Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan

I cut my paranormal teeth on Christine Feehan's Dark Prince. It forever holds a spot in my heart because of this. I love that book. Over the years I have read every book that came after it with excitement and glee. After a point though I noticed I wasn't enjoying them nearly as much as I did at the beginning. I am honestly not sure if this is because I am growing and maturing as a reader or that the books just aren't or possibly both.

Carpathian Males by nature, are completely Alpha. Expecting their women to cower behind them and stay put because they decree it. In my ripe old age of Thirtysomething I now expect my heroines to be assertive and fully capable of kicking some vampire butt along side their men.

These books are still in the dark ages and all the men still beat their chests and grunt at their women to obey them (with the exception of two women who were not brought up Carpathian the women do listen too...for the most part.) But what I want to know is what is the point of being able to dissolve into mist, shift into an eagle or a wolf, or call down lightening if the XY's in your life won't allow it when it comes to fighting for your people's future.

Anyway, I should probably talk about this book now....

Dark Celebration is the 14th or the 17th book in the series, depending on if you count the 3 novellas published in separate anthologies. It is a full on Carpathian Reunion which sounds super cool unless you are like me and read the last book in 2006 and can't remember all but a handful of the characters. While reading the book I often had to stop and reflect (actually stop and try to remember)who certain characters were.

I read the hardcover edition of the book and there were approximately 300 pages of actual storyline. There were quite a few recipes after the end of the book submitted by Feehan Fans around the world. The recipes were a tie in to the Christmas celebration the Carpathians were having. I didn't really pay much attention to them to tell the truth.

In the book there were so many couples that I had a hard time keeping them straight. Also every couple had sex at least once. I also think that once a couple of them had sex we never heard about them again. It all felt a little gratuitous. Because every couple was engaging in some hot lovin' Feehan made each couple repeat that the other was their lifemate and without their other half they would be lost. After having read all of the books prior to this, I started getting annoyed with the repetitiveness of it all. Granted had I not read any of the books before this one some of it might have been good to know but even then a newbie to the series would have been irritated too.

Problem number one I had with this book....
Way too many characters. Seriously. There were at least 13 couples in addition to 2 couples not yet joined, one family friend, parents of two of the girls, one teenage Carpathian, and at least 10 children. So, I lost count at 44 people in this book.

Problem number two I had with this book....
No resolution to the big bad evil that was stalking our Carpathian women. They were all in very real danger but other than a couple battles that didn't actually take out the big baddie there was no real ending. Also a storyline was started and I have to assume it will continue in the next book Dark Possession and yet another storyline started with a 16 year old and her lifemate that I have to assume will be completed in the future as she is too young at this point to have a credible storyline.

So I honestly have only two really big complaints about this book. But they are doozies. In general Feehan's Carpathian books are all stand alone books because each one is about a different couple. This book, however cannot be enjoyed as a stand alone. Someone not familiar with the series could not fully appreciate it and would be very confused. Heck, I have read all the books and found myself confused.

So, my recommendation is....

Read it if you are already a fan of the series. Get the book from your local library. Unless of course you are like me and collect all her books. When purchasing it you might want to scour your Used Book stores and Thrift Stores looking for it. I honestly don't think it is worth full price.

My rating: 2/5

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