Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Dark Prince by Christine Feehan


With very few exceptions, I prefer to read the original editions of books and avoid "author's cut" editions like this because editors exist for a reason, you know? But one of my friends kindly gifted me the whole series of this book, including some of the original paperbacks published by Love Spell with the bodice-ripper covers, so I'm not going to be a dick and look a gift book in the mouth.

DARK PRINCE was so close to being a good book and I think I probably would have enjoyed the original "cut" edition because one of my biggest complaints for this book is that it is too long. Words are repeated ruthlessly and with abandon. "Velvet," "black magic," and "silk" are used over and over again during sex scenes. There also isn't really enough action to fuel the storyline. The vampire hunter plot was good but the climax happened too soon, and made the next 150 or so pages feel incredibly anticlimactic. I'm not sure that would have been the case if the book were shorter.

I also really didn't like Mikhail. He's everything that's wrong with the fated to be mated trope (which I am also not a fan of). He basically forces his way into the heroine's life-- and head-- and calls her "little one" (ew) and he's always manhandling her and telling her what to do. Sometimes the "you look at another man and I'll kill him" thing works for me, but not here. This felt more like professional gaslighting from a broody goth boy in sad pants. Especially since he's always like "you have choices" but then makes it so that she basically has none. He even (SPOILER) turns her w/o permission. RUDE.

The Carpathians themselves were pretty cool, kind of a blend between the vampires of old and shape-shifters. They can turn into animals and mist, but they go to church. Carpathians that don't find their mates become true vampires, they can't see color, life is bleak and meaningless. I thought that was an interesting biological imperative to make them seek their mates. Better than the classic "magic is making us fuck" PWP excuse.

I wasn't really sure on what to rate this. During the beginning, I thought it was kind of like a self-indulgent TWILIGHT for adults, which made me want to give it a three (what I gave TWILIGHT). Then, as the story dragged on, I thought maybe a two. When the fight scene picked up, I thought maybe it would get a three after all. But then there was two hundred pages of purple sex and Mikhail being a douchey angstlord, and I thought that maybe this book should get a one. I feel bad about it because there were things that were really good! But this was just too long and I really did NOT like Mikhail.

1 to 1.5 out of 5 stars

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