Styxx

 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)

 

Acheron

 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)

 

Time Untime

 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)

No Mercy

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)