I have included some definitions and terms at the bottom of this summary.
If you follow my review summaries and my blog, you know that I am re-reading the Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, not only to refresh my memory which, as I re-read each book, seems to be seriously lacking but also because I am a little short on money these days so I can’t afford to buy any new books. I figure by the end of this series, I will have saved almost $200 so it’s a win-win situation.
Ravyn is a Were-Hunter leopard and a Dark-Hunter. He was born in Greece in the year 304 B.C. as an Arcadian Were-Hunter but after being betrayed by his human mate which led to his own brother killing him, he became a Dark-Hunter in 1673 A.D. when he cried out for revenge and the goddess Artemis answered his call.
Susan Michaels used to be a star reporter for the Washington Post until she made a mistake that ruined her career and reputation. Now, she works for the Daily Inquisitor, a newspaper that specializes in sensationalism and the bazaar in Seattle, Washington. It’s not much of a job but her friend, Leo, was the only one willing to hire her after the fiasco with the Washington Post.
When Leo hands her a story to investigate, her life turned upside down. Leo asks her to follow-up on a college student called Dark Angel who is writing a blog about her boss who she calls the Cat-Man of Seattle. Dark Angel seems to be a bit of a loon. She writes that she works for a man who fights vampires and also turns into a cat. Her last entry was about how irritated she was when he called her to come get him because it was nearing dawn and he couldn’t make it home before then because he had to shift to cat form or burn up. She went to find him and he wasn’t there so she figured he shacked up with some ho and just forgot to call her.
Before Susan can call Dark Angel, her best friend Angie, a veterinarian, called her. She seems scared and asks her to come to the shelter where she works to check out a cat. When Susan gets there, Angie shoves her and a strange looking cat who looked pissed off at the world into a room. Inside the room, Angie’s husband Jimmy, a cop, was waiting. He tells her this fantastical tale about how the missing person’s case he has been investigating is being covered up by someone who would have to be pretty high up like a commissioner or police chief because they have told him to drop the case because a special task force is investigating, only the task force doesn’t exist. He then tells her it involves vampires and one of them works right here at the shelter as a vet. He tells her that he is grabbing Angie and they are moving far away. Susan stops listening, thinking he needs a vacation from work but because both Angie and Jimmy seem so frightened, she adopts the cat even though she is highly allergic so that no one will be suspicious of why she is there. Angie whispers to her that she will be by later and pick up the cat.
Ravyn isn’t having a good day, he was grabbed and collared by someone and taken to a shelter where some evil Apollite vet and his human assistant start laughing about how they are going to neuter him and then let Stryker kill him. The collar is a magickal collar that sends electrical currents to the wearer preventing him from turning back into human form. If he doesn’t get it off, it will make his head explode. He then gets adopted by a human woman who sets him in her car right in the sun which makes his fur start to singe. Even though the collar shocks him if he uses any of his powers, he sends a message telepathically into her head to, “Drive faster.”
After they reach Susan’s house, he starts choking because he is having a hard time holding his cat form. Susan helps to get the collar off and hee turns into a man. Two cops and a half-breed Apollite who can walk in the sun knock on Susan’s door. It ends in a shootout. Ravyn and Susan barely make it out to her car but they manage to escape. Ravyn is in cat form.
Ravyn directs Susan to drive to where the Squires have their Seattle headquarters. Susan is still reeling from all the weirdness that has happened and things just keep getting worse. Someone turns on the television which is showing Susan’s house. The reporter is talking to a man who says that he and his friend were just selling magazine subscriptions when Ravyn and Susan pulled them inside and killed his friend. Then the scene switches to the shelter and reporting that Angie, Jimmy and the receptionist were murdered. It shows footage of Susan walking out of the shelter with the cat carrier. She and Ravyn are now wanted for multiple murders.
Although there were a lot of seriously horrible events happening, Sherrilyn Kenyon managed to include a lot of humor. Humor is one of the things I have to have in a story or it gets too dry for me to swallow. Her humor is one of the things I like about Sherrilyn’s writing. She knows how to keep it serious but also how to have a little bit of fun with it. There were several things that made this book funny. Susan is allergic to Ravyn when he is in cat form and to his hair when it is near her face. It makes for some hilarious scenes. Also, Susan keeps coming up with cheesy headlines about the crazy things that are happening to her. There is one conversation in her living room before the cops and the half-breed Apollite show up that cracked me up. Susan tells her she works for Leo so Ravyn thinks she is a Squire because Leo is a Squire. Ravyn tells her she is bad at her job and she thinks she means her journalist skills so they go back and forth and have this hilarious conversation where each of them think they know what the other is talking about but neither realizing they are having a “Who’s on first base” conversation.
