Terms and Definitions are at the bottom of the review.
Holy Pooperstickers! This book was sooo exciting and chocked full of major events that will impact the rest of the series for good…or bad. The sad part is that I can’t tell you most of what happened because it will spoil the book for you but I can tell you that there are some heartbreaking deaths of recurring characters. I just can’t tell you who or why.
When I read this book for the first time, I didn’t really get the significance of some of the things that happened in the book so when I read subsequent books in the series, I couldn’t really remember what exactly happened that was important but now that I have the knowledge that certain events are important, I recognized them right away. Does that sentence even make sense? I’ll try to explain without giving too much away but this next paragraph will have some spoilers so don’t read it if you don’t want to know.
One of the side stories in the book…and this author’s side stories are important because they are continued in later books so you have to pay attention to them…is about Nick Gautier who is a Squire. He’s gorgeous, fun-loving, kind of geeky, sarcastic and you just can’t help laughing at his antics and loving him. He grew up in New Orleans and has a Cajun accent which only adds to his personality and sexiness. He’s one of Acheron’s closest friends or as close of a friend as Acheron allows himself to have. For those of you who don’t know who Acheron aka Ash is he’s the star of the series and the leader of the Dark-Hunters. He has a lot of secrets and when certain secrets are revealed to others like the time he turned into something freaky-looking and yielded godly powers, he erases it from everyone’s memories. He oozes sexuality and danger. Acheron and Nick get along great together and Nick treats Ash as a regular guy.
In this story, Tabitha Devereaux is walking with Simi, Acheron’s adopted demon daughter, to the Sanctuary bar. Simi can change shapes and sometimes appears as a sexy goth chick and other times she is downright scary looking like a dragon with horns and wings. She also lives connected to Ash as a tattoo on his torso. He usually keeps a close watch on her because she likes to eat people and demons and such but actually obeys Ash in everything he says, literally. She finds loopholes in some of his orders. Simi is kind of child-like and speaks of herself in the third-person and has a sing-songy voice. She and Tabitha meet Nick outside of the bar. Simi greets Nick like she knows him and Tabitha has an emergency so she leaves Simi with Nick but Simi only knows Nick because she lives on Acheron and hears and sees whatever Acheron does.
Nick and Simi end up having sex. For some reason Tabitha thinks Simi is Acheron’s girlfriend so when Nick tells Tabitha what happened, she tells Nick that. Nick tells Tabitha that he didn’t know any of that and he will confess to Acheron. When Acheron does find out, he freaks out and throws Nick through a wall. He tells Nick that Simi is his daughter and she was never to have carnal knowledge which I thought was weird but whatever. Some fathers are just overprotective. But it’s more than that. It has something to do with the way women and even men treat Ash. They all, anyone who has gone through puberty to old ladies, have a sexual connection to him. He seems to have sexual pheromones that attract women and they can’t help but feel that way towards him even if they don’t want to and I think this bugs him. I think that he believed if Simi never had sex, she would never feel that way towards him. When he tells Simi this, she tells him that he has a mighty high opinion of himself and that she didn’t even like the sex so he has no worries. She said it in a way that cracked me up though. Ash is still too mad at Nick and says, “You’re dead to me, Gautier. If I were you I’d kill myself to save me from the trouble of doing it later.” I never really got the implication of those words until I read later books in the series and by then, I had forgotten the intensity of the moment and Acheron’s words. I just remembered that they had fought. My lesson and point is that when Sherrilyn Kenyon writes something and doesn’t edit it out, it usually has some significance in future books and storylines.
END OF SPOILER
Okay…And now I will get to the main storyline.
Valerius Magnus is the grandson with the same face and name of the Roman general who tortured and killed Kyrian, the Dark-Hunter from book #1 of the series. Kyrian was a Greek commander who was tricked and drugged by his wife who then gave him to his enemy. Valerius was only five years old at the time but he remembers it well because his father and grandfather forced him and his brothers to watch the torture and crucifixion. Valerius tried to run away but he was beaten and made to return to watch the torture. Even though, Valerius was a boy and had nothing to do with the torture. Kyrian hates him. He hates all Romans but he hates Valerius most of all.
When Kyrian received his soul back, the goddess Artemis needed a replacement Dark-Hunter to watch over parts of New Orleans so for reasons only known to her but probably for pettiness and to get back at Kyrian for daring to get his soul back, she replaced him with Valerius. But it seems more of a punishment to Valerius than to Kyrian because unlike Kyrian, Valerius just wants peace between them but Kyrian wants to kill him.
Because of his harsh upbringing and because he has so many people who hate him, Valerius has learned to be distant and cold. His Squire says that he has a stick up his butt and thinks he is too good for anyone else and in a way it is true. Valerius is sophisticated. He came from nobility and one of the most respected families in Rome. He has maids and a full staff to run his household and would never think of eating off a paper plate or using a microwave. He even dresses in Armani to go out Daimon hunting instead of looking like a biker like most of the other Dark-Hunters. Yet he has a soft side to him and even though he doesn’t show it, hurts that he is alone.
Tabitha Devereaux is the twin to Kyrian’s wife, Amanda. People think she is crazy because she is a self-proclaimed vampire slayer. She doesn’t keep it secret but she knows that most people think she is insane so she isn’t revealing any paranormal secrets to other humans. Despite the vampire-slaying part, people generally love her once they get to know her and she has friends all over New Orleans. She has a big heart and helps out her friends whenever possible.
