Book Critique - Dark Ghost (The Carpathian Novels # 28)
For reviews of other books in this series: Go here
Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: If you like paranormal plots with hint of romance, eroticism and the other world abilities involving immortals and vampires along-side humans with super-abilities, then this is a series to go for. This plot creates a new thread in the many threads this series has keeping it interesting and intriguing.
Dark Ghost is the twenty eighth book in the longest series, Dark Series, by Christine Feehan which was originally published in September of 2015. The primary plot revolves around Andre Boroi - an ancient Carpathian, brutally injured - and Teagan Jonelle Joanes - in quest of a specific stone to aid her grandmother.
Carpathians are a powerful and ancient race who are near-immortals living for thousands of years with powers and gifts. Despite their gifts and extended lifespans, they are at the edge of extinction as fewer and fewer children are being borne and far lesser of females. Without their female counterpart aka "lifemates" the male Carpathians lose the ability to feel emotions leaving the males with hard choice: either become vampire or "greet the dawn". After Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky finds a lifemate in a human female with psychic abilities, there is hope for all the other Carpathian males who have been holding off from turning into vampires – the very creature that they hunt and kill to save all beings. The series now ventures into other species - Jaguar Species (with the 10th book Dark Symphony), Dragonseekers (with the 16th book Dark Demon), and Lycans (with the 18th book Dark Possession).
In her 31st book, Dark Legacy released in September of 2017, Christine had introduced a new Carpathian female, Elisabeta Trigovise - an ancient and sister to Traian Trigovise and thought lost to them. Christine tends to bring back her characters and tie all the inconsequential details that she leaves around in her plots. The mention of Traian Trigovise made me want to re-read the series again since quite a few facts she had brought back in Dark Legacy were lost on me.
The plot again takes us back to Carpathian Mountains. I was expecting it continue in United States and set immediately after Dark Crime. It however did look like either it was set in parallel to Dark Crime or right after it.
Teagan Jones comes to Carpathian Mountains in search of a specific stone with a guide and a friend. But he turns out to be not a friend instead a rapist. Escaping his clutches she climbs further up the mountain and finds her way into the very cave where Andre Boroi was resting after a brutal fight with a master vampire and his team of four lesser vampires.
Andre, commonly known as "The Ghost" by all Carpathians, was indeed a ghost when comes to hunting vampires and killing them. However, he had had enough of the battles and was ready to have the sun take him when he meets his lifemate, an unexpected twist in his life. She was nothing like he had imagined who came with her own ability of psychic powers and healing abilities; with a spirit of a warrior.
A woman always filled with fear and panic in her, could not have been anything close to what Andre's lifemate should be, considering him to be a warrior, and predator being dangerous. However, Christine brought out the strong spine, nerves of steel and her nature to take-on fear and panic head-on, so gently and sneakily that Teagan wraps herself not only around Andre but even the readers, for what her true nature is than just being a destined lifemate.
Again the words like "obey", "allow", "gifting as in orgasms", "rewarded" sneak in Christine's plots which were lesser in the previous three or four books. I wish she just could use other words, but then there is no give to the Carpathian men, so perhaps these words do suit them. Even though the women object thoroughly and find a way to balance that between them.
Christine introduced the monastery, Retreat in the Veil of Mists, at the top of the Carpathian Mountains housing ancients who do not want to be closer to anyone or hunt anymore but do not want to go to sun as well. A new thread and more ancients being introduced leading to more plots. However, I wonder what she will do about the ones that she had already introduced and waiting for their stories to be written. Wouldn’t she want to complete them first before bringing more people in? Or is she having a different agenda on her plate where she is having Carpathians converge in the United States? We will just have to wait and see.
A few tidbits:
The Carpathian Family Chart appears in this book again, but is missing the connection for Bransilava with Zev from Dark Blood, and also no mention of the Dark Crime. The two appendices come back - Appendix I for Carpathian Healing Chants and Appending II for The Carpathian Language.
Another powerful paranormal romantic plot woven by Christine Feehan keeping us thoroughly entertained and immersed into the world of Carpathians, Lycans, Mages and Jaguars along-side humans. As always the fight scenes are excellent and love scenes are very erotic and rough, bordering on brutal.
