Inky's Reviews > Dark Curse

Dark Curse by Christine Feehan
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's review
Aug 23, 2008

liked it

** spoiler alert ** I have an addiction to Christine Feehan's Dark Series. I admit it. Sometimes the writing is awkward. Sometimes the characters are inconsistent. But I read on, compelled by the emotion infused into the story. If you haven't read any of the Dark books, this is not the place to start. That being said, stop reading now if you don't like spoilers....

Dark Curse brings Nicolas De La Cruz together with his lifemate Lara Calladine, the descendant of an evil mage out to destroy the entire Carpathian race. The two come together just as Nicolas resolves to meet the dawn, choosing suicide over surrender to the darker impulses that would turn him vampire. Their bonding feels a bit artificial, mainly because the dialog in the beginning of the book is forced and unnatural. I couldn't believe the passage that had Lara accusing Nicolas of being a "sweet and syrupy" ladies man. Groan.

Feehan also presents Lara as warrior-like and fierce, a woman of Dragonseeker lineage, but her behavior in the book waivers from that -- a lot. And I had a hard time with the silly rhymes that Lara says as she works her magic. A lot of it was flinch-worthy and just interrupted the flow of the story. And if uber-alpha to the point of misogyny bothers you, stay far, far away.

That being said, Feehan has created a world that I can't help but return to, even when the trip is the cost of a hardback. I like the Carpathians, and in the book, we see a lot of familiar characters. Nicolas and Gregori go toe to toe. Mikhail has a lot of cameos. Shea and Jacques, along with their infant son, appear. A warriors' council brings together a lot of the males, with a few new faces being introduced for future stories. And good God, when is Feehan going to write Dimitri's story? His suffering without a lifemate is breaking my heart.

And there's where the hook comes in. No matter what complaints I have about the execution of Feehan's stories, I care about what happens to the characters in the book world she's created. Sigh.

In Dark Curse, Feehan also gives us the cause behind the Carpathian women's growing inability to conceive female children and carry any pregnancy to term. This won't come as much of a surprise to anyone who's read Destiny's story. It was pretty clear what the problem was going to be.

Lara, who as a child was food and entertainment for her abusive mage relative Xavier, discovers the reason and is able to save Raven, Mikhail's mate, and Savannah, Gregori's chosen, both on the verge of miscarrying. There's a lot of flashback to Lara's experience as an abused child that might put off some readers. I thought Feehan used it very skillfully to show Nicolas, a powerful ancient warrior, what helplessness really is. It also underscores Feehan's strong point -- writing to evoke an emotional response.

Some of the side stories weren't really handled well. I knew what was going to happen to Lara's friends as soon as I finished the first chapter. And we don't see or hear much from them again until the end of the book. I know the emphasis in paranormal romance is the romance, but the supporting cast deserved a little better, I thought.

And don't expect to see all the story lines tied up here. Lara, whose unique ability to eradicate the cause of infertility in Carpathian couples, isn't fully converted by Nicolas at the end of the story. And the climactic battle in the ice caves still left Xavier free to continue his war against the Carpathians. We do finally find out who the dragons are that appeared in Natalya's story, Dark Demon. They're sure to be getting their own stories.

And could someone do something about the silly bookcover? For God sake, the guy on front is bare-chested in a cape!

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Patty88 Agree please Dimitri needs a book !!!!

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