Book Review

Carpathian Madness (aka all Carpathian novels by Christine Feehan)

Title: Carpathian Madness (aka all Carpathian novels by Christine Feehan)
Author: Christine Feehan
Genre: Paranormal

Ah, those wild Carpathians: I finally have a minute to give you the sum up of these books, but I still might make Candy read one if I own one. Otherwise, I won’t make you or anyone you know abuse the library or your own pocketbook to procure this tripe. Here’s a summary of anything and everything you need to know about the Carpathian books.

The Carpathians are vampire creatures – only they don’t prey on humans to the point of killing them. Those that kill humans are considered vampires and their decision to kill their prey makes them into consciousless monsters. The Carpathians’ duty to control these “fallen” members of their race is to hunt them down and kill them.

They can only drink fruit juice and all other foods make them ill; they need blood to survive and they need to bury themselves in the earth during the day and draw from the earth for healing. They are all psychically connected to one another, and they rarely, rarely procreate, but not from want of trying!!! When they do manage to have an offspring, the baby is usually male, leading to a very lopsided population, and thus the family is dying out.

The first book is actually good – I enjoyed it, anyway. But it might have been good because I’d never seen the pattern of each and every book that follows so the novelty of it was interesting.

A quick summary of the first in the series: The leader of the Carpathians is going to kill himself because one of only two female Carpathians has been murdered and he’s distraught over his failure as the leader. He’s in tremendous psychic pain, and his anguish reaches a woman across town who is also psychic. She reaches back to him mentally, and they begin to talk telepathically. She stops him from doing the deed, he flies through the night to find her and see what she looks like, etc. He is very surprised to find out she’s a human, and not one of his kind at all.

The next day he arranges to meet her, romance and a lot of humping ensue, and there begins the predictable sequence contained in every other Carpathian novel written by Feehan.

1. Males lose their ability to see color at about age 21 and will not regain it until they meet their mates. It’s like Jude Deveraux’s thing where “you marry the one who can tell the twins apart.” It happens in every novel and takes the thrill out of initial attraction. Got color? Got mate!

2. Sex scenes are intense and involve blood sucking, blood exchange, and always, always, always the caveat that “Carpathians have sex in a more savage fashion than humans and thus cannot have sex with humans because their super duper strength and giant manhoods will kill the poor humans.” Further, there is always one doggie-style from-behind sex scene. It’s like clockwork. Once the couple are a-humpin’ in earnest, Feehan will throw in a rather spicy doggy style scene. Over a fallen tree, in a cave. Doggy style. Count on it.

3. Carpathians mate for life, and are entirely bound to each other, such that if the Carpathian male “goes to ground” during the day and is asleep and psychically unreachable by the female human, the female human is completely distraught and will try to kill herself rather than go on without her mate. Very angst. Tres drama.

4. Carpathians bind their mates to them with this Christian-vows-sounding oath that they recite in their own language while Doing It, and that binds their mate to them in self destructive manner described above.

5. The human females that are in some way “eligible,” i.e. through existing psychic ability, some demonstratable higher power or sixth sense, can be turned into Carpathians with an exchange of blood at three separate times. The conversion process is full of high drama and much soul-twisting angst on the parts of both the hero and the heroine, with lots of barfing and sickness for the converter.

6. The other Carpathians all have individual signature powers, and many of them focus on healing with herbs, candles, and chanting and singing, and there’s some weird dance involved with casting and uncasting a spell.

7. Doggy. Style.

So there you have it. You don’t have to read them now, because every single book follows this formula. Carpathian meets special human girl who is a misfit or special in some way, and suddenly he can see in color after centuries in black and white. They start knockin’ boots, and some blood exchange occurs, either deliberately or accidentally. She becomes Carpathian, and they overcome whatever danger is going to happen. There is a group sworn to kill them that pops up every so often, and then there’s other drama that can interfere. Usually the force keeping them apart is external, not internal. I mean, with all that come-from-behind sex, how could there be internal conflict? They are too busy humping.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Jonquil says:

    Marry me.

    Oh, you forgot to mention that Carpathians instantly bond with women, and that the women don’t have any say in the matter, but it’s okay because they fall in love with the Carpathians eventually anyway.  I think the doggie-style may have something to do with it.

  2. 2
    Lynn M says:

    LOL! Oh, no! I just checked out “Dark Prince” and “Dark Challenge” from the library. Guess if I read these two I can consider myself thoroughly up to speed and can skip all 3,256 other titles, right?

    Thanks for the insight. I’ll be looking for that doggy-style…

  3. 3
    Sarah says:

    Sorry Jonquil – I’m already married! But thanks for the offer! And yes, you are right that I forgot to mention the instant bond that the heroines have little say over. I mean, on one hand I can appreciate the fantasy of never having to worry whether you’ve found the right man – hey! Suddenly you will DIE without this DUDE. But on the other hand? Just a bit overbearing, no?

    And Lynn, don’t worry. Initially they are very very absorbing! Very dark and sexual and Feehan does create a very interesting spin on vampire myths. But just about every other book in the series is similar to the first few so you don’t have to break yourself chasing down the whole series.

  4. 4
    Nicole says:

    Oh…I love this.  THIS is why I hate these books.  Though I could barely finish the first one and the second was agony.  I even tried some other of her books because everyone was drooling over her.  Ick.

