Oct 15, 2012
I did something rather
unusual with this book, I waited over a week to read it AND I read other
reviews on it first. Now that may not seem like a big deal to you but
it is highly irregular for me. That being said, this review will reflect
those concepts and will have include some questions that come to mind..
some might consider those questions spoilers.. *grins* ok, disclaimer
Dark Storm is the 23rd in Christine Feehan's Dark Series.. or as I like to call it her Carpathian Series. In many
something rather unusual with this book, I waited over a week to read it
AND I read other reviews on it first. Now that may not seem like a big
deal to you but it is highly irregular for me. That being said, this
review will reflect those concepts and will have include some questions
that come to mind.. some might consider those questions spoilers..
*grins* ok, disclaimer done.
Dark Storm is the 23rd in Christine
Feehan's Dark Series.. or as I like to call it her Carpathian Series. In
many ways it reads as a stand alone and can easily be read without ever
having read another book in the series and without ever reading one
again. That being said it also touches on aspects of the series that
have been on the fringes.. bringing them more into the forefront. A
necessary evil if Christine is to take this series further. Sure we
could spend all of our time with Mikhail and his buds.. but that is not
how this particular series has been engineered. I know many people find
the lack of continuity for better word, disconcerting but I find they
are missing the point. I will come back to this, later in the review.
Parker and her mother are on their regular visit to the rain forest.
Every five years they have made this trek to return to the place of
their births. But this year, things are off. First off they are a bit
later than normal and everything seems to be collapsing around them.
Annabel, Riley's mother is suffering from the loss of her spouse. In
Riley's family, they marry for life.. when the spouse dies it seems like
the light completely leaves the remaining spouse and they follow soon
after. Annabel has chosen to hang on as best she can so she can make it
to the rain forest. She is gifted woman with an affinity to plants.. It
seems they all but grow where she walks, and create trails for her in
even the most dense of underbrush. This year though, it seems like
nature is trailing her, her gift seems to be departing from her and evil
stalks her. Riley is desperate to protect her mother and doesn't
understand why she is such a hurry to reach their destination. Added to
that, this time it seems their regular tour guide was unavailable and
they end up traveling with three other groups. One of which consists of
some pretty horrid men.. just skeevy. Honestly, I am not sure why they
were included in this book.. other than to point out that both Annabel
and Riley are beautiful and desirable women but they wasted space in
this book as far as I am concerned. Annabel knows that Riley must learn
the secrets of their people and tries to warn her of what is happening..
Danutdaxton (and I thought Shaughnessey Steenburgen was cruel), Dax is
an ancient. Trapped in the bowels of the volcano with an unimaginable
evil. A Carpathian who not only denied his mate, his chance at
redemption but attempted to destroy her, Mitro Daratrazanoff. Centuries
have passed since they have been trapped and still neither can kill the
other. Over time each has evolved into something "more" than
Carpathian/Vampire. They have acquired new talents, skills, gifts and in
a rather symbiotic way have evolved together. The earth has chosen Dax
and offers him a chance to absorb more power if he chooses, something we
discover later that he really must do, all he has to do is absorb the
soul of an ancient dragon.
As Riley travels towards the ruins of
the Cloud People, the place of her birth.. Dax fights with Mitro trying
to kill him before he escapes the prison that has been created for him.
The barriers grow ever weaker. Conveniently enough two of the men that
Riley and Annabela have been forced to travel with are Jubal Saunders
and Gary Jansen.. they are on a hunt for a flower that the Carpathians
have long thought extinct, something that might be beneficial to their
people. It was good to see Gary and Jubal without all the drama
surrounding them, aka Gabby. We see in Gary the man Savannah and
Gregori, befriended. The man who would willingly fight for what is right
even at his own expense but years have passed since that fateful
meeting and Gary has grown. This was a wonderful portrayal of Gary and
those of you who wish to off Gary, this might just change your mind.
Jubal, also comes off extremely well. Seriously, I would so jump this
man's bones if I had the chance. He is strong, commanding, a presence..
his Jaguar lineage shines through over and over again.
and Dax finally meet, each has suffered serious feelings of failure..
each feels that they could have done more and each has a strong need to
defend and protect those around them. A strong connection is formed
instantly on both sides. None of this wishy washy crap we have seen from
some of Christine's other heroines.. nope, these two get it. Even if
Riley is human.. she recognizes the bond and the attraction and she
As they progress together to fight Mitro, we see
insecurities arise.. which I would think would be normal. But together
they battle, the insecurities, the traps set before them, the gruesome
murders and yes Dax's complete and utter incomprehension of modern
society. It was a good story and I completely enjoyed it!
back to the beginning.. throughout the Dark Series, Christine has
brought in totally unrelated characters that become integral to the over
all story arc. Usually out of the blue and we have no idea who these
people are. For example:
Gabriel.. when he showed up in Paris, we
had no idea who he was. Oh Julian mentioned two great
Carpathians/Vampires in a story he told but we didn't see them as
integral characters (and no names were mentioned).. and yet over time
their importance has shown.
Falcon.. I know he showed up in a
novella but still he really was a no one and yet as time and the
storyline have continued his importance shows through. If for no other
reason, he brought those children in.
Traian.. yes Joie had been
mentioned in Dark Symphony but as a body guard and we still had no clue
who these people were and yet.. the Saunders family is an integral part
of the storyline.
Nicholae.. seriously? Who was this guy came out of nowhere.. and yet without Nicholae.. there would be no Vikernoff *sigh*
I tend to say Rafael I forget that Riordan actually came first but
either way had anyone heard of the De La Cruz family until now? Nope,
they were brought in to intertwine with the arc. A story arc within the
I don't Mention Dominic because we did meet him in Dark
Symphony and by they time he shows up we have met Dragonseekers and are
pretty much expecting him..
And the troubadours.. well, we meet them through Julian, whom we do have a passing acquaintance with.
has a history of bringing in seemingly unrelated characters and showing
us how they fit in the big picture later on. Sometimes WAY later.
we didn't see the characters we love the most. We do get to spend some
time with Riordan and Juliette, see a tease of maybe a future book in a
maybe romance between a couple of secondary characters that are not
named Gabby and Gary AND find out some more secrets about that dwindling
Now for my questions.. and yes I consider these spoilers so don't read further if you don't want to know
the De La Cruzes are so spectacular and powerful, how is it they were
not on top of this? How did they not know that a great evil was resting
right there in their back yard?
How can Riley be a descendant of Arabejeli? I thought Carpathians could only have children with their mates?
How is Mitro related to the other Dara's is he a brother, uncle, second cousin twice removed..?
happens if the wife dies first? (in Riley's family) does the male
spouse also die immediately? Or is the lineage sorta kinda immortal,
being that they remain young until their spouse dies then sorta whither
and die? Does that mean if they didn't marry they wouldn't die? and does
the lineage always have daughters?
Oh one other thing.. a few of
us a while back got a little silly and spoke of the Flower Lady.. maybe
as a lifemate to Zac (obviously before Predator) but then we sort of
started having a little too much fun, coming up with alternative
options.. I won't mention all of them but somehow Dirt Girl became
another character.. so they were Flower Lady and Dirt Girl.. in this
book Dirt Girl has risen to power. She is Not the Flower Lady but like
Robin she finally has her own movie..er book. (sometimes you have to
mention the sillies)
As usual, Christine made me think, seriously
think.. no matter if I like one of her books or not (and yes there are
at least two of the Dark books that I really didn't like) they have
information in them that gets my attention and makes me think about the
overall arc. Well done.
I was convinced, after reading the
reviews that I was going to not like this book.. I have been
disappointed in the last two. Maybe because I wasn't expecting anything
all that spectacular, I find I really enjoyed it. It is a wonderful
transition book and I can't wait to see where they are going next.
one final thought.. Christine has this history of creating "the most
powerful Carpathian ever" with each book. Because of this she seems to
constantly have to alter their basic genetics, ie Manalito absorbing the
Lycan, Solange giving Dominic her blood, and now Dax and his evolving.
While she manages to write these in and make them work. Sometimes I
think she forgets one of the great mandates of world building. If you
(the author) say it can't be done, it can't be done.. Write within your
parameters don't keep changing them. I think in a way this can destroy a
For more reviews by Shauni check out Tea and Book and
Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy