Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by St. Martin's Press
Released on August 5, 2008
I finally get to learn all about Acheron and the secrets he hides! Oh, man this was a big book and I didn’t skip over sections! I dreamed about him and the agony he went through. No person or God should ever have the life he did. While Tori was a wonderful heroine, I think I wanted a little more for Acheron. In the end it was all good and she gets a badass ending!
I can never do justice to this book in a review. Why? Well, I have a love and hate relationship with it. There were elements I wish I had never read and elements I so wanted never to end. It starts from the beginning while Acheron is still in his mother’s womb…many, many…well a heck of a lot more than many years ago.
When the story opens we meet Acheron’s mother, Apollymi (Goddess of Life, Death, Destruction & Wisdom) who is trying to save her unborn son from his father, Archon, who wants to end his life over a prophecy. Without much time, she hides her son in the human world with a Queen about to give birth to a son. Acheron is to be a twin prince whose life is tied to the other son, but when he is born with swirling silver eyes, the King turns his back on him as a bastard son his wife conceived while cheating on him.
The next section of the story is told from Ryssa’s point of view…who’s Ryssa? Ryssa is the seven year old sister to the twins. She accepts Acheron when no one in the family does. At a young age Acheron is sent off with the King’s brother to Atlantis, where Ryssa believe’s Acheron is living the life of a prince until one day she gets a letter saying she should visit. I won’t go into all that is done to Acheron, but he has been made into a prostitute, beaten and living on a animal level. Ryssa tries to rescue Acheron, but things never really work out the way you expect.
This is a large part of the story all told from Ryssa’s point of view. It’s hard to read because it isn’t pretty, sexy, or nice. Acheron is too young at this point to be anything associated with sexy. What is done to him, rips my heart apart. It is absolutely horrible. Ryssa is such a kind hearted woman, but extremely naive. She really expects her family to accept Acheron even when they have only shown him shame. Slowly Acheron starts to feel again and come out from the slave yoke, but you know it isn’t going to end well.
Acheron’s Story – The Past
We finally get to see Acheron’s side of the story once he is about 19. Through all of this there are dates and times marking the progress of the story. Acheron eventually comes back home to the kingdom he was born in, but nothing is ever easy. Every misdeed is blamed on him even when he had no involvement. The atrocities that he goes through almost made me throw the book against the wall! The hatred the King and Styxx (his twin brother) have for Acheron has no bounds of darkness. They cage in him in the dungeon with no room to move. When he starts to die, so dos Styxx, fulfilling the rules put into place to save Acheron. Unfortunately there needed to be a lot more rules.
There is little joy in Acheron’s life. Ryssa loves him, and in some way he loves her, but he can’t let himself hope for anything better. He goes alone to the theatre to lose himself into a story, only to be found out at times. While angry, he desecrates Artemis’s temple and brings about a new Hell into his life.
Artemis … well, she is a royal bitch. A virgin goddess of the hunt, but also Acheron’s nemesis for most of the Dark-Hunter series. This is where we find out how they met, how she caused his death and how above all she tied him to her. She starts off all enthralled in Acheron, and Acheron needs love, hope and someone who cares. Unfortunately he is too naive in the way of true love and this turns into an act of torture to read. Holy Hell, why does this poor man have to go through all this shit? Artemis won’t acknowledge publicly they are a couple because she is a virgin goddess. And in the end he dies calling for her.
I can’t go into much detail about all this without giving away spoilers, so just trust me, Acheron’s life was a living Hell. He was happy when he died more for peace, no pain, giving up the will to find hope. It was just so gut wrenching….only to have him pulled back into existence by the bitch Artemis.
So a little back story. When Apollymi hid Acheron, her husband and some others imprisoned Apollymi and she can only be released if Acheron dies. Well, Momma is one mad goddess and no one is safe. She goes on a pretty good rampage until they figure out how to bring back Acheron, thus imprisoning Apollymi again. Apollymi is the ultimate mom, but unfortunately would end the world if ever released. Put that pressure on Acheron’s shoulders as well.
He gave her a droll stare. “And I don’t like your head attached to your shoulders. Guess we can’t all have what we want, huh?”
Artemis and Acheron
Kenyon, Sherrilyn (2008-08-05). Acheron (Dark-Hunter, Book 12) (Dark-Hunter Novels) (p. 404). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.
Acheron – Present Time
So over half of the story is the back story with no love story. I spent so much time trying to guess who he would fall in love. Who he would even chance wanting to fall in love with. I really thought there would be hope for Ryssa to be his love. Yeah, kind of a *eww* but they weren’t biologically related, so I had hope that while Acheron wanted love, Ryssa and her son were the only two who really gave it unconditionally. Well, most of the time.
Ash laughed as he was struck by a line from the TV show Heroes. Save the cheerleader. Save the world.
(Ash’s thoughts during a conversation with his mother)
Kenyon, Sherrilyn (2008-08-05). Acheron (Dark-Hunter, Book 12) (Dark-Hunter Novels) (p. 504). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.
