Sep 092013
 

Styxx (Dark-Hunter World) Tracey’s Review

This is the story of Styxx, the twin brother of Acheron – prepare to have everything you know about him turned on its head. As Acheron says “there are always three sides to every event – yours, theirs, and the truth that lay somewhere in the middle.”

This book is absolutely amazing. I expected that I would grow to love Styxx eventually but had no idea it would come within a few pages, when he was just a five year old boy!

I would definitely recommend reading Acheron just before reading this, as many events from that story are retold here but from a very different perspective. Ms. Kenyon is a genius with her writing, and the retelling of events throws a very different light on Styxx, Acheron and in particular, Ryssa, but the events are very recognisable from Acheron. Suffice to say this story paints a very different Ryssa to the one we know from Acheron’s memories and not a nice one!

It soon becomes clear that Styxx has had a much harder life than we were previously led to believe, he suffered even more than Acheron due, at least in part, to the way their lives are linked.

We get to see a lot of the Gods from both the Greek and Atlantean Pantheons and how their interference in the human world can have devastating consequences. I thought Artemis was horrible but hell, with Apollo you ain’t seen nothing yet.

I was emotional in a number of places and yes, I did cry for Styxx. His emotions simply fly off the page, and If possible it’s even more heart wrenching than Acheron.  As with Acheron, the first part of the book is raw, violent and graphic in places – so not for the faint hearted but everything is appropriate for the setting and story.

The majority of the story is set in ancient Greece with only the last quarter or so being set in present day but it doesn’t matter, the ancient Greece part of his life is by far the most important. We get to see lots of Ash and Tory, and of course Simi who is absolutely adorable in the latter part, even if she does cause total chaos by trying to do a good turn. Savitar also makes a larger than usual appearance and I am hopeful this means we may be getting his story soon, there is so much he is hiding!

I have been disappointed with Ms. Kenyon’s recent Dark Hunter offerings that focus on the Mayan prophecy but she is definitely back on form with this book, it’s by far the best one since Acheron and I am still amazed how quickly she managed to transform Styxx from a hated character to a very much loved one.

Grete’s Review

I’m honestly a bit speechless.  I’ve been thinking about what to write since I finished the book at 2.30am and I’m still struggling.  Mainly words flash into my head; raw, brutal, profound, sublime, honest.  Without much context though, those words say very little but mean a lot.

I agree completely with Tracey at the skill Sherrilyn Kenyon has for turning what you think you know completely around, causing you to love a character you thought you hated, to want to punch your favourite character for being a complete bastard only to fall in love with them all over again when they set things right. I am in total awe.

More so than in Acheron, I found Styxx’s history very hard to read because of the emotions Kenyon displayed so nakedly.  Some people will feel it’s too much, or a trigger, and anyone who has experienced those emotions, through whatever cause, would be right – I did have to take some reality breaks, but I will also say this with complete honesty – she got it right.

If you can work your way through Styxx, it is completely worth it.

The story itself was the perfect complement to Acheron and again I agree with Tracey that it’s SO worth reading that book first so you come into Styxx with a fresh eye.  Events I’d completely forgotten are examined in detail, so for me, it helped having the knowledge without having to rack my brain for it.

I can’t really say much more than that without spoilers or repeating what Tracey has said but if you love the Dark-Hunters and loved Acheron, you HAVE to read this book.

I’m in love with this series all over again, every dark, gritty, sexy, violent and romantic part of it.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Series: Dark Hunters (23)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Sep 022013
 

Acheron (Dark-Hunter World) Grete reviewed this book back in 2008, so I will not go over the same ground.  Having just reread it in preparation for the release of Styxx on the 3rd September though, I really wanted to add my thoughts.

I have read this book five or six times since I first got it in 2009 and it remains one of my favourite books ever and is definitely the best in the Dark Hunter series. I had not read it for a year or so however, and I had forgotten just how truly brilliant it is.

If you have never read any of the Dark Hunter series DO NOT pick this book up as a starting point, you need to read previous ones to get a feel for Ash and the world he now lives in. Jumping straight into this book will not give you the right background to truly appreciate this amazing character.

Acheron’s story is gut wrenchingly emotional and if you have come to love him throughout the series, I defy you not to cry numerous times during the first half of this book (and in the second half but for totally different reasons!) Every time I read it, I cry!

The first part of the book focuses on Acheron’s life as a human in Ancient Greece and is dark and violent in places, but you can’t stop reading. The second part takes us to the present day and is much more the sort of writing we associate with the Dark Hunters, including their trademark humour. Seeing Ash get his happy ending after everything that happened to him is even sweeter.  If I could, I would give this book 6 stars!

