The newest installment in the Dark-Hunter series.
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark-Hunter #23
Release date: 3rd of September 2013
Published by: Mcmillan
Imprint: St. Martin's Press
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 848 pages in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
Just when you thought doomsday was over . . .
Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.
As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.
The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now. She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her.
But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer.
Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it's your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?
I’ve been looking forward to this book for it feels like ages. And while this story definitely impressed me (and not only with its length), it wasn’t without its faults, or aspects that made me want to run and hide.
Firstly the positive:
We finally get back to a character who has been around from early books (ok, a villain, but ok), plus a lot of insight into Ash from a different perspective, which wasn’t always entirely pleasant, but made him seem more flawed and, thus, sympathetic.
While I was slightly annoyed when reading that a good portion of the book takes place in the past and only 20 or so percent was set in the current time, it was actually nicely handled and fit the story perfectly. I guess the fact that the heroine was introduced already in the past contributed to making that portion of the book enjoyable. Furthermore, the fact that the heroine wasn’t as prominent next to the hero was a nice change. Styxx had the limelight and Bethany’s presence complimented him. There were some twists in the end, which at first glance were out of the blue, but fit nicely to the story and made me glad for the characters.
It was an emotional read and few stories get from me the reaction they are aiming for with this. It was a gripping, but difficult read. I didn’t feel as if I just read a book I’ll soon forget about, it stayed with me for days, I kept mulling over what happened and all the feelings it invoked. And this fact makes this a successful book.
Now for the negative:
What was going on with the mega ultra amounts of continuous heart wrenching unfair torture of Styxx that goes against anything I can tolerate? There were times I had to put the book aside to just take a breath because what was done went to such high degrees that it seriously hurt my sense of justice, decency, overall being human and probably everything else. I don’t think such descriptive degrading and torture was necessary, yes, it illustrated the awful life of Styxx, but wow, that was hard to read. And when you think that was it, something worse comes to pass.
I was also expecting more from the final confrontation, but overall, I loved how everything turned out with that (Apollo! Finally!). The groveling from various characters, especially, Ash should have been more meaningful, but it wasn’t too shabby, so I’ll settle for what I got.
Styxx is already inhuman how he managed to stay sane and decent after all that he was forced to endure, it was beyond crazy and, thus, he is beyond precious. I liked that he wasn’t a complete doormat or hadn’t given up and didn’t take everything done to him lying down. He wasn’t a saint either, because despite his kind and forgiving nature he couldn’t extinguish the mistrust and even hate to people who wronged him, but who later on were his close ones.
Bethany was a good heroine and a great match for Styxx, but I didn’t feel that she had that extra something to take her to the awesome heroine league. It might be due to her overall small portion of appearances, but oh well. I liked her, but she wasn’t anything amazing.
While a huge improvement in various ways from the last dark-hunter series books, I was put off by the torture in the story to the point where I can’t give this more than 3 stars, even though I’d want to give more. It’s a super addition to the series, but isn’t for very sensitive people (like me).