Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dark Slayer, Christine Feehan

Sigh, I was really disappointed in this one.

Possibly because I've been waiting for it for so long. See, even though this is book 20 of the Dark series, it's the first one I bought. I found it in the bargain bin and mistook it for the first in the series. So, maybe that's why I just didn't find this one that great - I'd been anticipating for too long.

I liked it generally, but not when I looked closer.

Let me fill you in what going on...

Meet Ivory Malinov. We first learned about her in Dark Possession. She's the only sister of the Malinov's, and the only Malinov not a vampire. She's been thought dead all this time, but she's been in hiding.

This is my first complaint. I'm just not really clear on why she's in hiding. I mean, I get it a little. OK, so we know she went to Xavier's school and was betrayed by the Prince's oldest son. Now we find out she was turned over to vampires who literally chopped her to pieces. Alive. They kept her alive so she'd feel the most pain possible. Keeping her alive also gave her a chance to heal, though. And she does. It just takes 300 or so years. By the time she can leave the ground, he brothers have decided to become vampires.

So, I kind of get why she might not be welcoming to other Carpathians. She feels betrayed by the Prince and by her family. But the Prince dies. And the De la Cruz family was basically her family. It just seems odd that she'd rather just hide out. I guess there was just too much trauma. I donno. I just didn't think the decision made much sense. And when she meets Mikhal and see he's a good person she still doesn't want to go back. When she finds out the De la Cruz family is ok and misses her - mourns her - she still has no interest. Even seems to resent them. I just don't get it.

Then there's Razvan.

We learn in Dark Demon that he's not dead as Natalya had been lead to believe. And in Dark Possession we learn that maybe he's not the horrible criminal we thought. Lara's memories return and then when they save her aunts, they do enough damage to send Xavier running, allowing Razvan an opportunity to escape. Turns out, he's been held prisoner for centuries. He was forced to impregnate women to provide food for Xavier. He was forced to terrorize Lara. To betray Natalya. Razvan fought, but Xavier could control him, possess him.

So, a lot of trauma for the both of them.

But here's where I get disappointed again. In Dark Destiny, Destiny was afraid of how she'd be received by the other Carpathians (truth be told, it's a dynamic a lot of lifemates seem to deal with, I just chose Destiny because she's super traumatized, too). She was afraid they would see her as tainted, unsavable because she had been converted by a vampire. She didn't even want to see Gregori as a healer, afraid the great hunter would kill her on sight. But Nicolae didn't let her hide. He supported her, made sure she knew he was with her regardless of what others thought, giving her a safe way to confront her concerns and show her that she wouldn't be rejected. That she would be admired for what she'd overcome.

Ivory and Razvan just feed off each others trauma and paranoia. Mikhal and Gregori make every effort to show them they're accepted and wanted, that they understand Razvan isn't a criminal. Still they both act like they'll never be accepted. I get it more for Razvan. He was considered a criminal, evil, for a long time. Of course it's not going to be easy. He's afraid to face Natalya, Lara, and his other children. All the Carpathians who were hurt by Xavier's use of him. That makes sense. I get mad because Ivory doesn't do what Nicolae did. She doesn't encourage him. She acts like they will reject him exactly like he thinks they will. And by acting like that, isn't she basically saying they're justified in feeling that way? Even after Natalya begs Razvan to stay, to see her.

It's just really frustrating that they don't give each other....any hope.

Or maybe I just think it takes longer than I wanted it to. At the end, Razvan does face the Carpathians, including Lara. Of course, when he panics, Ivory gives him an out, tells him they can just leave, screw them all.

I don't know, maybe I'm being too hard on her. Maybe giving him the out let him have the courage not to use it.

Either way, it was one of my least favorite relationships. I'll be interested to see how things progress from here. Xavier's dead. Ivory has figured out a way to end the gestational threat to the Carpathians from Xavier's microbes so they can have babies. Lara is Carpathian finally and is trying to form a relationship with her father, who really did everything he could to protect her. Skyler has learned that Razvan is her father too, and they're trying to build something. I'm sure Colby will get in on the action at some point, though her mother's husband will always be her father.

It will be interesting to go forward, I just wish I had enjoyed this one more.

Dark Slayer, Christine Feehan

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