  5. 5
    Rene says:

    I read a Feehan short story in one of the endless anthologies and that is exactly what happened.  The chick was a kitty cat or something but I still think they did it doggie style.  Well, I guess cats do it that way too.  What I really despised is that the characters were Good and Noble Beyond All Human Standards.  Overblown was the term I thought of while I was reading it.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    April says:

    Brilliant!!! Thanks for finally putting into words what I have felt for a long time.  Glad to know I am not the only one.  They make such a hoopla about Feehan every time a book comes out that I find myself thinking “Maybe she came up with something different.” Nope.  Big disappointment.  Which leads to two words: NEVER. AGAIN.

  8. 8
    beejay says:

    I’ve never managed to finish one yet.  It’s like she has the plots for two and a half books crammed into one.  Toooo much going on.  Never mind the plot rut, just too damn fraught for me to keep reading.

  9. 9
    Amy E says:

    You forgot the incredible asshattedness of every single fucking Carpathian hero.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  ONE.

    “I am a Carpathian male, I must fuck you silly every time I see you, preferably within 30 seconds of you entering the room.  I can do no other.  Oh, and I also cannot use contractions, recognize that you have a brain, or stop drinking from your throat before you pass out.  I must provide the angsty how-could-I drama for the reader… I can do no other…”

    Bah.  She fell off my auto-buy list long ago, hung onto the “might” buy list for a little bit, and has wound up on the “never again” list.

  10. 10
    Amy E says:

    This sums it up perfectly—it’s better than the real thing.

  11. 11
    Kat says:

    Kudos, madame.

    If I read the words “for all time” one more time, I’m going to puke. I found it 3 times in a two page spread in one book! What is wrong with the word “forever”?

  12. 12
    Cindy says:

    Well maybe I ain’t as smart as you Bitches, cause I read ‘em and I liked ‘em.

    So there.*sticks out tongue*

  13. 13
    Shan Baro says:

    With every “fiber of my being” I hated the series, but couldn’t stop reading it. Perhaps it was the allure of the constant doggie style sex that kept me panting and coming back for more. And oh hell yes, I have pre-ordered “Dark Demon,”  and look forward to bending over some more.

  14. 14
    Sorcha R says:

    Just once, I want one of these Carpathian bastards to turn out gay. That would make me so very happy. Except the others would probably make him mate with some poor psychic chick anyway so they can have a precioussss my precioussss baby. If you live forever, what the hell difference does it make if you reproduce?

  15. 15
    Steph says:

    Thanks for the review!  So true.  I had just checked out one of her books from the local library, Dark Challenge.  Mercy!  Now I can use my precious free time to look for more interesting romances…I love this website!!

  16. 16
    Brassyflame says:

    I actually enjoyed Dark Destiny, which I read after Jacques book.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the villagers and the multiple lives that seemed to have something happening in them.

    Oh, I know that’s unusual and very frowned upon in the Feehan world.  I’m just sayin.

  17. 17
    sandra says:

    The only Feehan book I have read was a non-Carpathian one called THE SCARLETTI CURSE.  The hero didn’t suck the heroine’s blood, but they were both psychic, and he decided that she was his mate and since he was a lord and she was a peasant, she didn’t have any say in the matter. He just carried her off to his palazzo and kept her under guard until she said “I do.”(It’s set in Renaissance Italy.) Also, he was in his 30’s and she was 16.  SIXTEEN!  However, I did like it, and if I ever find a copy at the Sally Anne I’ll buy it.  But I don’t have any desire to read the Carpathian books.  I have a problem with vampire romances in general.  As Stan on South Park would say, “Dude, you suck people’s blood!”

  18. 18
    Erin says:

    It was one of the Carpathian books (I’ve done my best to burn the title from my memory) that put me off of romances for over a year. It was the first book I ever considered not just throwing against the wall, but pinning it there with a knife.

    I’d read a few others in the series and they were all kind of blah. Same uber-alpha male Carpathian, same dormat of a heroine, same recycled sex scenes. Blah, blah, blah. But this particular book in the series went too far. The hero rapes the heroine. But it’s okay because he loves her and they’re meant to be together!

    Oh, F U, Ms. Feehan. That’s not romance, that’s assault and abuse and after that I wanted the “hero” dead. I never read another of that series and I haven’t touched a single one of her books since. I warn people away from them.

    I’m finally reading romance again but it took me a long time to get over the sour taste that author left me with.

  19. 19
    CindyV says:

    I loved your dead on review, however, I’m sorry to say I love her Dark series only because even though each one follows the SAME EXACT PREDICTABLE PATTERN, (which is why I stopped reading Beatrice Small, V.C. Andrews…) it’s the pattern I LIKE. It’s like eating your favorite candy bar or same boring ice cream favor. You get hooked sometimes to same predictable boring flavors, ‘cause damnit you just like them and that’s ok. Carpathians are my comfort food.

    plus, I like the doggie style.

  20. 20
    RStewie says:

    Which one was that?  I stopped reading them after about 10 in…figured the overall story arc was not interesting enough to get through any more of them.  But I don’t remember a rape…


  21. 21
    LiNe says:

    WOW! I love your review, but i like the carpathian series. Even though most of the books go in the same pattern as you pointed out, I enjoy them. It is filled with comedy, action, gore and itense romance between the characters. I just love how she puts the men to be so dominant and scary and very sexy, but the women are so defiant, strong and beautiful as well. I love it because it’s a dark twisted romance series and not just any typical love story. It’s got pretty much everything and that’s what I enjoy about it the most.

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