Publish Date: 8/7/10
How I got this book: Checked out from the library
Dark Peril is the 21st book in the Carpathian Series by Christine Feehan. I have had some very mixed feelings throughout this entire series. When I first started reading it, I loved it. I thought it was new and different and super sexy. Around book 6 or so, it became clear to me that each book was following a specific formula, and that formula never deviates from what worked originally. I was starting to get to the point where I was almost ready to give up, but then Feehan throws something into the mix to change things up.
First time was in book 17, where she did the Carpathian Christmas get together, when all the old characters came back together again. Then I was again pleasantly surprised by the last book, Dark Slayer. Well again, Feehan has changed things up enough that I didn't feel like I was reading a forumla once again.
Dominic is of the old Dragonseeker line, and he feels that his time is almost done before he will be either forced to turn or seek the light. He takes on for the team, and injects himself with the infected vampire blood to attempt to infiltrate their ranks, and gather as much information before taking out as many as he can. While he is fighting in the jungles of South America, he comes across Solange, the jaguar “princess” who has been fighting the war for their women her whole life.
When Dominic and Solange realize they are lifemates to each other, I was impressed with the way they both so readily accepted their fate. Even though Solange has an irrational fear of men due to her history with the jaguar men, she still finds a way to somehow put her faith and trust in Dominic. And Dominic, although he has resigned himself to death, he still wants to do everything possible for Solange.
One of the other things that Feehan has changed a little in this series with this book is Dominic's attitude towards women. In all the previous books, then men are almost archaic in their thoughts towards woman. (really? We don't all belong barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen...) In Dark Peril, Dominic was supportive and understanding in Solange's need to be a warrior in the fight against the jaguar men. He loves the fact that she can take care of herself, and that she desires to protect the woman of her race. He says multiple times that he enjoys the fact that she is a warrior first, and a woman only for him.
Again, I was glad that this book broke many of the stereotypes that have seemed to be prevalent throughout the series. That being said, this series is really not that interesting to me anymore. I feel as if the overall story arc just isn't going anywhere.
There are still so many unanswered questions out there that never seem to get resolved. Even when some things get resolved, like the problems with Xavier the mage, a zillion other things are left unclear and more and more problems arise. There are also just to many conveniences for my taste. There are too many times that the end seems so bleak, but wait, the hero and heroine can conveniently save each other. Although Dominic knows he is on a suicide mission, he suddenly realizes that Solange has the one gift that can save his life. Maybe I just need a little more conflict and difficulties in getting the impossible accomplished.
I know that I will continue to read the books in this series (sometimes I can be a real glutton for punishment), but I am excited for Skylar and Dimitri's book, and Zacarrias of the De La Cruz brothers. I enjoy that Feehan can tell a great story, I just wish she would do a better job of linking them all together to make the series a bit more fluid.
All in all, I give Dark Peril 3 out of 5 warrior lifemates.