I am looking forward so much to reading Styxx. He is Acheron’s twin and played a major part in his suffering and humiliation as a human. While there has been some indication that he is not as black as he was painted, I am intrigued as to how Ms. Kenyon will justify his treatment of Ash, to allow us to love him like all her other heroes.

Thanks to Grete for introducing me to the Dark Hunters back in 2009, and an even bigger thanks for refusing to let me read Acheron until I was at the right point in the story.

If you enjoy paranormal romance then I am sure you have read some of this series, if you have not, go and do so now!!! If you have never tried paranormal romance but enjoy romance give this series a try, you will not regret it I guarantee it. Fantasy Lover is the first book.

Roll on the 3rd September!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Series: Dark Hunters (15)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Aug 072012
 

Time Untime (Dark-Hunter World) 12/21/12. 11.11am.  The exact time when an ancient Calendar must be reset or all hells break loose… literally.  Kateri Avani, the last Keeper of a long line must embrace the heritage she barely knows, and be at the right place, the right time to complete the task.  If only it were that easy; dark forces she barely understands have hunted down her family, trying to wipe them out so the reset can’t happen.  Ren Waya, a Dark-Hunter with a brutal and violent history has to confront his brother, the man who betrayed and killed him if he is to have any chance of helping Kateri and atone for a mistake in his past.  Time Untime is upon them, can they open their battered hearts, trust again and ultimately risk losing each other to save the world?

Tracey’s Review

Finally the latest Dark Hunter instalment has arrived! I was a bit confused after reading Retribution but not any more. All of a sudden everything mentioned there seems to have fallen into place.  The story builds slowly but erupts into action about two thirds through. While you don’t have to have read Retribution to understand what is going on here, it would enhance the story.

We get to see some old favourites including Nick and Ash – I love those two. It was nice to see Ash kick some butt and Nick not being quite as nasty as he has been in the last few books. I am getting excited for his story and can we have more Ash please…

As always I loved the two protagonists. We had been introduced to Ren in Retribution but really didn’t get an idea of how tortured he is until now, but Kateri was a completely new character. As with all Kenyon females, she is feisty and ready to protect her man any way she can. When she finally comes into her powers it is like a lightbulb moment – quite literally!

I do love peeking into the future and this time the epilogue was beautiful and had me in tears.

There were some loose ends that weren’t tied up, for example earlier in the story we were given the impression that new Guardians would be chosen, but this never happened, or if it did we were never told about it! I also feel that the ending was a bit rushed as if there was so much legend and history to get in that she ran out of pages.

While the Mayan/American Indian storyline has been interesting it has not grabbed me in the same way previous Dark Hunter books have but there are still the elements that I love about Kenyon – hot sexy tortured hero, feisty heroine and of course a happy ending – I don’t think I am giving away too much by saying that!

Grete’s Review

My feelings on this book are very mixed.  I found Retribution, the previous book to this a bit of a surprising offshoot to the main Dark-Hunter series.  It felt like a very personal story to Sherrilyn Kenyon and wasn’t sure how this book would follow on, but it was obvious there was more to come.  Having finished Time Untime, I’m not convinced it was a success.  That’s really hard for me to say as a huge Kenyon fan.

I found it hard to connect with the characters, I think the sheer amount of history and names made it hard for them to stand out and sneak into my heart.  It wasn’t until the last third of the book, I started to really care what happened to them.  The visions, the back and forth through time scenes didn’t help either and I was often left confused who we were witnessing in terms of modern time.

It was good to see members of the ‘usual’ cast; I loved the scenes where Ash appears, he is always a brilliant addition and even got to let loose a little!  I was excited to see Nick and gain more insight into why he is behaving as he is, the short glimpse of the ‘old squire Nick’ was a treat and I so hope we get his book soon.  The only downside for me was the reason he turned up in the first place.  He didn’t get what he wanted but didn’t seem too bothered about it and it was never mentioned again.  Almost felt a lazy ‘how to get him into the story’ but I still felt something was gained.

I agree with Tracey in that it felt the ending was a little rushed and the matter of choosing new guardians was forgotten (and it was a big point in Retribution).  It’s possible it’s something coming in the next book, but in all honesty, I’m hoping this is the last book in this storyline.

The last third of Time Untime I loved, it felt like Sherrilyn was back on form and held all the things I love about her writing that engage me and keep me reading.  It was exciting, tense and gripping and I loved it.  The epilogue as well, a glimpse into the future, made me cry and I thought it was really well done.

