Dark Whisper by Christine Feehan

Dark Whisper by Christine Feehan
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Vasilisa Sidkorolyavolkva is a Lycan of royal blood. She knows what is expected of her, but all she wants is to be out from under her family’s watchful eyes. There is a fire inside her that is building. A restlessness coupled with a sense of growing dread. Every day she feels the weight of the legacy passed down through generations. The prophecy that says a man will come to claim her as his mate, and that she will guard his soul. She knows nothing about him except that he is hers. But nothing seems real until the night she meets him in the flesh….

Afanasiv Belan is a Carpathian, an ancient one. In all the centuries of his existence, no one has ever affected him like Vasilisa. He can see into her mind and feel what is in her heart. They are so alike, warriors bound by honor and plagued by secrets. They both know they must reveal the darkest parts of their souls if they hope to survive and protect the ones they love.

But if they claim each other as lifemates, it will change them down to the bone. They will become something more—something feared by both of their kinds….

The action is well-written, the suspense and drama are strong, and the characters are as interesting as ever. What I liked about Dark Whisper is that there is no stupid drama about the heroine resenting or resisting Afanasiv’s claim to her, or the possessive alpha nature of the hero. Vasilisa is well aware of what she guards, and I actually like that about her. No unnecessary angst, just a strong sense of self, knowing her duty and the confidence of her skill to carry it out, come what may. She’s a very strong heroine.

Both hero and heroine work well together. They don’t get a lot of down time because the pace of this novel is non-stop. The plot conflict keeps coming at them. But with their allies, Afanasiv and Vasilisa are up to the task of fighting off demons, vampires and betrayers. It’s a dark read which fits the title appropriately.

The ending is a bit abrupt, and I wasn’t expecting that. Usually there’s a wrap up that gives a reader time to admire all the threads of the plot being wrapped up, including the happy ever after. It felt like a roller coaster ride that ended too soon, up, down whoosh and …done. It was still a good tale, entertaining and engaging. Afanasiv and Vasilisa definitely complement each other. There were even a few surprises which I enjoyed.

I’m not too thrilled with the current story arc. I’ve been a fan of the series for a very long time, and most of the books are awesome. This one with the demons and Lilith mixing with vampires and mages just seems like it’s pushing the envelope into an area I don’t care for. The one sticky point that bothered me the most was the use of holy water. It seemed disingenuous because there was no correlation to anything referring to Christianity in Dark Whisper. I am used to holy water being directly associated with some type of Christian faith because it’s one of the most potent, visible and easily accessible symbols, yet it’s frequently taken out of context, using all its power but none of its source. I’m all for engaging willing suspension of disbelief in order to enjoy the paranormal romances I read, but I can’t ignore the use of something with power devoid of what gives it power in the first place. Using it on evil beings and then expecting me to believe that it would have the same powerful effect as if it were produced from the sole source, a Christian religion, but not? Nope, that didn’t work for me. It didn’t completely kick me out of enjoying all the other aspects of the novel. Like I said, there was a lot going on, but I took note, and it bothered me enough to mention it. It’s a good thing that there were many other facets of the tale I did like. There were exciting and powerful characters helping the hero and heroine out and I enjoyed the idea that there is something about Skyler that could create a new story arc for her and Dimitri. It certainly brought up more questions than answers, but they are captivating ideas to ponder. Then there’s the mention of the trapped Carpathian, Justice. Something big is building, that’s for sure. I’m glad they got one of the bad guys out of the picture. How they did it was sort of gruesome but extremely apropos. This is a dark romantic paranormal suspense after all. Ms. Feehan knows what she’s about.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It’s a good read and I think fans of the series will like it. I did go, Wow! a few times and threw in a whoa! or two as well. It’s worth checking out.

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