Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Adult book review: Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark series book 11) by Kresley Cole

Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Pocket (February 15, 2011)

Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.

When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals—unaware that he belongs to their world.

Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?

My review: The opening of this book immediately drew me in. I was happy to see one of my favorite characters in this series, Regin, finally get her own story. Reading about her initial meeting with Aidan when she was a child gave me a lot of insight into her character. I enjoyed their interaction and felt for both of them. Then the rest of their story began and that special 'spark' I found so engaging in the beginning was lost.

One outstanding aspect of the Immortals After Dark series is Kresley Cole's ability to weave engaging stories around a standard formula: one male and one female will somehow meet and discover they are a fated couple, and then they'll have to overcome great obstacles in order to join together. With the eleventh title in the series I actually was aware of this formula for the first time. As much as I liked Regin I could not get into the whole Declan-Chase-is-Aidan-the-Fierce reincarnated. Part of my problem was with what was going on inside the Complex and the mistreatment of the immortals at the hands of the humans made me feel disconnected, not only from the action, but from many of the characters. Even though Regin is a beloved character, I questioned her choice of remaining with Declan many times throughout the book.

As for Declan, I tried to like him and in certain sections I thought I would and then he would do or say something and I was back at square one disliking him. There were parts I found myself scanning over and occasionally Regin and Declan's way of handling or thinking about their problems seemed redundant. I understand Declan was a bad guy who changed for love. His journey to get there didn't excite me as thoroughly as those undertaken in other Immortals After Dark novels.

Instead, I found myself liking Natalya (Regin's room mate while confined), halfling Thad (I sense an entire book devoted to this intriguing young man) and Lothaire the ancient vampire (will he receive his book too?) more. Dreams of a Dark Warrior wasn't my favorite but that's okay--no matter my feelings about this book, I will continue to read this series. The books are always well written and have a wonderful combination of action, romance and interesting paranormal characters.

Favorite excerpt: "And you believe you are entitled to a Valkyrie for your bride?"

"I am the most powerful berserker ever to live," he said, not with conceit but as if he merely stated an indisputable fact. "So if not me, then who?"

She shrugged. "I remain unconvinced of your charms, Aidan." Also an indisputable fact.

"There is another reason. . . ."

"Tell me."

His voice gone gruff, he added, "You should choose me because. . .I will love you, Reginleit."

Her heart seemed to skip a beat. "How can you say that? You cannot know the future!"

"I know because, at twelve years of age, you've won me with your wit and bravery. Your staunch loyalty too." He leaned back once more, grinning up at the roof of longhouse. "When you have your wiles about you, I'll be no match. I concede defeat well in advance."

"When I'm grown, others will vie for my hand."

"Undoubtedly. But you belong only to me."

Cover comment: The design concept is the same as all of the other series covers. My one comment is I thought Chase/Aidan was badly scarred across his chest and back and had needle marks running up his arms. There is only one mark on this model's chest.

Book source: Swapped

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