So considering it took until the last third of the book to fully engage me into the story, I’m a little disappointed but when it was good, it was very, very good.  This is not a book up to Sherrilyn’s usual standard but it is still a cut above the average.  She sets the bar very high for herself and I know she can deliver an amazing read all the way through, so there are no doubts that I will be buying the next book.  I’m just hoping she returns to the main Dark-Hunter story.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Sep 032010
 

As a shapeshifter, Dev possesses all the fierce protectiveness, rage, strength and aggression of the bear that is the other half of his soul.  As one of the Peltier quadruplets, still mourning the loss of his parents, he tries hard to keep everyone at arms length.  When Samia, an Amazonian Dark-Hunter walks into Sanctuary, the last thing he expected was attraction.  Sam having been relocated to New Orleans with other members of the Dogs of War by Acheron and looking for a good fight, found something else entirely.  Some peace from her brutal betrayal and the ‘gift’ she received when she made the transition to a Dark-Hunter.

As enemies old and new plot and gather, Sam and Dev might be the only thing standing between mankind and annihilation.

I always feel like a kid in a sweet shop when I hold a new Sherrilyn Kenyon book.  Oddly I feel almost reluctant to read it at first, knowing that once I have, it’s done and there will be another wait to visit the ‘shop’ again.  Of course that doesn’t last long and as soon as I start it, I’m immediately swept up into the story, overjoyed at seeing some old friends again, mourning still for the ones lost in the last book.

The Dark-Hunter books are a treat to read, there is no pretense, no trying to cloud the issue with clever tricks, just straight forward emotional writing that engages you right from the start and doesn’t let you go until it’s finished.

No Mercy is a wonderful addition to the series.  Getting to see who Dev is on the inside was great after being used to seeing him as the brash loud-mouthed were-bear who tries to rub everyone up the wrong way.  He meets more than his match in Sam who might just have become one of my favourite female characters in this series.  As a female Dark-Hunter, she has already been to hell and back but refuses to give up and keeps fighting, to honour the Amazon code she held to in life and protect innocents from the Daimons.

There are some wonderfully sweet scenes as well as the usual sarcasm, action packed fights and testosterone overload I’ve come to love and expect but there is also a  depth of emotion evident that hasn’t exactly been lacking in previous books but rather just seemed to strike the right chord in me.

I try hard not to mention specifics in books I review as I really hate spoiling things for others but oh my, Stryker, you are a bad boy!

There are also some interesting developments with regards to Nick just to further tantalise, but to find out more, well, you are just going to have to read it!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Nov 132009
 

As the genre of Paranormal Romance has evolved, one of its pioneers has been Sherrilyn Kenyon.  She broke new ground with her Dark-Hunter series.  It appealed to the many readers who were growing bored with the bodice rippers and outdated euphemisms for male genitalia that had saturated the romance market.  That’s not so say it was bad fiction, just it had reached the point where something needed to change.  I applaud the agents and publishers who took a chance on a new slant of an already established and huge genre.

So why should you read Sherrilyn Kenyon?

I am continually astounded by her ability to tell not only a great story, but by the worlds and supporting characters she creates with the different series.  With each book, someone who might have been a minor character in a previous story becomes the focus.  You learn their history and ride along with them as their present unfolds and you genuinely feel part of it.  The characters are always compelling, interesting and flawed and it’s those three things that keep you reading and eager to pick up another of her novels.

The Dark-Hunter world is like a web with a different strand for each person but with one character in the middle who holds it all together.  He appears in most of the Dark-Hunter books and finally had his own story told in Acheron which was outstanding.

While Sherrilyn is (thankfully!) a prolific writer, I’ve never felt she churns out the same material for the sake of it.  I feel the love she has for her characters in every book and they are all emotional, very engaging and unique.  How she keeps all the characters straight when they cross paths continually I’ll never know but it amazes me.

Her male characters are hot, charismatic, dangerous, sensual but flawed and yes you’d expect that considering it is romance after all, but she also creates strong, determined and often ferocious women who you both love and can empathise with a great deal.  The mix is explosive and very exciting and it’s the superb characterisations of both that bring them to life in your mind and utterly hook you.

So if you want books that you will absolutely fall in love with, you should read Sherrilyn Kenyon and my favourite series of all, the Dark-Hunters.

Oct 242009
 

About Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the writers who helped shape the genre of paranormal romance into the phenomenon it has become today.  She lives in Missouri with her husband, sons, pets, a collection of swords and a plethora of imaginary friends which she likes to play with and share their stories with us.  Her books are always at number one spots in the charts where they certainly deserve to be, and there are more than 18 million in print in over 35 different countries.

http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/
http://www.officialsanctuary.com/index.html
http://www.menyon.com/ (Official Fan Community)

My Comments

The first Sherrilyn Kenyon book I picked up was Night Play.  I hadn’t read much paranormal romance but the blurb on the back intrigued me and I thought I would give it a try.  I didn’t expect to read a book rich in dark humour, stunning characters, steamy scenes and fast paced plot.  The world she created was amazingly detailed, based on our own but with an unseen side of dark-hunters and were-hunters, gods and monsters.  I was hooked.

