What happened to this series?
How can I write a review and still be respectful? <-- That is the million dollar question. I don't think I really can.
Christine Feehan is the reason I read romance books, I cut my teeth on her earlier Carpathian novels. I not only brought them gladly, I devoured them.
Dont get me wrong, I noticed a pattern early on.... over use of phrases like "for all time", "colors swirled and danced" and "couldn't tell when one ended and the other began." Still, the bones were good, the stories were worth reading, and I could actually "read" them. Then "IT" happened.
Since Dark Curse, I had to resort to listening to them via CD or Audible. It's not that I forgot to read, it is just that I don't know HOW to read Carpathian. What makes this even more difficult, NO ONE reads Carpathian, it is a blend of some obscure languages concocted by linguistics expert Dr Christopher Tong for Christine Feehan.
The "IT" I am referring to is pages and pages of this contrived language that I skip over because 1) I cannot read it. 2)I cannot translate it 3)I have no hope of understanding it. 4)It gives me a headache just listening to it.
I actually felt sorry for Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross for having to speak this language when no one else does. I can only assume that MASSIVE speech classes were needed to read this story, which seem to be something that only Dr. Tong could conduct. I hope they were paid well for this sacrifice, because they certainly EARNED their money. Meanwhile, I fast-forwarded through most of it. Out of 12 hrs running time, a good 4 hours were spent uttering this gibberish.
I've got to think that with enough "complaints" about this in her books, Mrs. Feehan OR her publishers would make some adjustments.
Sometimes I think that the covers of her books should include Dr. Christopher Tong's name as well. I think the majority would agree: We get that the language is "beautiful" we just have no interest in learning it.
So with 25% of the book being a language lesson, We have another 25% dedicated to Wiccan Poems. I don't know how else to describe it. Each and every spell, incantation and/or safe-guard used, it is written word for word and is by in large "filler" for the book. It does not enhance the story, it make it a chore to read. There is no insight gained by reading it. UNLESS, someone out there is looking for ideas for their own Wiccan rituals at home. Sometimes I feel a little sullied by them.
The powers that be must not listen to Carpathians unless they are rhyming in ENGLISH and speaking in CARPATHIAN. I just dont get it.
So with 25% allocated to Dr. Tong, and 25% divvied up to Christine Feehan and her sister: Anita Toste's poetry, WE, her, readers are given 50% of an actual story.
It is in that 50% that we actually get a good story. On the other side of being finished with it, I am still a little miffed that to actually get the the goods, I have to go through hell to find it. (Not to mention a sore finger from pressing FF or RW over and over) If that "good 50%" was the actual book, there would be 5 stars on my review. As I am typing, I am debating on if it should be 1 or 2 stars. We will know by the end.
Why did a I bother? GOOD QUESTION- because the actual story was really good. The plot was solid, the reveals were jaw dropping, the "reunion" of others from previous books were heartwarming. The actual engaging of people in and within the story was flawless.
I cried when "Jewels or Jules" (remember is listened, not read, so I am unsure of how she spelled the name) is murdered during Bronnie's and Titijana's birthday party. I cried when Zev's grandfather's silver chains were removed and they allowed him to die, and at last be with his mate.
I laughed at the ribbing the women give their men and the paybacks they give when punishing slights (stinging ants, bad coffee, etc.) I adore the children playing and Gregori's twins shaking their behinds while the adult danced at an impromptu party. The twin's asking Ivory for permission to play with her wolves and teaching Sandru to hold his hands out for the wolves to scent.
I gasped to see Gary become fully Carpathian, Young Travis defending the children and winning, Finding out there was a bloodline believed lost (Dark Blood), Skylar being a bit of everything (Lycan, Carpathian, Mage, Jaguar and Human)- No wonder she is soooo powerful. AND (*gasps*) Xavier was one of 3 triplets.
SO many were good things that I actually cared about, but, tainted with needless filler. That is the reason I no longer buy books by Christine Feehan. I stick with Library loans instead. I dont fill my shelves with 400 page books that contain 200 pages of "readable" material. My library is precious real estate.
Would I recommend it? For Library loan only, unless 1)You don't mind the filler, or unless 2)You wish to speak Carpathian 3)Need help writing spells for personal use. I, personally would not buy it. I am glad I did not.
Happier Reading in the future. (I hope)