Christine certainly left the readers with so many minute details that they would be craving to read those details becoming important in future plots. Watch this space for more reviews of the next books in the series.
1. Plot reveals:
a. Retreat in the Veil of Mists - the Monastery at the top of the Carpathian Mountains, holding ancient Carpathians who had not yet sought the dawn, but were unsure around others either after centuries of hunting the vampire and waiting for lifemates. Teagan could ease their pain so they could get a few more years. How that would be is we have to wait and see. So far five men including Fane are shown to be living there. More to come obviously.
b. Trixie Joanes - Teagan's grandmother who raved about a man named Gary who was a spy and needed to die. She was a powerful psychic as well. And she is coming to the Carpathian Mountains to ensure Teagan is as safe as she says. Perhaps a plot involving her to another Carpathian male coming up soon.
c. Roman Daratrazanoff comes to aid Andre in his teen years when a vampire, Ciprian, tortured and killed his human family. This is the first time another Daratrazanoff was mentioned other than whom we have already met. He is the second-in command to the Vlad Dubrinsky, father to current Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky. I always wondered who that Daratrazanoff was that was second-in command to Mikhail's father. Now we get to meet him.
d. Andre and Teagan plan to eventually move to states and be closer to the Triplets, ancients Andre grew up with. I am guessing the near immediate plots would have Andre and Teagan in US.
a. Wonder why Christine didn’t have their own book or a novella for Barack and Syndil instead of splitting between Dark Challenge and Dark Fire? Why make him wait till after Darius makes his clam on Tempest, before Barack claims Syndil?
b. Dark Celebration plot reveals that Paul and Ginny have Jaguar blood in them by way of their mother. Although Paul is tied to Nicholas De La Cruz by blood bond since Dark Secret.
c. Ivory Malinov has a pack of wolves that she had converted them to Carpathian - Raja & Ayame, Blaez & Gynger, Farkas & Rikki. Now Dimitri and Skyler also have a pack of their own Carpathian wolves - Frost & Misty, Moonglow, Shadow and Sonnet.
d. The book of spells by Xavier was found in Dark Demon by Natalya and Vikirnoff Von Shreider. However, Christine hasn’t yet put together a plot to destroy it.
e. I wonder if Christine would have a cross-over between her Leopard People Series and the Jaguar species in this Carpathian Series.
f. In Dark Peril, it is shown that Solange Sangria's royal jaguar blood gives Carpathians ability to walk in sun, albeit with some difficulties. Christine showed the continuity of this in Dark Predator and Dark Storm plots.
g. In Dark Predator we saw budding romance between Julio Santos and Lea Eldridge. Will they and other human families at De La Cruz ranches resurface?
h. In Dark Blood, a few things come to light: Zev Tirunul gets 12 Lycan/Carpathians - Guardians of All - thought to be Sange rau, for his pack which includes Dimitri and Skyler, Fen and Tatijana and Bransilava, his mate; along with his trusted elite Lycans. I am seeing another thread here that Christine perhaps will explore further. That Zev is from a powerful Carpathian lineage, Dark Blood.
3. Unique / Repeat Characters who are not Carpathians but with the possibility of them being expanded by Christine Feehan in future books:
a. In Dark Dream, Falcon and Sara Amiras adopts seven sewer children - three girls (Chrissy, Blythe, Emma) and four boys (Travis, Peter, Lucas, Jase) - all with psychic abilities.
b. Jubal Sanders - sibling to Joie Trigovise, first introduced in Dark Descent, resides in the Carpathian mountains with his sisters and aiding the Carpathians, comes from pure Jaguar blood-line, has feelings for Jasmine Sangria, jaguar female per Dark Storm.
c. Jasmine Sangria - sister to Juliette De La Cruz, first introduced in Dark Hunger, jaguar female, pregnant as of Dark Possession.
d. Emeline "Emmy" Sanchez - first introduced in Dark Crime, friend and family to Blaze Volkov, who had mostly lived on streets all her life, but sneaked into Blaze's bedroom at nights for support and shelter; ability to see future in her dreams; brutally raped by Vadim Malinov when trying to rescue children.
e. Four strong psychic kids, siblings, are saved from the clutches of Vladim Malinov in Dark Crime - Danny (15 year old boy), Amelia (older than Danny), Liv (10 year old), Bella (a toddler).
