This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: September 3, 2013
Imprint: St. Martin’s Press
Author’s Website: http://sherrilynkenyon.com
My Source for This Book: Amazon
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 23, Dark-Hunter Series
Series Best Read In Order: Yes
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Torture Porn
Favorite Tropes: Physically Imperfect or Scarred
Despite my discomfort and disgust at not only the explicit details of Styxx’s ordeals but also the sheer volume of incidents (which in the end cost the book a half-star in the rating), I still found myself thoroughly enjoying this one, which I admit, surprised me. I was very hesitant to even read this, because of my experience with the author’s penchant for torture porn as well as my relative dislike of the last two novels in the Dark-Hunter series.
I always have a problem rating the newer Sherrilyn Kenyon books because to me, they very often cross the line of creating a sympathetic, tortured protagonist (usually the hero) and instead fall firmly into the realm of torture porn, which is just not my thing.
I ran into this in Born of Silence (the League Series), in Acheron, and again in this book.
While all of the Very Bad Things that happen to Styxx as a youth do indeed make him a sympathetic character, I think it also does him the disservice of making him fairly unbelievable in the idea that he could still be humble and selfless to the point that he should be nominated for Sainthood.
Though I tried to take the forward from the author to heart, where she says (I paraphrase) that sometimes horrible things happening to someone can make them a horrible person, so can it instead make their inner strength and goodness shine. To me, though, so much happened to Styxx that it simply made it very difficult for me to believe that his Inner Good Guy would have survived.
That said, I have to say that Bethany was the perfect counter-balance to all of the very explicit horrible things that Styxx was put through.
I think that having Bethany and Styxx meet and fall in love in his relative youth, rather than making having him meet her and falling in love thousands of years after the abuse that he went through made it much more believable that he would have had the inner strength to get through everything he was subjected to.
I was, however, very thankful that Ms. Kenyon found a way around Bethany being reincarnated. That’s a trope I struggled with in an earlier book from this series, and was thrilled that it wasn’t an issue in this one.
As a bit of a side note, I would not recommend this book to those not already familiar with the series. I think it would be okay for those who had for whatever reason skipped Acheron, but once the book reached modern times, it moves very quickly with a lot of characters and events that you really need to be familiar with beforehand, else you could easily become hopelessly lost.
That said, for any fan of the original Dark-Hunter series, and definitely for fans of Acheron, I can say with all confidence that this is a must-read.
A very solid 4/5 Stars