I have to admit, it’s been a couple of years since I bought or read a Dark Hunter novel. I devoured probably the first six in quick succession, and Fantasy Lover remains one of my favorite re-reads. I certainly appreciate how revolutionary the series was at the time, but I must admit I am a bit fatigued of the world, the Hunters, the inevitable holding of the symbol by the woman even though it causes her excruciating pain…
So when I heard Kenyon had a new book out about a new type of hero, I was intrigued. Coupled with the fact that the book was coming out in paperback, and not in prohibitively-expensive hardcover, I thought I might jump back on the Sherrilyn Kenyon bandwagon. My fault, I suppose, that I missed the little sentence on the cover that said “From the world of the Dark Hunters.”
The book started out well, set in present-day Greece where heroine Megeara (Geary) is searching for proof that mystical Atlantis existed. The search for Atlantis has been her family’s obsession – and their downfall – for as long as Geary remembers. Her quest is slightly different, though. She wants to find Atlantis to restore her family’s reputation, and she’s come closer than any before her. If only she could get the permits to dig.
Arikos is a Skoti, a dream god, one who doesn’t feel except by proxy. In search of elusive emotions, he jumps from dream to dream, seeking out the most vivid from which to siphon. Megeara’s dreams are among the most brilliant he has ever seen, so he returns again and again. But Skoti law forbids obsessive visitations, especially when the Skoti begins to harm the dreamer. Unwilling to give Geary up, Arikos bargains with Hades to experience humanity in all its glory for two weeks. In return, he will bring the soul of Geary to Hades as payment.
When Geary first pulls Arik from the ocean where he is drowning, she is shocked – how can the man in her dreams be real and on her boat? And then there’s his strange way of speaking, his unfamiliarity with everyday things, and his very strange family.
Everything that made Sherrilyn Kenyon a star with her Dark Hunters is found in this novel. Her writing style is solid and polished; her story unfolds with real emotional depth and studied pacing. The use of mythological characters – Persephone was my favorite – is both playful and appropriate.
And then she brought in Acheron.
I recognize that the Dark Hunter world made her famous and that Kenyon has her own special romance with the mysterious leader of the Dark Hunters. But the book moved on spectacularly before she pulled in the Dark Hunters. In my mind, it was unnecessary, very forced, and a blatant attempt to draw more readers by cashing in on the successful series. Further, there was a bit in the end that obviously leads to a future novel in the series. It confused the plot, added elements not previously introduced in the novel, and basically destroyed The Dream-Hunter’s continuity. And, as a result, instead of being successfully drawn back into Sherrilyn Kenyon’s world, I ended up irritated and annoyed. I felt manipulated, and tricked into something that I didn’t want to do.
This is such a great shame, because this is a book worth reading, different from the other paranormals out there, an amusing and heartfelt story. If only she’d given it the chance to stand alone.