Reading Assignment Challenge: Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan
In Dark Lycan, Christine Feehan journeyed into the heart of the Carpathians, and into the souls of two lifemates stirred by the flush of passion and the threat of annihilation. In Dark Wolf, the breathtaking story continues as the bonds of family are imperiled, and the fates of two lovers lies hidden in the seductive shadows between life and death.
Skyler Daratrazanoff always recognized the miracle that was Dimitri Tirunul, a man beyond any dream that had ever engaged her nights. But she was human. Vulnerable. He was Carpathian. Nearly immortal. She was nineteen. He was an ancient. Yet she held half his soul, the light to his darkness. Without her, he would not survive. Caught between the two warring species, Dimitri has spent centuries hunting the undead to keep his people free, and humans safe. He had survived honorably when others had chosen to give up their souls. But now, marked for extermination by the Lycans, Dimitri found himself alone, and fearing for his life. But salvation was coming...
No Lycan would ever suspect someone like Skyler to dare mount a secret rescue operation. A teenage girl. A human of untested abilities. But she had something no one else had. She was predestined for Dimitri--as he was for her. And there was nothing stronger for Skyler than her desire to see her life-dream come true. Whatever the risk.
After reading and adoring Dark Lycan I was super excited to read Dimitri's story in Dark Wolf. I would love to say that it lived up to all of my expectations but I can't. While parts of it were incredible, when I finished the book I was left with mixed feelings. The beginning of the book finds Skyler, along with her friends Josef and Paul, attempting to mount a rescue of Dimitri who has been missing after being kidnapped by the Lycans. The Carpathians have no idea where Dimitri is being held but have been assured he is safe and being treated well by the Lycan's council who will be meeting with the Carpathians to discuss issues affecting both their races, with the topic of mixed bloods being of paramount importance.
What the Carpathians don't know is that Dimitri has been sentenced to the Lycan's most terrible punishment, death by silver. Dimitri is doing all he can to hold on without going mad and he has shut off all communication with Skyler as he doesn't want her to know the pain he is experiencing. What he doesn't realize is that not knowing if he is alive or dead is more painful than anything else could be for Skyler. Thus her determination to find him when all other Carpathians have seemingly left Dimitri to his own devices. It doesn't matter to Skyler that the Lycans have assured Dimitri is well or that going out on her own to find him could result in an all-out war between Lycans and Carpathians; she needs her lifemate and she is determined to find him regardless of the costs.
The beginning of the rescue operation seemed to drag a bit, but once communication has been reestablished with Dimitri and Skyler (and the reader) realize what is really happening the intensity of the story ramps up and the pages started flying. I loved everything about Dimitri--he really is one of my favorites of ALL of Feehan's heroes. Skyler didn't quite live up to him, in my mind. I don't even think it was an age thing which seemed to be reiterated A LOT in the book--yes she is young, but she has amazing psychic powers. I think it was that so much of what she does in the book is cerebral and it just didn't seem to match up to Dimitri's physical strength.
The end of the book also seemed to drag compared to the bulk of the middle. I felt that the book could have ended several chapters before it actually did. This part of the book really focused on Skyler's emerging relationship with her birth father and his lifemate and while it was fun to revisit one of my favorite couples, after so much action and drama this section didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the story. Compared to the high-impact ending of Dark Lycan, this one seemed too drawn out. I am, however, very excited to read about Zev's story. He has been a fantastic addition to both Dark Lycan and Dark Wolf and I can't wait to have him be the main focus of the next book. Based on what we have seen of Branislava so far, I have a few reservations about her ability to be good enough for Zev. His heroine is going to need to be someone truly special.
Back to Skyler and Dimitri, despite the lagging beginning and dragging ending, the middle was action packed enough to still make me happy to have read this installation in the Dark Saga series.