92 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Beware... spoilers if you haven't read the past 8 books...
Let me get it out of the way and say that Dreams of a Dark Warrior (book #9) was amazing. Although I did enjoy Demon from the Dark a smidgen more, this is another fabulous addition to Kresley Cole's very addicting Immortals After Dark series. Many of her fans have been waiting for the match-up between Regin the Radiant, the glowing, loud-mouth Valkyrie, and her soul mate, Aidan the Fierce, the berserker who's reincarnated time and again to find Regin, but it never ends happily for them. Aidan always ends up dead, and Regin spends another few hundred years waiting for the next reincarnation of Aidan to start the whole cycle again. Regin feels both she and Aidan are cursed, never to be together and to suffer alone.
Dreams of a Dark Warrior starts with how Regin and Aidan first met. Regin was only twelve at the time, searching for her beloved, missing sister Lucia. Aidan quickly realizes that Regin is his mate and will wait for her to grow up so he can claim her. But these two lovers can't consummate their relationship. Since Regin is an immortal and Aidan isn't, he must try to earn his immortality called Ohalla by winning two hundred battles in Woden's name. Woden is a god and Regin is one of his daughters. Unfortunately Aidan jumps the gun because he can't control his passion for Regin and the curse between these two unfortunate lovers is engaged.
Now in present day, Regin is waiting for the next Aidan reincarnation. But this time she'll deny him to keep him alive and stop from doing two things with him that always leads to his death once they're acted upon. But Regin has much more to worry about, because a mortal by the name Declan Chase, who's part of a secret Order against the creatures of the Lore, will capture Regin and her kind, doing unholy experiments and tortures on them, hoping to eradicate their existence. Declan is filled with hate and wants revenge because of how his family was killed by a group of evil immortals who tortured and left Declan for dead when he was only seventeen. He's very much a loner who wears black, won't let anyone see him naked and is addicted to drugs to numb his pain and urges he can't control for something or someone. And when he comes in contact with Regin, his reasoning flies out the window.
Regin figures out who Declan is inside, and in order to save herself and those of the Lore he has captured, she must make him remember his past lives because if she doesn't, all the immortals could be destroyed for the Accession has arrived in full force.
Dreams of a Dark Warrior is set during the events of Demon from the Dark, but from Regin and Declan's point of view. When it was announced who Declan was in Demon from the Dark, that reveal was one of most shocking things in possibly the entire series. I wondered how in the world Kresley was going to pull off Regin and Aidan's HEA. She has definitely accomplished that in Dark Warrior with many happy results. Even though this isn't as steamy as her past books, don't worry, there's more than an abundance of passion, but more of an emphasis on the action and the incredible and witty dialogue between the characters I cannot get enough of. Again Kresley gives us great insight on why her characters act the way they do. Regin is not the spoiled brat I had though her to be, and Declan is not evil, just misinformed and unbelievably full of suffering and guilt.
There are many familiar faces, most importantly the capture of Lothaire, the most ancient of all vampires who's as remote and amoral as they come. Kresley has a major twist regarding him based on who his mate may be. I really thought I knew who he'd be mated with. How wrong I was! His book is next, and let me tell you, if Kresley hooks him up with whom I'm thinking she has planned, mainly based on the interactions between him and a specific character, it's going to be the craziest and most spectacular book in this entire series! And I have no doubt that Kresley can pull it off. I wish I could tell you who I think Lothaire will be with, but that's a humdinger of a spoiler right there. All I can say it is full of crazy awesome sauce, and this will be confusing for those who haven't read Dark Warrior, but I do believe the black king will capture the white queen.
It's pretty much a given I'll read anything Kresley Cole writes. Dreams of a Dark Warrior is another book full of win by her. *Bows down at the altar of Kresley Cole*. I'm already dying for the next book (or at least a blurb to finally know who Lothaire's heroine is). Kudos to Kresley for another top notch book that has made me invoke my favorite phrase- "I want to have babies with it.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2011
So when I read book 8 (Demon from the Dark) I cried when I read what happened to Regin ... her glow dimmed, vivisected, AND staples ... I actually teared up because she is one of my favorite characters in the series. Reading book 9 was pretty horrific to say the least. Yes, you got to meet more characters and learn more about Lothaire(whom I've come to love because of his dry sarcastic humor), BUT Declan was brutal and just straight up evil. I was so taken aback by this. I couldn't believe that Aidan the Fierce came back purely evil and tortured so many Loreans. THEN he couldn't even come back as Aidan, but this evil jerk! The romance was rushed in my opinion. And pretty much the same as the other books. The chick fights his attentions off, but SOMEHOW falls in love with the sight of his body yada yada yada. But I digress And I don't think the plot was strong enough when Declan was starting to become, for lack of a better word, "nice". Also, I wanted to see more of the halfling, Thad. Meaning I wanted to see him fight! I know he was only 17, but he shoulda had a chance to do something.