As always, there are stories within the story going on in this book. There is the ongoing story of Nick Gautier. In the last book he was with Savitar, the mysterious whatever he is. Savitar was supposed to have been training Nick how to be a Dark-Hunter but instead was spending the time surfing with Nick. Savitar is always trying to catch “the big wave”. Savitar shows up in this book in his wet-suit dripping wet when he gets pissed at some antic that Satara, Stryker’s half-sister, pulled. He asks Ravyn to train Nick even though Ravyn is wanted by the human police and in the midst of some weird Daimon infestation of Seattle. Ravyn agrees…it’s not like you can disagree with Savitar. Nick is one angry muffin now. Gone is the fun-loving sarcastic kid and in his place is an angry and bitter man who hates Acheron with a passion.
We get a closer look at Stryker, the Daimon leader. We know he is a demigod and he is definitely evil but he has some good characteristics also. He seems to have a knightly code of honor. When the vet tells him that he is going to neuter Ravyn, Stryker gets angry and tells him that Ravyn is a warrior and doesn’t deserve to be degraded like that. He also tells Ravyn that he respects his strength and courage. But he is still a bad guy who thinks nothing of killing anyone who fails to live up to his standards or betrays him. I mean, he slit his own son’s neck for going behind his back. How evil is that?
We now know why Stryker seems to strike whenever Acheron is nowhere to be found. Satara is one of Artemis’ hand maidens and knows when Artemis holds Acheron prisoner in Olympus. Artemis is always finding ways to use Acheron’s caring of his Dark-Hunter’s against him. If one of them falls in love and wants their soul back, Acheron has to pay for it by being with Artemis while she beats him and has sex with him. Whenever Acheron is there, Artemis releases her hand maidens from service so Satara goes to Kalosis to inform Stryker. We know Satara is Stryker’s sister but now how she is his sister. We also know she hates Artemis and wants to get out of her service to her.
Both Acheron and Savitar tell Susan that they are omniscient. We know though that Acheron can’t see the future of people he is close to or loves or anyone who has anything to do with his direct future like Kyrian, Amanda and Nick. Stryker knows this and plans on using it against him.
I hate not being able to write about certain events in the story that will either spoil the book for readers who haven’t read it or spoil future plotlines so I have to stop here for now.
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.
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.
Out Clause – there is only one way for a Dark-Hunter to get their soul back from Artemis and that is through Acheron. He literally loses blood, sweat and flesh to get a soul back for one of his Dark-Hunters so he will only do it for the ones he deems worthy. If a Dark-Hunter falls in love with a man/woman who truly loves her/him in return, the woman will receive a medallion with the Dark-Hunter’s soul. The man/woman has to stab the Dark-Hunter through the heart and kill them. Then take the medallion and place it on the Dark-Hunter mark, the double bow and arrow. The medallion is hot like lava and will burn the hand of the man/woman while they are holding it but if they hold it there long enough, the Dark-Hunter will awaken and have his soul intact. But if the medallion is dropped before the soul reengages, the Dark-Hunter becomes a Shade.
Squire – someone who takes care of a Dark-Hunter. A Squire does everything from running errands to running the household. They are sworn to protect the secrets of the Dark-Hunters.
Were-Hunter – A long time ago, a king with the help of a god did magickal experiments on animals of prey and Apollites to save his sons from the Apollite curse of dying when they reach the age of 27 which resulted in humans and animals to shift into each form. There are two kinds of Were-Hunters, Arcadian and Katagaria. The gods cursed them to hate each other so they always fight between the two races.
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 oozes sexuality and danger and nobody but a madman would mess with him.
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.
Savitar – nobody knows much about Savitar except he is the mediator of the Omegrion, the Were-Hunter council, and he is so powerful and scary that the Greek gods don’t even mention his name for fear of him hearing it and coming after them. He once wiped out the entire Arcadian jaguar race because their leader seriously pissed Savitar off.
Nick Gautier – a former Squire who was good friends with Acheron until Nick slept with Acheron’s daughter Simi and Acheron, in anger, told Nick to “go kill himself to save him the trouble of doing it later” which cursed Nick. When Nick found his mother dead from a Daimon attack, Nick called out for revenge to Artemis and demanded that she make him a Dark-Hunter and then shot himself in the head. Artemis, frightened that Acheron would be pissed that she allowed Nick to die, made him a Dark-Hunter but as a sort of slap in the face, put the double bow and arrow mark of the Dark-Hunters on his face.