Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dark Prince by Christine Feehan

Dark Prince (Carpathians, #1)Dark Prince by Christine Feehan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I try to evaluate this book, I close my eyes and picture old-fashioned weighing scales. On the left, is the negative aspect about this novel. On the right, the positives will be measured.

The negative

Truly, there was only one. My only real complaint was this:

I've noticed that Ms. Feehan will use very long sentences, and as many words as possible in most sentences to convey her story. She will write things repetitively, instead of just once (although I think a lot of authors have this tendency). It makes the narrative very dense, resulting in somewhat difficult reading. This effect is especially noticeable when I am tired, or I want a quick read.

Out of all of her books that I've read, this was the hardest book to read. The good news is, this was her first book. I am not a published author, and I may never become one (only time will tell). But this is my philosophy: I give writers the respect due to them. Despite the fact that it was tough reading at times, I did like this story, and I got a vivid picture of what Ms. Feehan was writing about with her story. I think she wrote a singular book here. Because this was her first book, I definitely give her leeway, and experience has shown that she has learned to use words more economically since this first endeavor (although she will never be a succinct writer). Knowing her writing style, I read her when I'm in the mood. And when I am in the mood, I usually go away from her stories very happy. I had heard this book was pretty bad, and I'd have to disagree with that statement. I feel it's probably a matter of personal tastes, really. Although, I will freely admit, it was a somewhat difficult read.

The Positives

*I really, really like this concept of the Carpathians. I think Ms. Feehan has taken the vampire romance and put her own personal stamp on it. Something about these lonely people, primarily men, doomed to succumb to their own dark natures, yearning for a woman to complete them, to make them whole--it calls to me. I like the dark nature of the men, and how love has the power to save them. I'm sappy that way.

* I love the vividness of the world she has created. The rules are clear cut, and make sense to me. It's such a fascinating world for me.

* I love the drama, even if sometimes I did smile when it seemed pretty over-the-top. Heck, that's what I like when I read paranormal romance. If I wanted run of the mill romance, I wouldn't reach for a vampire romance.

* I think the men are pretty sexy. Yes, they are pretty old world in their values. They are kind of dark and scary and primitive in some ways. I'm not afraid to admit that works for me when I'm in the mood for it. It's not my real life, and I don't read to see my real life played out. How boring would that be. I want escapism, drama, extraordinary stories. I get that with the Carpathian books. Although the Carpathian men are "I see, I take" kind of men when it comes to their life mates; at the same time, they seem to value womankind, holding them in very high esteem. You could see how much Mikhail truly treasured Raven. He would die if she died. The other Carpathians watched over her very carefully, and saw her as the hope for their race. I don't see these men as brutal misogynists at all. I cannot ascribe modern day rules to a man who is practically immortal, and who has lived millenia. I realize that this kind of story won't work for everyone. I'm not ashamed to say that it does work for me, when I accept the rules of this world, and I look at it from a different perspective. I have read contemporary, non-paranormal books with heroes who were much worse than the Carpathians, some by a very famous author who is well-loved (and I love a lot of her books too, although there is one where I hate the hero with a fiery burning passion), and I've found the heroes to have many worse traits than the Carpathians, and it didn't make sense for them to be that way. The Carpathian way of life feels genuine for what it is in these stories.

*I liked how each Carpathian introduced in this story was distinct. I personally did not find Mikhail too overbearing. I think that Raven handled him pretty well. She made it clear she was going to do what she wanted. Her love allowed her to give in on things to him, but he knew he wasn't going to win all the battles. And having her be happy was very important to me. I saw a lot of give and take in that relationship, personally. I have to admit that Gregori stole the show. I want to go back and reread Dark Magic (well, all the ones I've read because I want to see them in light of reading the first book).

*The action scenes were dark and intense. I like that when I read a Carpathian book, it's like reading a horror book but with a good romance. Like a lot of old school vampire scare and romance mixed together nicely.

Final Tabulations

Minus One for Writing Flow, Plus Four for Characterization, Worldbuilding, Entertainment Level, and Sexy Romance. That adds up to Four Stars.

If there are readers who have made this their first Feehan book, I'd recommend reding some of her more recent books, and you may find that the writing works better for you. I can only speak for myself. There is something that draws me back to Christine Feehan's books, again and again. She writes such dramatic, intense, imaginative, very romantic stories--elements that I absolutely love in a book.

So, I have to say that I am glad I finally read Dark Prince. Although it was a chore at times, it was worth it.

Disclaimer: This is just my opinion, to be taken with a grain of salt. I do not advocate any behavior in this book for real-life man/woman relationships. It's just fiction to me.

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