So another part of the book that I am getting tired of that other readers pointed out is the repetitive-ness. I like that all of the stories are intertwined, but I don't like that she keeps repeating information. Half the book is about information we already know. There should be a note in the front that says "READ THE SERIES FROM THE BEGINNING"... it would just make it so much easier.
Just to throw this out there - I love Kresley Cole. I think she is an amazing author and I definitely love this series. I am always anticipating her next book.
Also, I know I am spelling names wrong. Bare with me.
Anyways, I am looking forward to Lothaire's story. Obviously, there is a twist with Nix and "his female" ... my question is - Is his heart beating? Has he been blooded? --->I will have to go back and reread some books. Also, I am looking forward to Nix's story. Ullieam MacCrieve. Melanthe and the broken wing guy. The vampires bring their sisters back. Even the Accession. I will be hurt if some key players die.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I've never been a big fan of Regin's, and Declan was writted in the previous book as such a one-dimensional bad guy that I didn't think he was redeemable, so I didn't hold out high hopes I'd enjoy this book. I was so wrong & this is up there with my favorites in the IAD series.
We get to see the other side of Regin - the loyal sister and friend, the warrior and protector, and most improtantly, the tortured victim of a heartbreaking curse, which she tries to mask with her over-the-top prankster personality. Since Aiden was written as such an amazing character, I was really hoping we'd eventually get him back, and he and Regin would get their HEA. But as the story unfolded, as unbelievable as this may seem, I started to warm up to Declan & didn't like the idea losing him to Aiden. The resolution of Regin & Declan was completely satisfying & believeable.
Despite the dark tenor of this book (things were very gruesome, both emotionally and physically), there was also present the usual humor, this time in the form of two new characters - virginal teenager Thad and Nat the poisonous dark fey.
Lothair takes a more prominent role & his scenes are priceless. I have a soft spot for the georgeous ancient evil beings with the dry sense of humor. I laughed out loud at the advice he gave Thad, whose bad influence Ragin & Nat were trying to reverse. There's a curve ball thrown in regarding his mate - there were hints in other books that it might be Nix, but that doesn't appear to be the case based on their interactions in this book & Lothair's musings about his female. I can't wait for his book.
Four stars for a few reasons: 1) there are so many characters and factions, some of whom we met many books ago, I got lost at some points; 2) I found Lothair's internal monologues about his "Endgame" confusing; 3) I thought the fact that pretty much everyone, immortal & mortal, had a reason to want Declan dead & the will to make it happen, was dispatched of too easily.
Overall, a great book that I highly recommend.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2011
I'm only giving 1 star for the story rather than critic of the author's exceptional continuous writing. I just hate the story, and like some have mentioned, I was not a fan of the repetativeness of the book. The Regin and Aidan's tragic romance has been mention since the series started, so having a little more perspective and depth in their love story at the beginning of the book, and Regin's feeling was just as intense and consuming as Aidan's, to have her at the end claiming to never loved him was a slap in the face for me. As a reader who was seeing and feeling everything she felt for the man, guess what, I fell in love with him.
Declan Chase, was introduced in Demon from the Dark, where he was responsible for countless of tortures, murders and so forth. The previous book begin and ended with him being the villian. I saw no hint of him even hesitating in any decision he makes. Learning he and his family was attacked as a teen, and him being a heroin addict, explained a few of his behaviors. What left me cold was the only person he regret hurting was Regin. The only reason he wants to reform was because of Regin. The only person he can be bothered to rescue and saved was the friends Regin asked to save. Even the characters who end up standing up for him at the end, he couldn't careless about. The guy had no remorse for anything he did to which it was Regin's family and allies that he end up hiding behind. HE DID NOTHING TO BE REDEEM!!
Regin reaction to him was just as puzzling as well. All the characteristics that attracts her to Chase are the part of Aidan's throughout the book. I did not like the scene with her still being traumatized and vulnerable of being vivisect to instantly having muddy relations to the man who's plays a big part of her suffering. I didn't find it realistic, and i was dissapointed she left him off the hook easily.
