Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Book Review: Dark Predator

Book Title: Dark Predator
Author: Christine Feehan
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
Cost: $
Pages: 400, 332 story the rest is a glossary to the Carpathian world
How I got it: Library
My Rating: ★★★ ☆ ☆
Synopsis:

As brutal as the undead he hunted, Zacarias De La Cruz was a master executioner. Over the long, dark centuries, he plunged into so many battles they blurred into an endless lifetime of evil that hardened the soul of this merciless, ruthless and implacable dark predator.Now his stark and savage journey is over. After a thousand years in a gray world, he has accomplished everything he set out to do. His brothers are safeguarded. Each has found a woman who completes them. And they are at peace. For his brothers, Zacarias has walked the edge of madness, but with centuries as a killing machine now left to the past and without a hunt to define him, Zacarias wonders, for the first time in his life, who he really is.The answer awaits him back home in Peru , in the betrayal of a woman who is readying her trap, in the vengeance of an old enemy, in the inevitable consequences of a bloody family legacy, and in the deliverance of a lifemate he never could have imagined. 
My Review:
I'll be honest, I read a few reviews that ripped Christine a new one for this book, and I was all ready to go into the book hating Zacarius. As I was reading this book I remembered why I had stopped reading these novels, in truth I remembered when I read Dark Secret, even as I re-read the anthologies I remembered.  As I read the books I realised there is a lot of violence in this world, particularly aimed at women.  Many of the 'heroes' of the series make it their mission to claim these women,  but want the women to conform to their idea of a mate; few ever take into consideration the feelings of said mate with the notable exception of a few:  Riodarn, Triann, Lucian & Gabriel & in some instances Gregori are perhaps the only males who made conscious efforts to take into account the feelings of the women they were marrying.

Z had found his mate but it didn't happen the way others were able to claim their mates, which made him doubtful and in truth resentful of his mate.  He was for the first 100 or so pages a complete a**hole to his mate.  He was physically, emotionally & mentally abusive within the first few moments of being awake with her. As I read I understood why he did it, yet I still couldn't get down with Z as a hero.

This is perhaps the hardest book to read, there was almost no romance in the book until way later.  Z is clearly a breast man which he obsessively lets us know as he seduces his mate; he very rarely thinks about what she would like, which is different from the other men, who seem to really want their mates to be happy.

Pros:
  • Z is perhaps the hardest of the Carpathians, he is the closest to turning vampire and in fact has only been kept alive because his family won't let him die. This make him one heck of a character to read.
  • Margarita is the first female we meet who has any kind of 'imperfection' or who isn't a 'perfect specimen', yes i know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when she describes all the women, it's hard to 1)imagine them being mated to someone so different 2)really putting ourselves in their places and really getting into the novel.
  • Z as a character is far more complicated & nuanced than any of the previous Carpathians, he had some deep issues he needed to deal with and much like a human he hid from them.
  • Margarita never backed down, she wasn't easily cowed, but she was the perfect submissive & I think that's where Christine Feehan lost a few people, she described 'subspace' when discussing the relationship between Margarita and Zacarius and those who aren't aware or comfortable with BDSM perhaps didn't get it or catch that phrase and understand the relationship between Z and M.
  • When you learn his background you can kind of understand why Z is the way he is, he's complicated and has some deep emotional issues that he doesn't know how to handle so this made him way more real than the other men.
  • This book far outpaced the others in action and in hte workings of the vampires, I think she learned they couldn't wash as just idiots because they turned vampires, especially if they were once 'great Carpathian', we really get to see them in this novel, & even interact with a few
  • Dominic makes a nice return and share some seriously needed humor in this book, although his moment was only brief.  
Cons:
  • Zacarius is clearly the dominant one in the relationship, but there is a fine line between being a Dom and being domineering a**hole and sometimes Z looks at that line and tap dances over it without any remorse.
  • there are instances within the story that make me wonder about this book, is it supposed to be a 'romance' because if it is, it's seriously lacking the 'romance' aspect. 
  • Most of this book is from Z's POV and he is deeply entrenched within his own head and doesn't attempt to understand M's reasoning at all
  • Perhaps because of his decision early on in the book, Z seemed to dislike and sometimes really hate M
  • Rape seems to be used quite often in these novels especially in this one, Z made a thought that he wished to just 'take without consent' pg 75 ugh PAUSE not cool Z not cool. When a female character didn't do as she was told, a family 'friend' almost raped her. I personally think she throws these scenes thinking it helps the story, infact it wasn't necessary, at least not to me.
  • Z keeps mentioning he is an older, meaner, hunter than the others, but he is at least 1000 years younger than Lucian & Gabriel and they didn't treat their mates this way AT ALL.
This is a hard book to rate, I wouldn't say "Burn rubber to get it", but it's not a "Don't bother" either. It falls somewhere in between, If you have space on your bookshelves and want to read a book, then this is one you can check out. I liked it, but I won't be repeating the experience.

Happy Reading

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