SPOILER WARNING: I reveal his heroine’s name, but I think most people know it by now. I did this review before I read Devon‘s.
Well here it was. The book I wasn’t going to get until it came out in paperback. But it was on offer at Amazon, bringing it down to the price of a paperback, so, there you go. I wish the book had been lighter, or shorter, or something, because I’ve got to tell you, my wrists hurt from holding this sucker. But I manfully (womanfully?) struggled on. Oh, and the British cover? Hideous. I’ve added it for your delectation. [Ed.: Amazon UK says this is book 13 in the D-H series, Amazon US says book 12 – you choose.]
I’m going to get picky, but I do want to start by saying that I really enjoyed the read. Kenyon has lavished a lot of love and thought into this book, and it shows. So get it, read it and enjoy it. This is the book diehard Kenyon fans have been waiting for, the story of the badass, humongously tall Acheron, the ancient god with the face of a youth and it doesn’t disappoint. But at the end of the book I wanted more, and I had to wonder why.
The first part of the book is Ryssa’s journal. Ryssa is Acheron’s sister, and this part is really well done. Interesting to see how Kenyon writes in first person. I think she should do more. Ryssa really came alive in these pages. And describing Acheron’s early suffering from a step away really worked. I would have liked a bit more about her feelings for their father, the man who could distinguish so well between his children and treat them in such different ways. Acheron’s father remains a shadowy figure, a bit of a stock villain who I couldn’t really believe in. External motivation was great, but I wanted more internal struggle.
The gods were described as members of society. Apollo and his sister Artemis were introduced as participating in the society of the time. That, too, didn’t really ring true for me, and I’ve always had issues with Kenyon’s depiction of Artemis. Perhaps I read The Golden Bough at too early an age, but I’ve always believed in the complex philosophy behind the Diana/Artemis cult. But, this is a novel, and I found it easy to suspend my disbelief in this regard. Novelists make stuff up. However, I never got a real feel for the ancient world, and there were anachronisms you have to ignore in order to keep the story going. At one point, Ash’s father’s “alienation” was discussed, for instance (in this sense, it’s a 20th century concept. Freud and his counterparts deliberately chose words that were already in existence but attributed different and new definitions to them). Ryssa’s journal was bound into a book, which was explained (why isn’t it a scroll, or tablets?), although I didn’t buy into the explanation. “It just is” didn’t work for me.
Told you I was going to be picky. Again, I wouldn’t have read this far if I hadn’t been enjoying it.
In the second part, we go into Acheron’s story. Interesting, but towards the end – enough with the torture, already! I did, at one point, exclaim, “Not again!” out loud, which surprised the people around me. I think there was too much. Although the descriptions were really well done, we never had more than a couple of emotions. I would have liked more depth of emotion, less gory description. Acheron suffered and despaired, and gave up, and was, to be honest, a bit of a wimp.
But nil desperandum, Acheron dies, is made a god, and gets a backbone. As well as certain of his body parts being returned to him. I got a bit lost here, wondering how exactly he made the godhead. Never mind, it didn’t bother me too much.
Then we got to the modern part of the story, and the bit most fans wanted. Who would be his heroine? There were a couple of candidates I really didn’t want it to be, and luckily, it wasn’t them. In fact, it wasn’t that much of a surprise. The story is the usual kind of Kenyon, vintage, you might say. Intellectual, scatty, vaguely dorky but tall woman meets god. Gets into trouble, is rescued by the deus ex machina, you know how it goes.
Very enjoyable, but I wasn’t sure how or why Acheron fell for this particular dorky intellectual. He’s eleven thousand years old and he hasn’t been touched emotionally before except for that one time? A lot was made of his love for Artemis and how she destroyed it, but eleven thousand years? I can’t begin to imagine how that must feel, to live for that long. Tofler’s Futureshock must have exploded in Ash and his Dark-Hunters. I wanted to understand but I’m afraid I didn’t. I wanted to know why Tory, what made her so special, but I never really felt it. A lot of it was that she happened to be there at the time, when Things happened.
I wanted more for Ash, but when I started to wonder what, I wasn’t sure. Just – more. Maybe it was because this book has been so heavily promoted and discussed before its release. But I have to say, I enjoyed it. The book took me out of myself and into the world of the Dark-Hunters for three days, and that’s all I can ask. Well done, Ms. Kenyon, you pulled it off!
The most anticipated story in the blockbuster Dark-Hunter series. The never-before-revealed story of the Dark-Hunter leader, Acheron. He was made human in order to escape death, but in death he was reborn a god. . .
Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.
Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence.
Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.
War has never been more deadly… or more fun.
Read an excerpt.