4. Perils that the Carpathians face:
a. Vampires congregating; injecting a fast acting poison impacting the nervous system; master vampires running together; a multigenerational poison that could attack the healers; fighting the master mage Xavier's remaining two splinters of which one is shared by Sergey and Vadim Malinov per Dark Crime; Xavyion, the surviving High Mage Triplets (Xavier killed in Dark Slayer by Razvan and Ivory Dragonseeker, Xaviero killed in Dark Blood by Zev Tirunul, aided by all the Carpathians and Lycans), rescue psychic females from the clutches of the remaining Malinov brothers so they don’t use them for breeding.
b. Society of Human Vampire Hunters who constantly hunt the Carpathians mistaking them to be Vampires. The Morrison Center for Psychic Research is targeting psychic humans and jaguar females.
c. Malinov Brothers - introduced in Dark Secret; they were sent to Asia by Vladimir Dubrinsky to fight vampires, instead they become the very thing that they were sent to kill - Kirja Manilov killed by Rafael De La Cruz with aid from Vikirnoff Von Shrieder in Dark Secret; Maxim Malinov killed by Mikhail Dubrinsky in Dark Celebration; Ruslan Manilov is the eldest of them and killed by Zacharias De La Cruz in Dark Predator; Sergey Malinov introduced in Dark Slayer; Vadim Malinov introduced in Dark Crime plot.
d. The Lycan/Vampires - Carpathians who deliberately mixed blood with Lycans and voluntarily converted to Vampires - also known as the Sange rau.
5. Lifemate pairs that frequently show their presence, even though they had no main story for them, as of yet:
a. Eric and Celeste – Celeste is pregnant with child in Dark Prince, but no mention of them in the books after.
b. Vlad and Eleanor Belandrake - In Dark Symphony it is shown that she has given birth to Benjamin "Benj" and also adopts Josef - son of another Carpathian pair who are lying in ground now, Lucia and Rodaniver.
c. Tienn and Diedre - Diedre is sister of Vlad.
6. Other Carpathians, Lycans and Jaguars who are waiting for their lifemates or partners as of this book and we meet as the series progresses:
a. Tiberiu Bercovitz - an ancient mentioned in Dark Celebration known to be amazing with weapons.
b. Luiz De La Cruz - introduced as Luiz Silva, a Jaguar converted to Carpathian by Manolito De La Cruz in Dark Possession, inducted into the Carpathian world of Warriors in Dark Blood.
c. Tariq Asenguard - an ancient Carpathian, who was sent to North America by Vlad, introduced first in Dark Curse.
d. Matias, Lojos and Tomas - ancient Carpathians and siblings, triplets, first introduced in Dark Slayer.
e. The other elite Lycans introduced in Dark Lycan and subsequent books - Daciana Declaw (female elite Lycan), Lykaon, Makoce, Damon Declaw.
f. Gary Daratrazanoff - Introduced as Gary Jansen in the 4th book Dark Magic, revealed to have Jaguar blood and related to Colby and her step siblings in Dark Celebration, converted to Carpathian in Dark Blood after suffering a mortal wound aiding the Carpathians. 18 years since his character had first been mentioned, yet Christine still hasn’t spun a story for him. In one of her blog post on Goodreads in 2018, she however mentions that Gary's story has to wait as his lifemate is a child now. Has she already introduced the child? Or is she basing her on one of her granddaughters' - just like Skyler - and she would wait till the grand daughter would grow in real life before penning a story between her and Gary.
g. Val Zhestokly - ancient Carpathian legend rescued by Maksim and Blaze from clutches of Vladim Manilov in Dark Crime.
h. Fane - one of the ancients who lives in the Retreat in the Veil of Mists. He obviously feels a connection to Teagan Joanes.
