DARK DREAMERS opens with Christine Feehan's reissue of her story, "Dark Dream". Previously published in the anthology AFTER TWILIGHT, "Dark Dream" chronicles the story of lifemates Falcon and Sara Marten. Many years ago, the father of the current Prince of the Carpathians sent warriors out to various places to rid the world of the evil vampiric monsters. Falcon is one of those warriors and he fears his time as a Carpathian is running out and that he will soon turn vampire. Only the discovery of his lifemate can save him- but an ancient vampire has been stalking Sara for 15 years. Will Falcon be powerful enough to keep her safe?
Christine Feehan was one of the early forerunners in popularizing the vampire romance and it is therefore a joy to see one of her earlier stories republished. "Dark Dream" is a stand alone story although several recurring characters are in the book. However, "Dark Dream" is first and foremost the story of Falcon and Sara and, as such, it is not necessary to have read any of the prior books.
Christine Feehan's world building has set a high standard in paranormal romances. Her creation of the complex relationship between Carpathians and their lifemates is considered classic and other authors have aimed to follow in her footsteps. Falcon is unique from many of the other Carpathians in that he doesn't seem to experience the protective jealousy often seen in the initial stages of becoming lifemates. Perhaps it is his sheer joy at no longer being alone! Regardless, "Dark Dream" is still well worth revisiting after all these years.
"A Dream of Stone and Shadow" by Marjorie M. Liu is a new installment in her fabulous Dirk and Steele series. Aggie Durand is able to see potential futures which aids her greatly in her detective work for Dirk and Steele. Relentless at pursuing child pornographers and molesters, Aggie is unable to resist the ghostly plea of Charlie that she rescue Emma from her abusers. Charlie is a prisoner himself of an evil witch. He can only communicate with Aggie or Emma when he is dead as his soul is then free to wander while his organs regenerate. After all, Charlie is a gargoyle. Aggie is determined to rescue both Emma and Charlie- but at what cost to herself?
Marjorie M. Liu's innovativeness continues to astonish as her multilayered stories are rich both in character development and action. Charlie and Aggie are heroic in their desire to rescue and save those in need and yet both characters are down to earth as well. Charlie's incorporeal self adds an unusual aspect to the developing relationship between Charlie and Aggie but the author also cleverly uses this intangibility to further the storyline. Ms. Liu's ability to wring emotions from the reader is phenomenal as one will feel both the depths of despair and the sheer bliss of happiness while reading "A Dream of Stone and Shadow".
"A Dream of Stone and Shadow" is certainly a stand alone story but this reviewer would encourage everyone to read Ms. Liu's previous books as she is definitely an author with a great deal of talent. The Dirk and Steele series focuses on humans who have unique talents so the agency contains various shapeshifters, healers, clairvoyants, empaths, and telepaths. This melding of differing aspects of the supernatural population provides a new perspective in the genre and one that is sure to be a hit with readers!
DARK DREAMERS contains two extremely well-written stories by two very talented authors. The combination of a veteran of the genre, such as Christine Feehan, and a relative newcomer, like Marjorie M. Liu, cleverly provides readers with a taste of the classic while introducing the future. DARK DREAMERS is a book that paranormal fans will savor!
COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES