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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Acheron (Dark-Hunter, Book 12) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I loved this book. I waited for it, and I wasn't disappointed when it finally came out. But before I talk about the book, I have to talk about the series.

The series is based on the mythologies of a few pantheons (mainly the Greek pantheon), and they manage to pull something in to the mix that could have created the vampire myth.

To try to protect humans from these things that aren't really the vampires of legend, but that do drink the blood of humans, there is a group created to fight them. These Dark Hunters basically lose their soul to become a Dark Hunter, but in exchange they get to take revenge on someone, and they get immortality (sort of, they can be killed, but it's hard, and even if they are killed, they become a shade). Oh, and they get paid very (very, very) well for the work that they do.

But, they aren't allowed a relationship. They go through the centuries alone. They have an assistant (of sorts) assigned to them, but they can't have sex with them or be romantic with them. And the Dark Hunters can't be around each other or their powers are weakened. Kind of a bummer. Though phones and now the internet has helped them at least talk to each other without draining their powers.

The first book in the series doesn't deal with a dark hunter at all, but someone who's been trapped into being a sex slave by one of the ancient gods. He is trapped in a book until someone calls him out, then he is their sex slave for a week. And this has been going on for centuries. It's a decent book, but I'd have stopped there if I hadn't been warned that I needed to read at least the first two books before deciding whether or not to continue.

It's the second book where we begin to learn about dark hunters, and as the series continues we learn more and more about the history that created them, and about their leader, Acheron.

Acheron is a huge mystery. We've been given teasers here and there, but much of who he is and what made him who he is now isn't known until you get to this book.

The Acheron book is actually two books in one. I was shocked by the size when it arrived on my doorstep, it's huge. The first story in the book is a history. We get the history from just before Acheron is born all the way to the present day. It's not pretty. It's very difficult to read, and I doubt I will read it again. But it's important that we understand what has created Acheron. Kind of like the sword that has to go through the fire several times to become strong. Now we know why Acheron makes the decisions he makes, and why he doesn't like to be touched, and a whole host of other things.

The second story in the book is Acheron finding his happily ever after. And I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that, because when a Dark Hunter (or other being) gets their own book, so far they've all gotten their happily ever after. I was quite pleased with the way the author gave Acheron the love of his life. Someone who isn't scared of him, someone who will stand up to him, and (perhaps most importantly) someone who will stand up for him.

Now we get to the part where I rate the series and the book. The book is easy, it gets 10 out of 10. Though if you hadn't read the rest of the books in the series it wouldn't be anywhere near that high, I don't think.

Which brings me to rating the series. I don't really like books that are purely romance. The cheesy writing about her heart fluttering in his strong embrace just doesn't do it for me. Not that there is that exact wording, but you get the idea. Also, most of the books kind of go by a formula: Dark Hunter is strong and never before felt anything for female before, now he does, but he doesn't have a soul and it's not allowed and... you get the idea. There are exceptions, but even the exceptions still kind of fit the formula of not being allowed and they have to fight seemingly impossible odds to find a way.

The redeeming quality of the series though is that there is a long term plot going on. Kind of the ultimate fight between good and evil, I think. Except there are gray areas of good and evil. The good side has a lot of bad in it, and the bad side's "Queen" is totally likable. And even one of the worst things she's done, once you understand why she did it, you can totally understand the reasoning behind it. I'm anxiously awaiting the next book in the series, One Silent Night, which is supposed to be Striker's story. Sometimes the next story gives you the next thing that happens, but sometimes we read a new story only to discover it happened at the same time as a previous story so we don't get the next thing that happens at all, though sometimes we learn more about what was happening at the time. I really hope this next book gives us the next thing that happens. I believe it is going to be, the author's page about the book gives a synopsis as well as an excerpt from the book.

So, the series only gets an 8 of 10 for me. But, it's still a recommended series. And if you like all that "romance talk" then the series will probably be a 10 of 10 for you.

Book Rating: 10 of 10
Series Rating: 8 of 10

1. Fantasy Lover
1.5 Dragonswan
2. Night Pleasures
3. Night Embrace
4. Dance with the Devil
5. Kiss of the Night
6. Night Play
7. Seize the Night
8. Sins of the Night
9. Unleash the Night
10. Dark Side of the Moon
11. Devil May Cry
12. Acheron
13. One Silent Night

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