Valerius meets Tabitha while out patrolling for Daimons. He sees a woman who looks like a beautiful Amazon warrior fighting with superior skill, surrounded by Daimons and doing a pretty good job of killing them. He goes to help and she accidentally stabs him in the chest as a Daimon slices his back open. When the fight is over, Tabitha gets Valerius to her place to take care of him. She figures out who he is but he has no idea who she is.
I practically rolled on the floor laughing when he wakes up and sees a large woman with a pronounced Adam’s apple sitting in a chair in the room. He looks around and the room that could only be described as ‘tacky’ with its nice antiques covered in Mardi-Gras beads, a giant toy-car road map rug and a cuckoo clock with a bird with a red Mohawk. Oh, and he is naked. Then Tabitha asks him if he is hungry and if he wants Italian food. He goes downstairs and she hands him a can of ravioli with a spoon. He sneers at it and goes back upstairs so she made him pasta with sauce. When he goes to take a bite, he notices the pasta is in the shape of penises. Hilarious!
They are two people who are opposites in class and sophistication but they fall for each other anyway. The problem is, is that he is a Dark-Hunter who isn’t allowed to have a relationship and everyone she knows hates him. Her sister would have a conniption if she ever found out.
But there is more trouble than that brewing.
Someone is after Tabitha and she thinks Desiderius is back even though he was killed when he tried to murder Kyrian and Amanda. Unfortunately, Ash tells her that Desiderius is a Spathi Daimon and they can be reincarnated. Apparently, Desiderius is a ghost right now but looking for a body and out for revenge on Tabitha and Amanda.
This time, Desiderius has help. Stryker, the son of Apollo, is the most powerful and ancient of the Daimons. He is over 11,000 years old and has the backing of a goddess in everything he does. He wants more power over the world and is using Desiderius to do his dirty work. Getting rid of Acheron and his Dark-Hunter is just the beginning of his nefarious plans but the goddess, his adopted mother Apollymi, won’t let him touch Acheron so he has to be sneaky about it so he is using Desiderius.
There are so many things that happen in this book but I can’t tell you what they are and it’s killing me. If there is one book in the series that is a must read, it is this one because this is where a lot of future events begin. It just gets more complex and complicated from here and you have to…well, you don’t have to because the author does a great job of briefly explaining everything in each book…know the full story.
Terms and definitions
Apollites – A race of people made by Apollo with the intention that he would one day replace Zeus. He thought that he could create a race superior to humans. Apollites are stronger and taller than humans with psychic powers. Angered by this, Zeus made declared war on them and exiled them to Atlantis.
When the Apollite queen became jealous of Apollo’s beloved mistress, Ryssa, she ordered Ryssa and her newborn’s son to be killed and ripped apart. In sorrow and rage over this, Apollo cursed all Apollites to die painfully on their 27th birthday because that was how old Ryssa was. They also could no longer live in the daylight and had to live only off of Apollite blood. In doing this, he also cursed his son, Stryker.
Daimon – some Apollites live longer because they have learned to suck the souls out of humans to extend their lives but they have to keep a steady diet of souls to live. Daimons have black tattoo-like marks on their chests like inkblots where they gather souls.
Spathi – warrior Daimons who are stronger and faster than other Daimons. They can be reincarnated after their death since their disembodied essence remains intact. They are Apollymi’s guards and pets. They are identified by a mark of a yellow sun with a black dragon inside. Their leader is Stryker.
Dark-Hunter – a warrior who sold his soul to the goddess Artemis for a single act of vengeance. They hunt and kill Daimons to protect mankind and are immortal. Each warrior has his own unique power or set of powers such as mind-reading, telekinesis and healing. Because Daimons have animalistic instincts and features such as fangs, so do Dark-Hunters but they do not drink blood. They also cannot go into the sunlight. They cannot marry or have a lover for more than one night. Because Dark-Hunters are so powerful, two cannot be near each other or their powers will drain. They also cannot hurt or kill each other because what one does to the other happens to them also; if one hits and breaks the nose of another Dark-Hunter, his or her nose will break also.
Acheron – main character of the Dark-Hunter series. He has lots of secrets and until you get to the book named Acheron, he is shrouded in mystery. He was the first Dark-Hunter ever and is over 11,000 years old. We know he is the son of Apollymi, the Atlantean goddess and he has unimaginable powers but he hides most of them and erases anyone’s minds of any events that have revealed powers that he doesn’t want anyone to know he has. He also oozes sexuality and danger.
Apollymi – also known as the Destroyer, a powerful Atlantean goddess who destroyed everyone else in her pantheon over an event that nearly tore out her heart. After sinking Atlantis into the ocean and practically annihilating the world, the Greek gods imprisoned her in the nether world called Kalosis. She may be contained but she is far from helpless. Nobody wants to piss her off because she will crush them.
Stryker – the leader of the Spathi Daimons. He is a demigod, son of Apollo. He hates Acheron with a passion and wants to see him dead. He lives in Kalosis under the rule of Apollymi who won’t let anyone hurt Acheron but Stryker thinks he is clever and finds ways to go after Acheron, thinking Apollymi is none the wiser.