The end of the book was rush, and I still haven't find anything about the hero that I particularly like and my opinion of Regin have change somewhat, which is not favorable . I can't wait for Nix and Lothaire's story though. Those two are so not right in the head, but so awesome at the same time.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2011
I did not like this book at all, although I knew the hero had some issues, I was hoping that they would be resolved in some way, and I got the complete opposite. This guy, who willingly killed women and children, justified himself. He actually thought he was doing the right thing, and we're supposed to "forgive him" because he didn't know who he was? This makes no sense. I know its fiction, and paranormal one at that, but this was not a good story. The only interesting part was Lothaire and Nix, both of whom I hope to read about in detail soon. Usually I have Kresley Cole books on standby, to re-read, but this one I can't even look at.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2011
I'm still a fan, but this is my least favorite book in the IAD series. I never did fall in love with Chase.. felt sorry for him, sure, but I didn't like him as a hero. I couldn't get over all the horrible things he did to Regin and her friends, and that definitely colored the rest of the story for me. The other story lines kept me engaged, particularly Lothaire & Nix (curious about what's going on there!), but this book ended with a yawn.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2011
Let me start by saying I have loved all of the previous Immortal after Dark books. I am a huge Kresley Cole fan. I am an avid reader and read mostly paranormal romance, but also urban fantasy and occasionally horror books. I am not a picky reader and like just about everything that I read. I have never, ever not finished a book once I started reading it. That being said, this book horrified me!
I love the world and the characters that Ms. Cole has created but I could really do without the horror (and torture) in my paranormal romances! The "hero" (and I use that term loosely!) tortured the heroine - literally - by abducting, stabbing and poisoning her. His actions directly lead to her being vivisected (cut open & "examined" with no anesthesia, for those who don't know!). This was all just a little too much for me. This book gave me nightmares!
Chase, the hero, was never really redeemed in this book. Yes, we find out that he had watched his parents die a horrible death and he was tortured by the same creatures that killed his parents, but he, himself, was responsible for the torture of hundreds or even thousands of immortals, including Regin! I find it hard to believe that she could forgive him and want to share a life with him and then defend him to other people he had hurt.
I gave this book 3 stars. It gets 5 stars for the writing, characters and scenery and 1 star for the multiple torture scenes I had to read through. I will still continue on with the series. The previous books were so good that I can't turn my back on the series.
29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
**MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD**
Other reviews summarize the plot, which greatly overlaps another Immortals After Dark book anyway, so let's get down to business.
Regin's Romance: This was a true 0 star romance for me. Declan Chase is just one of the most reprehensible characters I have ever read about! His real life equivalent is that of a Nazi war criminal (no exaggeration), and Regin and him basically "fall in love" in a concentration camp where Chase is torturing and killing men, women and children(!) like Regin. I could not see a single reason why Regin supposedly fell in love with him! Yes, Chase is the re-incarnation of Aidan the Fierce, but he only exhibits the hate and pain that Aidan allegedly had (that was never shown) AND as it turns out, Regin never really loved Aidan anyway and never fully gave him her heart. So, the fact that Chase was the re-incarnate of Aidan is irrelevant romance-wise, which makes the build-up to this romance in past books, a total letdown and makes Regin's feelings for Chase that much less believable and less compelling.
I feel that Regin's characterization was changed for this romance. She went from being a kickass, Valkyrie warrior to a weak female who would literally do *anything* to get her man. She quickly forgave all the atrocities that Chase committed against her and all Loreans and even apologized to him at one point! In order to keep Chase from dying due to this re-incarnation curse, she really went over the top in a way that I did not buy at all! I hate to even write about it. As it turns out, maybe all that was unnecessary, because the re-incarnation curse just fizzled out anyway. However, Regin's character did show me how some real-life women can write letters to convicted serial killers and end up marrying them in jail. I could see her doing something like that at this point.
Chase was not hot to me at all. Descriptions of him didn't give me an attractive mental picture like in the other IAD books, and he just seemed so much older than everyone else, even immortals. I pictured him as a well maintained 58 year old man. His character was so awful that the sex scenes between him and Regin were distasteful and gross to me (not to mention boring). I started skipping those pages and by the end of the book, just didn't care about what happened to this couple at all.