So this left me guessing and surprise! It ended up being someone we met in a previous story when she was a teenager, Soteria Kafieri. Who? Well, I met her in The Dream Hunter book where her cousin falls in love with a Dream Hunter. At the time they are searching for Atlantis, but by the end of that story, the heroine knows a lot and gives up the search for the good of everyone. No so for Tori. Her family has been humiliated for still believing there is an Atlantis buried deep beneath the sea. Well educated and basically a genius, she is now a doctor teaching at a local college in New Orleans.
So how do these two meet? Acheron is sworn to protect all things Atlantis, so he goes around debuffing anyone who would prove otherwise. Here is where Acheron debuffs Tori as she is giving a presentation, basically making her out to be a crazy idiot. Oh, wait, she has something very important from Atlantis and now everyone is out to get it back.
The two of them spar with words back and forth, both repelled by what can’t be and drawn by the fates (well, maybe not the real ones since they are Acheron’s half sisters and they don’t get along well) to fall in love. After the past that Acheron lives, he feels no desire or need for sex. He cares deeply, but also holds himself back from his Dark-Hunters and friends. They think he is one of them, but really he is a God. There are a lot of secrets, and while Acheron would normally come across as cold, he comes across as wise. When he feels passion for Tori, he can’t explain it and when Tori isn’t instantly all over him like most women, he is intrigued.
“Every time I’ve ever made the mistake of trusting someone . . . it was a mistake that I regretted and paid for dearly. I’m really happy that no one has hurt you, but I haven’t been so lucky, okay?”
His words rang ominously in her ears as she watched him calling a foul.
Please let me be wrong . . .
But the more she thought about it, the more sense it made. Someone had hurt him badly in the past. So much so that he couldn’t even deal with it.
It was why he hid his eyes from the world. Why he pierced a face that was so perfectly handsome it beckoned to be touched . . . Why he dressed in those FU clothes. It was to keep everyone away from him.
Kenyon, Sherrilyn (2008-08-05). Acheron (Dark-Hunter, Book 12) (Dark-Hunter Novels) (pp. 537-538). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.
There are forces still out there trying to kill Acheron. Good ole Nick is around. Don’t forget Stryker. Styxx is actually not so bad now that he has lived a long time, but you don’t really get to know him and I am not sure I am ready to forgive him all he did to Acheron when they were younger.We get to see old friends from past books like Summer, Arik, Geary, Kyrian, Amanda, Julian, Grace, Tabitha, Zarek, and a whole bunch more as it is time to save the one man who has saved them all.
“You know, it’s amazing to me the wounds we can carry for eternity. But what has fascinated me most these last few years is how the right person can heal them. I remember a wise man once said to me that everyone deserves to be loved. Even you.”
Kenyon, Sherrilyn (2008-08-05). Acheron (Dark-Hunter, Book 12) (Dark-Hunter Novels) (pp. 681-682). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.
Artemis, the bitch, is still around and damn I like the way they put her down. No, she’s still around, but they put a muzzle on her finally. Apollymi is still imprisoned, but I didn’t expect any less.
Truly, this was a very long assed story. I loved it so much and how Tori accepted Acheron for the person he was, is and will be without expecting more. While she may not have jumped him when they met like most women, she does fall in love and desire him…and jumps his bones later on.
“In all our pasts lie our futures. By our own hands and decisions we will be damned and we will be saved. Whatever you do, put forth your best effort even if all you’re doing is chasing a never-ending rainbow. You might never reach the end of it, but along the way you’ll meet people who will mean the world to you and make memories that will keep you warm on even the coldest nights.”
Kenyon, Sherrilyn (2008-08-05). Acheron (Dark-Hunter, Book 12) (Dark-Hunter Novels) (p. 710). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.
The story is more than just sex. While that is a part of it, it really is such a small part in a different way. Acheron will always own my heart, but I am happy to see him find his hope, love and confidence again. Simi will eat anyone who hurts him…with bbq sauce!
Psst! I did skip a few books. I was getting bored with the way the series was going with Dream Hunters – just wasn’t interested. So while I did skip a book or two, this can’t really be read as a stand alone. It references so much in the past like why Nick hates and wants to kill Acheron or for that matter why Stryker does too. Tori doesn’t have much past to get caught up one, but Acheron…well has centuries.
Books ‘N Tunes
This book…well it was a long book, so it deserved two songs since songs were mentioned in it. The first one is more between Soteria and Acheron and speaks to them as characters. The next one is because it spoke so much to Ash as he was playing it. And Apollymi needs the last word even if I don’t put her song up here.
His throat dry from embarrassment and fear, he met her gaze. “This is for Soteria.” He went into the opening strands of Nickelback’s “Savin’ Me.”
Kenyon, Sherrilyn (2008-08-05). Acheron (Dark-Hunter, Book 12) (Dark-Hunter Novels) (p. 593). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.
He sat down on the bed and just started strumming. Before he knew it, he was playing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” It was a song that had haunted him since the first time he’d heard it. It was like the writer had known exactly what was in his heart. It was all about the decisions that changed a life and how perceptions could change any and all situations and feelings.
Kenyon, Sherrilyn (2008-08-05). Acheron (Dark-Hunter, Book 12) (Dark-Hunter Novels) (p. 552). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.