Leisure, $7.99, ISBN 0-8439-5050-1
Fantasy Romance, 2004
Christine Feehan’s Dark Destiny is a book that is different from other books in the series only in terms of semantics. Much ado is made about the heroine Destiny being the first ever female vampire hunter. But her relationship with Nicolae Von Shrieder is a straightforward Yet Another Carpathian Love Story where if you have read one Dark book in the past, you can guess where Nicolae and Destiny are heading towards. The same old telepathic bond thing, the alpha male yammering, blah blah blah, I’m sure the author is planning to sell the “Been there” T-shirt soon.
Nicolae is “bonded” with Destiny since he sensed her pain when she watched her parents being murdered by a vampire. Destiny is made into a vampire by the villainous scumbag so Nicolae mentally keeps a close “watch” as our little Lolita develops into a luscious low-rent Buffy babe. No wonder Nicolae is so quick to sense that she’s his mate, that pervert. It’s just too bad that she doesn’t trust him and insists that she’ll kill him. A case of a small town which may or may not be terrorized by a mysterious paranormal force brings them together.
I seriously have my doubts about an abused heroine finding love with a control freak like Nicolae, which is a little too unhealthy for my liking. But never mind, I can’t get too invested in this story anyway because as usual, Ms Feehan riddles her story with plot inconsistencies and silly plot holes, such as Nicolae and Destiny having a supposedly strong mental bond where they can read each other’s mind but she still can’t figure out that he’s not the evil guy like she thinks he is until much, much later. Or maybe that’s just because she’s such a dumb bunny. But when an author actually lets slip shoddy inconsistencies in her book, I can’t help but to wonder whether anybody actually critiques, proofreads, or edits her stories.
The author’s fans have written to me in the past, actually insisting that such inconsistencies is part of the charm. I don’t think so. It’s actually reflects badly on the author if she churns out books at such a fast rate but neglects to make sure that her stories have decent plot with a canon that is at least consistent. As usual, this book has plenty of interesting concepts and theories. While this book is formulaic where the romance is concerned, there is innovation: there is actually some evolution in the Carpathian canon that would be intriguing if Ms Feehan writes better, more consistently, and less repetitiously where her romance is concerned.
Dark Destiny is interesting but at the same time, the slipshod and monotonous execution will make this book appeal most likely to die-hard fans who will enjoy yet another by-the-book rehash of the whole Carpathian mindbond/dream/forever/soulmate thing. For now, Christine Feehan remains an author whose writing skills can’t evolve at the same pace as her success. I don’t think she’s complaining, but me, as the reader, can’t help wishing that she finds a way to actually deliver the potential she only hints at in her books.