Dark Illusion is the 33rd book in Christine Feehan’s Dark Carpathian Novel series. I know this because I’ve read all of them. It’s safe to say I’ve been a fan of this heavyweight of paranormal romance for a very long time. But for the last few books, I’ve been struggling with stories that have lost their freshness, and prose that feel as if Feehan phoned it in.
Publishers Weekly said about Dark Illusion, “fans will devour this masterfully wrought tale…” My response is, “Oh Nay Nay!” Talk about phoning in a book review!
The most irritating problem with this book and many of her others is the repetition of endless information dumps. Most romance readers devour a book in one sitting. I don’t need an author to recap a character’s motivation or history in every single chapter. It’s annoying.
The basic plot of Dark Illusion is that Julija Brennan, a mage, is trying to track down an evil book before her family of evil mages gets their hands on it or her. Enter, Isai Florea – the Carpathian hunter who is so ancient that he locked himself away in a remote monastery to keep from becoming a vampire while he waited on his lifemate to make herself known to him. So what does Isai do when he finally finds her? He spanks her for hiding from him. Are you kidding me! The rest of the book is just as problematic. And I wanted to like this book!
In my opinion, the entire series needs to come to some satisfying end, and soon. At least let the faithful fans move on to a new series knowing that Prince Mikhail and the Carpathian race have overcome all the forces trying to destroy them. I would rather the books live on in my imagination than read another Dark Carpathian novel.
I did not post this review on Amazon. Christine Feehan has (as of this moment) 300 reviews for this particular book and she doesn’t need my assessment of her work. She has enjoyed a long career and has been an influencing force in the paranormal romance genre for many years. For that accomplishment alone, I respect her.
Crimson Dawn is a paranormal romance and book four in a series; Crimson Haze is book five. These reviews were posted on Amazon.
I was so happy to discover Georgiana Field’s Crimson Series! I jumped into this series with the fourth book, Crimson Dawn, but was able to quickly sort through the large cast of characters and grasp the lay of the land because of the author’s storytelling skill. The plot is fast-paced, the dialogue sharp and sassy, and the action sequences snappy. I love the fact that Royce must work to woo Jennifer and that her character is strong enough to hold him accountable. I enjoyed rooting for them as they journeyed to the happy ever after this book delivers. I highly recommend Crimson Dawn and am now planning on reading the previous three books in the series.
Which I did…
The latest installment in Georgiana Field’s Crimson Series, Crimson Haze, is truly wonderful. As with her other books the dialogue between her characters is snarky and highly entertaining. The pace of this book is a little slower than Crimson Dawn, but I found it to be completely appropriate for a story about two characters who are healing from past traumas. Crimson Haze picks up not long after book four, and once you start reading it’s hard to put down. At the beginning of this book, Quaid is dealing with the loss of his leg and the loss of his wolf while Simone is learning how to cope with her past years of abuse and the modern world. Field’s does a great job of interjecting humor in what otherwise would be a heartbreaking story of recovery by having Simone struggle with mastering modern slang and lingo that we all take for granted. Overall, this is a very sweet romance story of hope and courage. You will not regret picking up a copy of this book. As a matter of fact, the entire series has found a permanent home on my bookshelf.
As much as I admire Field’s pacing and ability to write fun dialogue, I did discover that this talented writer has a weakness. And that is…sometimes the story was moving along so quickly that on occasion I would miss an important moment and later experience a sense of confusion during an action sequence. This is not an unusual problem for writers. Even the heavy hitters in the world of paranormal fiction struggle with choreographing fight scenes and keeping up with the movements of every character. I saw this small flaw in Crimson Dawn more than I did in Crimson Haze. There’s no easy fix other than as writers we must continually work on our craft and rely on good editors to point out where we need to improve.
Even with that small negative, I think that this series and author are well worth your time.
You can find all of Georgiana Field’s books on Amazon. There are links to the books at the top of the page. Learn more about the author at her website.