Having read every book I can get my hands on, in all the different genres she writes in, I am astounded by her imagination and creativity.  She is prolific (thankfully!) but spares no detail because of it and I always have the feeling she genuinely loves each character, that they are real to her and because of that, makes them real for the reader through her writing.

If I had to choose just one author to recommend for Paranormal Romance, Sherrilyn Kenyon would be it,  as a few friends who are also now fans can attest!

Bibliography

Dark-Hunter

Dark Hunter Manga

Short Stories

Lords of Avalon

The League

B.A.D.

Jul 292009
 

I don’t know how Sherrilyn Kenyon does it, but I’m so glad she does.  Bad Moon Rising is the 18th book in the Dark-Hunter series and it’s showing no sign of stopping yet.  You fear with such a long running series that it will start tailing off, the author starts to get bored or runs out of steam and continues for the sake of it, but there is just no sign at all of that happening here.  You feel the love and care she writes with, her characters larger than life but so real and that shines through in every book.  It raises them from a good read to an amazing one.

Bad Moon Rising has everything you want in a Dark-Hunter book and then some.  It’s Fang’s Story beginning with his history, something you know a little of from his brother Vane’s book (Night Play),  through to where Fang is in his apparent coma and then it all takes off.  You get to see some old friends again which is always great and another thing I love about the Dark-Hunter books and how they often blend in together, seeing another story from a different angle.  New enemies, betrayal and revenge feature heavily as always and fast paced action across it all.  But the thing we all want and need the most, is present in abundance.  Love.

I have to say (and try not to spoil anything), the ending is a shocker and I think it was really brave of Sherrilyn to do what she did there and I admire her for it.  I don’t mind admitting I cried, as I imagine others will too.

I really can’t wait for the next one!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Mar 292009
 

Being the son of the gods Warcraft and Hate meant life was not an easy one for Cratus.  After refusing to take an innocent life, Zeus, father of the Gods tortured him and sent him into exile.  He vows never to trust anyone again.  Offered the chance to regain the power that that was taken from him and gain vengeance, he sides with those that would see humanity destroyed and the world in ruins.  Can the Oneroi Delphine succeed in bringing him back, convince him that the world is worth saving or if she fails, kill him.

I was excited to find Dream Warrior had been released and I was really looking forwards to reading it.  It was a bit disappointing when I found I was having a hard time getting in to it, usually I can’t put them down.  I think the pace of the first section was a little off, it seemed a bit rushed and didn’t build as much empathy with the main character as normal.  Having said that, once Delphine came into play, I was hooked and the rest of the book flew past.  The pace of the rest of the book was excellent and packed full of action, passion and the appearance of some old and dear friends.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Sep 282008
 

Occasionally you come across a series that you completely fall in love with and the Dark-Hunter books were such a series for me. I hadn’t really read much in the romance genre, preferring to stick to Fantasy, Sci-fi and Chick Lit. I was stuck for something to read and happened to pick up a book by Sherrilyn Kenyon in a charity shop and since the back blurb intrigued me, I decided to give it a go. I was hooked from then on. It was gutsy, romantic, sexy, funny and the action scenes were all you could want. It was incredibly well written and the story just flowed smoothly, right to the last page and I was actually sad it had ended. When I found there was a whole series of them, I was overjoyed! I’d class them as Supernatural Romance rather than plain romance as they feature werewolves, vampires and hot, sexy gods. What was not to love? Though each book in the series focused on different characters and their lives, the link between them all was Acheron. An enigma you never learnt too much about but couldn’t help loving anyway. You know he’d been incredibly hurt and alone for a dozen lifetimes but not by who, how or where. The sacrifices he made for those he loved were beyond anything you could imagine. As I read each book, I wanted to know more about this intriguing character but because of his nature and the storyline, I feared that the only time you would find out would be at the very end of the series.

Finally his story has been written and I couldn’t put it down. Rather than it being told as a memory, you are taken through his life and the things that he endured that made him the man he is today. You understand so much more about him and the choices and sacrifices he had to make. It was brilliantly written and when his history is done and it switches to the modern Ash that we know and love, you can’t help empathising with him and fearing that this time he will come completely undone and have no way back. The character of Tory ties in with several others as has happened a lot in the other books, a facet of Kenyon’s world that I love and I wonder how on earth she manages to keep them all straight. You can’t help but love Tory, her determination and fierce loyalty are ultimately the things that Ash is drawn to and feel there would be no one more perfect for him, if they can endure the obstacles that are put in their path.

As I said before, I couldn’t put this book down and it was a fantastic book of the history of the Dark-Hunters and their lives. I loved it and am extremely happy that my fears were unfounded and this is not the end of the series. I can’t wait for the next book!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)