7. Being so many few Carpathian females born, a few females that Christine still manages sneak in her plots are:
a. Shea O’Halloran – lifemate to Jacques Dubrinsky, first female born after more than 500 years, a natural healer. Her story is in Dark Desire.
b. Savannah Dubrinsky - daughter of Prince Mikhail and Raven Dubrinsky; lifemate to Gregori Daratrazanoff. Her story is in Dark Magic.
c. Desari Daratrazanoff - lifemate to Julian Savage, sister to Gregori and Darius; power to sing that could bring peace to all beings. Her story is in Dark Challenge
d. Syndil - lifemate to Barack, with tremendous healing powers and has an affinity to earth. Her story is spread in two books - Dark Challenge and Dark Fire
e. Francesca Del Ponce - lifemate to Gabriel Daratrazanoff. She is a powerful healer; makes stained glass patterns and quilts that are specific to one's need and bring healing to them. Her story is in Dark Legend. As of Dark Wolf, she is pregnant again.
f. Natalya Shonski - lifemate to Vikirnoff Von Shrieder. She is part human, part mage and part Dragonseeker. Has ability to see the past of anything that she touches. Her story is in Dark Demon.
g. Ivory Malinov - Lifemate to Razvan Dragonseeker, sister to the Malinov and De La Cruz brothers, ability to weave counteracting spells to Xavier's. Her story is in Dark Slayer.
h. Lara Calladine - lifemate to Nicolas De La Cruz. She is part human, part Carpathian and part Dragonseeker; and a daughter of Razvan Dragonseeker. Her story is in Dark Curse.
j. Skyler Daratrazanoff - lifemate to Dimitri Tirunul; adopted by Gabriel and Francesca Daratrazanoff, is Razvan's biological daughter; part Mage, part Human, part Dragonseeker, part Jaguar, part Lycan (as revealed in Dark Blood); Daughter of the Earth. Her story is in Dark Wolf.
k. Gabrielle Sanders - Joie Trigovise and Jubal Sander's sister, introduced first in Dark Descent, but as of Dark Demon she is a Carpathian tied to Vikirnoff Von Shrieder; comes from pure Jaguar blood-line; totally in love with Gary Daratrazanoof, a brilliant scientist.
8. Next Generation Carpathian male and female kids:
a. Tamara - daughter of Gabriel and Francesca Daratrazanoff, born after the Dark Legend.
b. Josef and Benjamin "Ben" Belandrake - Carpathian male kids, first introduced in Dark Symphony. Nephews to Byron Justicano. In Dark Celebration a budding romance was shown between Josef and Ginny - Colby's step-sister; while in Dark Lycan Skyler mentions that perhaps one or both of Gregori's daughters' may be his lifemate.
c. Jennifer - daughter of Dayan and Corrine Wentworth, born in Dark Melody.
d. Stefan Kane Dubrinsky - Jacques and Shea Dubrinsky's son born in Dark Celebration.
e. Alexandru "Sandu" - Mikhail and Raven Dubrinsky's son, born sometime after Dark Curse.
f. Anastasia Daratrazanoff and Anya Daratrazanoff - twin girls of Gregori and Savannah Daratrazanoff, born in Dark Slayer. As of Dark Lycan, Anya and Anastasia are becoming strong protectors of Alexandru just like Gregori was to Mikhail; Anya more being Alexandru's second-in-command.
g. Andor and <> - Twins (a boy and girl) of Darius and Tempest Daratrazanoff.
h. Isabella Sara Amiras - Falcon and Sara Amiras' daughter, born in Dark Blood. (Sara miscarried the first child she had sometime after Dark Celebration)
9. Geographical / Character / Grammatical / Historical Errors:
a. On Pg. 10, Christine mentions Teagan Joanes having a very fair skin. But on Pg. 19 and thereafter, she describes Teagan's skin as a soft mocha latte. Perhaps Christine changed her mind after she began the plot and never corrected the first mention of skin color on page 10.
b. On Pg. 61, Line 5, it should be "There was no sign…"
c. On Pg. 132, Line 23, it should be "…addictive. Wild. Exotic. …"
d. On Pg. 166, Line 23, it should be "…anyone called her "Ghost".."
e. On Pg. 240, Line 7, it should be "…tried hard not to smile…"