Carpathians are an immortal race of beings with animal instincts. Every Carpathian male is drawn to his life mate: a Carpathian or human female able to provide the light to his darkness. Without her, the beast within slowly consumes the man until turning vampire is the only option.
Raven Whitney is a psychic who has used her gift to help the police track down a serial killer. Now she is determined to escape the glare of recent publicity for the peace and quiet of the Carpathian Mountains. Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky is the leader of his people but, as his ancient Carpathian race grows ever closer to extinction, he is close to giving in to the heavy weight of loneliness and despair. From the moment their minds touch, Raven and Mikhail form a connection. But there are those who incorrectly view all Carpathians as vampires, and are determined to give their extinction a helping hand.
I really looked forward to getting this book – I was on a long wait list at the library for it, and if the series is 30 volumes strong it must be good. Right?
Some parts were good. I like that the vampires are more “traditional”, needing earth and blood and not daring to go out in the sun. The plot is okay. The characters are okay.
But Feehan keeps taking things up to the stratosphere. Instead of talking about the here and now the story goes on about Love and Loyalty and Duty and Honor and other words that feel like they should be capitalized. Here’s the hero while he has his heroine in bed:
He could feel his body relaxing, and peace stole into him, edging out the terrible tension. The beauty of her inner soul washed over him. How could he fault her need to reach out to someone in pain, when it was her very compassion that had drawn him out of the dark shadows and into a world of joy and light?
Looking at the big picture is okay now and then, but it’s constant. ‘That guy was totally trying to kill us. Let’s talk about how Loyal you are and how we consider ourselves Family while we also recognize our own Needs as we plan how to get back at him.’ Grah.
It’s not only that, though. The excess examination of Feelings makes the story suffer. The plot is fine but it’s stretched out over way more pages than necessary – 300-ish pages would have been ideal, but my “author’s cut” edition was over 500. Even the original edition was 450 pages. In the beginning I read every word in good faith that it would get better (ha) but ended up skimming more and more.
I looked ahead at book two to see if Gregori, the heir apparent, would get his mate but no. They apparently stretch his angst out until book four. Sigh. I was hoping to find a long series to dig into, but instead I found a corner of paranormal that I can safely ignore. Onward!