I think it is inevitable that with the coming of the Mayan calendar End Date that there will be more stories coming out that focus on that theme. It is strange when a series that is established on Greek Mythology starts to weave in Mayan Mythology. Fortunately, for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters series it works.
Kateri Avani doesn’t know too much about her family history. Raised by a Cherokee grandmother who instilled the legends and stories of her people into her heart, Kateri always looked at them to be nothing more than stories. Little did she know that she is the daughter of the First Guardian, an ancient whose power will help the calendar reset itself before the Time Untime. It is Kateri’s job to get this done and to avoid Armageddon.
Renegade Waya is one of the Dark Hunters who is charged with keeping Kateri safe and helping to protect her in the job ahead. From the moment he meets her, tortured Ren falls for Kateri. Ren has been alive for over 11,000 years, but nothing has prepared him for falling head over heels in love with the daughter of the man who saved him from pure evil. But though Ren falls for Kateri, he believes the lies that were told to him by his father and brother all his life. He thinks he will never be good enough for anyone, let alone her. As the End Date approaches, Teri and Ren discover that the only way to reset the calendar is for them to unite, as it has been prophesized they would do. For that to happen, Teri needs to learn to trust while Ren needs to accept his own worth. As neither task is easy for them, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
I liked the couple in this book even though I really had no expectation of doing so. Ren is a relatively new character in the Dark Hunter world and Kateri, though a cousin of a beloved character apparently, was completely new. That made it hard for me in beginning. There was a lot that needed to be told and explained before the reader could appreciate and understand where Ren and Kateri were and what they needed to get done. That led to visions, memories, and flashbacks that were a bit hard to keep track of. You have to stick with it, though. It becomes clear how important these things are and eventually, it all starts to come together.
The one complaint that I would have is that this series, as a whole, seems to have moved too far away from the Greek Mythology roots that has gotten it this far. Though the Dark Hunters have always looked into other cultures and taken bits and pieces for a story or two, such as the Sumerians and the Egyptians, this is now the third book in a row focusing on Native American Mythology. Though it is interesting, it really changes the whole tone of the series. The attempt to mesh the Native American myths with the Greek ones by making the hero a son of the two pantheons – it kind of stretched things a bit too much for me. I am hoping this was all a matter of capitalizing on the Mayan calendar predictions and that after this one, it will move back to the Greeks that were really the Dark Hunters specialty.
Overall, I think it is the characters that made this book. The way that Teri was able to melt Ren’s heart and show him his own worth was very reminiscent of the early Dark Hunters books and it felt very familiar. This is definitely a worthy addition to the series. As an added bonus, there is some interaction between the rest of the crew and this gang, but it is definitely a book that could stand alone. It may be a great time to hop onto the Dark Hunter bandwagon.