It has been awhile since I have really loved one of Christine Feehan's Carpathian books. I can say without hesitation that I loved Dark Predator.
I will not name the heroine in this books since Feehan went to such efforts to keep it a secret. However, she is the perfect match to Zacarias. This book focuses on the H&h instead of jumping all over the series arc. She managed to keep Zacarias exactly as he is a hard, cold, predator but at the same time find something redeeming in him that the heroine could love.
I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of the Carpathian Series.
First let me say that this book was well worth the wait. I did not put it down until I finished it which took about four hours.
Christine said on her site that you were either going to love this book or hate it. I loved it. Zacharias was a different kind of character than most of the Carpathians and so was his story. There was some action and some romance, but the bulk of the story was about Zacharias finding his place in a world that he didn't understand or belong and his lifemate helping him through it. The story was somber and introspective and that may be why the reviews on it are so mixed.
By the way, the cover pictured on this site is not the actual release cover. The actual cover is much more old world and presents the darkness you find in the book.
I highly recommend this book as it is a very gripping read.
I thought this was going to be such a good book with the ultimate bad boy (Zacarias) and the extremely brave Marguarita, but it was kind of a dud by Feehan standards. Overall it was okay, but I really expected more from one of her books and this series.
The beginning was awesome. The banter between Zacarias and Marguarita was entertaining. There were definitely sparks and I had so much respect for Marguarita. I love that he calls her "his beautiful lunatic." Then it seemed after they got together everything fell flat. The fun just died. It was too much about obedience and Marguarita was too willing to accept an unequal relationship. Her spirit was totally gone and it was very disheartening. I liked it better when Feehan's female lead have more fight and strength in them. I know Feehan toes the line a lot between alpha male and dominate borderline abusive jerk. Zacarias was heading towards the dominate jerk category. There were parts where they redeemed themselves but even in the end, it seemed like Marguarita was doing the heavy sacrifices while Zacarias made some minimal effort.
The story itself was slow and a bit boring. There was actually a point where I nodded off reading and that has never happened to me before with a Feehan novel. Usually I devour them and can't wait for more. I found myself even skimming the love scenes because they felt so generic and lacked energy.
This was a big disappointment for me. I enjoy most of her books. There are only one or two that I disliked out of the 20+ books in this series and it's always been because the female lead was too weak and accommodating. This isn't always the case in her books, a lot of them are with really great female leads with amazing physical or inner strength (some with both). So if you didn't like this one, give Feehan another try with a different book.
Although I had thoroughly enjoyed Feehan's Ghostwalkers and Drake Sisters series, I was not going to read the vampire series. Sure, I enjoyed the Twilight books, and I liked Linda Lael Miller's and Nora Roberts' vampire books, but generally vampires just don't do it for me. However, I read The Scarlatti Curse and Lair of the Lion and enjoyed them and found out that they connect to Dark Symphony. (The glaring issue of lions in the first two and leopards in Dark Symphony has me confused. I like continuity. I needed to read it, and that started the journey to find and read all the Dark series books (which are about vampire hunters--the good guys--instead of vampires). I didn't read them in order, and although I had a hard time getting into the first leopard book, I did end up liking them all.
I find the reviews complaining about the lack of dialog are missing the point that Marguarita cannot speak because her throat was ripped out by a vampire in an earlier book when Zacarias saved her life. She and Zacarias communicate through thoughts, hence there isn't much talking in the book. It is kind of weird reading thoughts, but at least they are in italics so I could tell they were communicating.
Zacarias isn't a nice guy and he knows it. Margaurita's not much of a role model for women. Her goal to "save" him at any cost, did kind of get on my nerves, especially when he is abusive to her. I have known (and been) too many women who think meet a man and think they can fix him or change him. She's determined to save him, and in real life this is a situation that is not going to have a happy ending. I hate thinking that because Margaurita and Zacarias have a fairy tale ending that other women will think it can happen for them, too. When Zacarias gets on a horse for the first time and is racing across the fields soaring over fences, I was disappointed in Ms Feehan. Although I realize this is fiction (and fantasy), sailing over fences bareback is something only experienced riders can do. I felt that particular scene, as pretty as it was, didn't belong. In reality you'd end up with a broken neck in the dirt and a broken heart to go with it.
Overall I enjoyed the book. I didn't like it as much as her earlier books, but perhaps she's having a hard time coming up with fresh stories considering this is #22 in the Dark series and the Leopard series crosses over, too, as they all relate to the Prince. Maybe she has too many series in the pot for one author).
I'd have liked it better if it had been in paperback. I'm not sure it deserved to be issued in hardback, and perhaps this is the book that has convinced me to get Kindle. Even though the "hero" isn't so magically wonderful as some of her other characters, I'm glad he didn't burn up in the sun and has his happy-ever-after lifemate. I hope Christine Feehan isn't planning on ending the Dark series. There are still characters who need their lifemates and I need to read their stories, and I'll probably be still buying them as they come out because her stories are too good to wait!
fast paced once it got started, a good addition to the series.