This Book: This book covers the exact same time period as Demon From the Dark and plot-wise, reading it was like dogpaddling. A few somewhat interesting secondary characters were introduced. They were laughable though in how they championed Regin/Chase's romance and dispensed relationship advice. The most important introduction was to The Order, which I think is pivotal for The Accession. While this book doesn't really advance the IAD storyline that much, it contains some important setup information for the series. The ending for this book, even moreso than all the others in this series, was really rushed. The ending involved lots of "telling and not showing", with Nix doing the telling as usual and tying things up in a pretty, but unbelievable, bow.
The IAD series: Over the past month, I have read all the Immortals After Dark books, except the Murdoch/Daniella novella. Dreams of a Dark Warrior is the absolute worst. However, it gives many clues about the future. This book sets up The Order as a common enemy between the so-called bad Pravus and good Vertas immortals (there's been a lot of side-switching at this point). *I believe* that for The Accession war, the Pravus and Vertas will unite to fight this common enemy. They will need the inside information on The Order that only Declan Chase can give them, so the future of the entire Lore will rest in his hands. They won't be able to win without him, and he will help lead them to victory. This will give Chase the redemption that he absolutely did not earn in this book and will make it seem like there was a benefit or fated purpose to his role in atrocities against immortals. /endspeculation I'd say this book is worth the read for series info, but not at all as a real romance.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2011
Let me start off by saying that I haven't liked all of Kresley Cole's books in the Immortals after Dark series. I liked the first three, hated the one about the ghost, and found the demon brothers' books so-so. I did like the last book, so I was looking forward to reading this book. It wasn't very good.
I think the main problem is the foreshadowing done in the previous book. I was almost two-thirds the way through the book before I got past action that had occurred in the last book. We knew Regin was captured by her reincarnated Aidan--now Declan; that she had been taken to the island prison; that she was tortured; that the prison came down and everyone escaped; and even that the plane that took off would crash. All from the last book. And even thought reading about those events from Regin and Declan's perspective gave us more information, the reader still knew what was going to happen--not much suspense there. It wasn't until the storyline got past these events that the book became more interesting as in a read-and-can't-put-down.
This book also foreshadows the next book, but hopefully the author will make the retelling of those events in the next book only a minor part of the book. However I'm still hooked on the series and want to find out what happens.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Regin and Aidan fall in love. As soon as they have sex, someone kills Aidan. He reincarnates, meets Regin, and as soon as they have sex, again someone kills him. This happens about five times. One death was accidental caused by a storm at sea, other deaths are by an enemy of the moment. Regin is now afraid to kiss him during the current incarnation because she fears he will die right after. In each incarnation, Aidan does not remember anything about Regin until she kisses him. That is the memory jog.
This story has Aiden reincarnated as Declan. Declan's parents were tortured and killed by immortal creatures when he was 18. Webb took care of Declan and brainwashed Declan to hate all immortals. Declan now works for Webb running a prison compound/death camp. Declan's people capture immortals and put collars on them which prevents their powers. Then they experiment, torture, and kill the immortals.
Regin is captured. Declan hates her because she is immortal. She doesn't tell him about their love and their past. Declan feels strange things when he is around her.
Here we have keeping secrets again, like in the Gareth and Lucia story. Regin doesn't tell the whole truth to Declan. For half the book, she tells him some things, but she doesn't tell him everything. When he starts to like her, Webb tells Declan something that makes him hate her again. What's missing? Relationship development. For most of the book, whatever sex we see are flashback memories or dreams about a love scene in a prior life. My preference is to see a couple meet, get to know each other, and fall in love. I want some dialogue. I want some character development. In this book it's all about hatred by the hero who tortures and hurts the heroine and her friends. And then she hates him back. (The following sentence may sound like a spoiler, but it's not really since we know this is romance, which means we know they will get together.) Eventually he says he is sorry. This is not a fun storyline. There are no good feelings until the tail-end-happy-ending. It's mostly hatred, torture, and pain.
A fun thing about paranormal romance is seeing characters use magic powers. That doesn't happen here because most of the immortals are wearing collars which prevent it. You'd think Declan as the manager of the compound would be able to remove collars. But he can't. Only one of his guards has that power. So when Declan wants to help Regin and others, he can't, which continues the conflict of having our favorite characters weak and in danger. I guess that's ok. It's a plot choice. I should not complain.
Story length: 515 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 6. Estimated number of sex scene pages: 36. Setting: mostly present day island in the Southern Pacific, but a little New Orleans and Ireland. Copyright: 2011. Genre: paranormal romance.
The author has more than a dozen books in this series "Immortals After Dark." My favorite is "A Hunger Like No Other." I also liked "If You Deceive" from the MacCarrick Brothers series.