still, he sees muted colors, feels muted, distant emotions.

Finally, he accepts Margaurita is his lifemate and he has the same "deficiency" his father did. His father apparently couldn't feel without his lifemate being completely merged with him. It's actually really heartbreaking to learn about. Zacarias' mother was killed by a vampire. His father, without a lifemate to anchor him, turns vamp. Zacarias is then responsible for killing his father. While his mother's body lays nearby. Ever since, he's been the leader and protector of his brothers.

It's really sad.

But here's where my questions come up again. It seems confusing about what happens when one loses a lifemate. The women never have the risk of turning randomly. In Dark Slayer, Ivory's brother asks her to join them, so it's not impossible. If a woman kills while feeding, it would create the same effect, I'd think. But they don't run the risk men do. We know that once there's a lifemate, and they've been bonded, the male loses the risk of turning. But when a male loses his lifemate, it seems he can go either way. He either dies with her, though it doesn't have to happen immediately, or he turns vamp. The factors on which will happen are pretty murky. Maybe how close they were to begin with? Or maybe it just goes back to the way it was before the bond. Maybe it's honor and will that keeps them from turning, just like before they found their lifemate. But then it seems odd Zacarias' father turned.

I actually had a mini theory that he tricked Zacarias into thinking he'd turned. Confronted with his lifemate's death, he wanted to follow her into death, but he wasn't sure Zacarias was ready to take over the family. His final test was to see if his son could kill him. It's cruel, to be sure, but it just seems to make most sense to me. The only person he could have killed while feeding was the vampire who killed his wife. So it's not impossible, it just didn't feel right to me. All the other books have harped on the idea that it's a choice. It seems an odd choice for a father to make. Even if he needed his lifemate to feel emotions for his children (which isn't true based on the deleted scenes), the memory of those emotions would be super fresh in his mind. He might not be able to actively feel them, but he could remember feeling them and know they were genuine.

I don't know. I am a softy, so it's entirely possibly it's just wishful thinking. Certainly nothing in the book indicates that's what happened.

So, back to Zacarias and Margaurita. They overcome their mistrust. She knows he's not a vamp, he knows she's his lifemate. However, he's a bit of a mess. He basically keeps her locked up for a bit. They slowly come to an understanding.

Until he converts her.

See, some human puppets/drug addicts break in and take Margaurita and her friend hostage, demanding they reveal Zacarias' resting place so they can kill him. Margaurita of course refuses to give them the location. Zacarias is once again seriously pissed off. They escape and all is well, but he converts her without warning. He calls it a consequence.

She is madder than any other lifemate. She won't even let him help her with the pain. This is the biggest fuck up since Nicolas chained Lara to him in  Dark Curse. Zacarias didn't realize the conversion would be so painful. He also did it in the most aggressive way possible. He manages to apologize and finally understands what a lifemate means. She forgives him and lets him help her through the conversion.

All is right in the end, and Zacarias is reunited with his brothers. In fact, there's a a fabulous jousting scene (deleted)  at the end with all of them. It's entertaining.

What's next?

No friggin' idea. With the De la Cruz brother's are mated. And Dominic's plan is finished. I've got no idea. Unless we jump in time, Skylar is still too young. So....We'll just have to wait and see.

Dark Predator, Christine Feehan

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