A Carpathian Novel
By Christine Feehan
Read by Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross
Penguin Random House/Penguin Audio 9/01/2015
Audio Download or CD | 797 Minutes
Penguin Random House Hardcover/E-Book | 378 Pages 9/01/2015
Category: Paranormal Fiction | Paranormal Romance
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
In the new novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance,” (J.R. Ward) a wounded warrior and a woman on the run find salvation, passion and unimaginable danger in the ghostly darkness of the Carpathian Mountains…
He wasn’t civilized or tame. He had his own code and he lived by it.
Monk. Bounty hunter. Vampire slayer. Andre Boroi has spent centuries battling the undead, holding out against the dark with honor. But now, gravely wounded by master vampire Costin Popescu, Andre will be easy to track—his spilled blood marking the killing trail for Popescu and his hungry band of underlings. Andre’s only chance is to disappear into the gray mist of the Carpathians. To wait. To hope.
She had a healing touch and a scent that was his lifeblood.
In the mountains in search of a precious crystal, geologist Teagan Joanes suddenly finds herself hunted by those she once trusted. Then she comes across the warrior—wounded, wanting and irresistible. Andre has been craving her for an eternity: his lifemate. Her warmth envelops him. Her scent pulsates. And with every beat of her heart, Teagan surrenders to a passion she can’t possibly comprehend.
Now they are bound by destiny, but is it enough to keep them safe from a stalking, relentless darkness that threatens to swallow them alive?
Last fall I listened to another book in this series, DARK BLOOD, by Christine Feehan novel narrated by Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross and there was something unctuous about Mr. Gigante’s narration. In this novel I found that oily-quality had been alleviated to the degree that I was able to enjoy it and not roll my eyes each time he spoke. He has a smooth, deep and chocolaty rich voice, and he delivers this one more like Godiva than a cheap bon bon.
Ross delivers Teagan’s voice with the perfect touch of what dialectologists refer to as “African American Vernacular English,” with just a hint of the American South. Teagan’s character is given just enough to place her in context, but it is not heavy, and she doesn’t, as far as I recall, use double negatives which is one characteristic in this particular dialect. I don’t know if the character’s accent was written into the book but it is mentioned that she was half-African-American. The accent made contextual sense.
In my opinion, the story is also a step forward for the series: Andre is a bit Antediluvian – literally. His thoughts on the role of women are very culturally based and not just a little anachronistic. Teagan is a complex female character: strong, courageous, loyal but terrified. She is a great energy/crystal healer but that’s as far as she believes in the supernatural. She’s a long way from believing in vampires and Carpathians. Teagan is shown as strong and, while very prone to Andre’s charm, she sticks to her guns. And sometimes her “out of the cave” thinking does something useful that makes Andre and some other Carpathians think.
I like how Andre is at the end of his rope, but not quite as far as the guys hiding in the monastery.
I do find the world-building a little slippery, especially considering how established the series is. Andre has all these abilities that are not associated with his being Carpathian. And quite a few loose ends are left untied. Every time there is a lack or the characters need an ability it comes along. It is possible that the world-building feels slippery because I am not totally familiar with the series and audio is a hard medium for complex worlds, even more so with the unfamiliarity I mention.
The book is also fairly graphic in its violence. But we get a balance with great love scenes.
I will probably go back and read/listen to more of these stories. They are dark, naughty and filled with complex, brooding heroes!
PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/317140/dark-ghost-by-christine-feehan/#
CHRISTINE FEEHAN’S WEBSITE: http://www.christinefeehan.com/dark_ghost/index.php