Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not So Fierce: A Review of Dreams Of A Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

This book is #11 in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. #10, Demon From The Dark, was one of my favorites in this series, and I knew it would be a tough act to follow. Unfortunately, Dreams of a Dark Warrior was not nearly as good as its predecessor.

I think it's pretty apparent that one of the most important elements in a successful romance is the chemistry between the hero and heroine. That'll make or break the book. When Kresley Cole nails it, the chemistry between her leads is super intense, both emotionally and sexually---which makes for a fabulous read. Malkom and Carrow in the last installment of this series were a perfect pair...the sexual tension between them was dynamite, the intensity of their emotional connection was fantastic. I loved that book.

Regin is probably the most outrageous, cocky character in this series. I love her energy, humor and loyalty. Her hero, Declan, is without a doubt a fascinating character. After a horrifying near death experience, he has become a warrior in the "Order" hellbent on destroying members of the Lore. He is also (unbeknownst to him at the beginning of this book) the reincarnation of a berserker, Aidan the Fierce, who is the mate to Regin. Declan, because of his past, is a merciless, cold-hearted, drug-addicted killer. Unfortunately, I found Declan and Regin to be mis-matched in this book. Regin is a cocky, sword-slinging "gunfighter"....she should have been paired with a character who could match that sort of fun energy, not a brooding loner. I wasn't feeling the chemistry between them at all....except when Regin (and every other Lore member) hated his guts. I just didn't buy the transition to devoted lovers.

The pacing of this book was also problematic. Cole excels with high action sequences (and super intense love scenes, which are flat-out amazing). The beginning of this book, when Regin is trapped in the facility, stalled. Declan was a total douche bag at the start of the book, and Regin was stripped of her powers. This totally killed the dynamic between them, and the storyline itself. It took way too long for Declan to become a likable character, and for the action to kick-start the storyline.

Lothaire, the most reviled vampire, was by far the most interesting character in the book, which is a huge red flag. When the secondary characters in a story outshine the primary hero and heroine, it's a problem. The interaction between Nix and Lothaire was quite intriguing, and I can't wait to see what's in store for these two characters.

This book was missing the intense spark/magic/humor I have come to expect in the IAD books. I thought it would be ramped up for Regin's book, but instead the story seemed more subdued than others. The second half of the book was much better--more emotional, the pacing picked up, etc. More satisfying all around, but still not enough for me to categorize this one as one of the best.

After reading a lot of winners this past week, I was disappointed with this book. I still love this series, but the books seem uneven at times. I hope Lothaire's story is a winner.

Grade: B-/C+