This is the first official Dream-Hunter book of the Dark-Hunter series. Dream-Hunter and Were-Hunter are series within the series.
I’m re-reading the Dark-Hunter series to refresh my memory because I have forgotten a lot of important events in the series. I’m only on the 10th book of the series that has, to this date, 24 novels and more if you count the novellas and the series has become very complex and complicated with interweaving storylines, characters and a timeline that spans eons. In this book, there was someone who was over 20,000 years old but luckily, he didn’t look like a Cro-Magnon man. As the storyline and plot gets more complex, I get more interested and more caught up. It’s like Sherrilyn Kenyon has weaved and intricate web and I am just one of her many victims who have been trapped in the maze. Sherrilyn is great at explaining events and the books are supposed to be “stand alone” books but it is better if you read them in order and this time around, I’m keeping notes.
To help out, I have included a list of terms and their definitions along with a few character profiles at the bottom of this summary.
Most of the events in this book happen in 1996, about seven years before the events of the first Dark-Hunter book so we have gone back in time.
Arikos or Arik is a Dream-Hunter or dream god. He used to be an Oneroi but turned into an Erotikos Skotos (or Skoti is the plural form of the word) when he was seduced by a human in a dream and liked the feeling and emotions it gave him. Lately, he has become obsessed with one human who dreams in vivid color and has a passion for life that surpasses any other dreamer he has ever seen. When he first came across her, she was dreaming of swimming naked in chocolate. Ever since that night, he has been visiting her dreams and making love to her. He is so obsessed with her that he calls to her during the day to try to get her to sleep so he can join her in her dreams. He has been warned to stop visiting her dreams and to move on or be punished or put to death but he can’t help himself.
Megeara or Geary is on a quest to find Atlantis. Up until six years ago, she thought Atlantis was a myth and was angered that her father had spent his entire life trying to find and prove that Atlantis really existed. His relentless search not only ruined her father’s reputation but also cost the lives of her mother and brother. She refused to participate in his pipe dream and moved from Greece to the United States where she received her doctorate at Yale. She flew back to Greece when to be with her father when he died. After he died, one of his cousins, the attorney for his estate, handed her a box containing ancient coins and an ancient prayer necklace that had tags saying they had been dated back to before 9,000 B.C. and made up of unknown metal and stone. The coins had strange writing on it and the back of one of them had a symbol of a sun pierced by three lightning bolts. Her father had found these years ago but never told her about them. Why hadn’t he told her? She would have believed him. From that moment, she dedicated her life to finding proof that Atlantis existed and repairing her father’s reputation.
For six years now, Geary has searched for Atlantis in the Aegean Sea. She believes she knows exactly where it is but the Greek authorities have refused to give her permits to excavate. Lately, she has been getting headaches and feels tired. She dreams of a dark haired man with light blue eyes every night. What she doesn’t know is her headaches are caused by Arik trying to call her to dream land when she should be awake but she is too strong for him and resists the calls but gets headaches because of it. She is also hearing a female voice in her head saying, “Come to me child.” But she thinks it is just a result of her exhaustion and ignores it.
Arik decides that he has to meet Megeara because he wants to experience being human and basically wants to have sex with her outside the dream world. He makes a deal with Hades who will make him human for two weeks in trade for Megeara’s soul. Arik, who has no concept of emotions like guilt or compassion, agrees to the deal. He is a god after all. He wants what he wants when he wants it and gets it at any cost.
Hades then tosses him in the Aegean Sea next to the Simi, Megeara’s boat. Arik, not being used to the gravity on earth or the sea, starts to drown but Geary jumps in the water and saves him. She recognizes him right away as being the man from her dreams but knows it is impossible. She asks him what happened and how he happened to be in the middle of the ocean miles from land with no other boats in sight and Arik lies to her, saying he doesn’t remember. Yet he remembers everything else about himself. When he calls her real name of Megeara instead of her nickname of Geary, she asks him how she knew it. He told her he met her years ago at some event where she gave a speech. She believes him and thinks that maybe she subconsciously remembered him and used his image as her dream lover.
Both Arik and Geary have powerful forces working against them. The three leaders of the Oneroi have something to hide. They have slowly been getting their emotions back but there could be serious repercussions if anyone finds out and if it gets back to Zeus. Arik’s reckless actions could bring it to the other gods’ attention. They could start asking questions about why a Dream-Hunter would even want to become human. That implies he has emotions. They call on the Dolophoni to execute him.
None of the gods besides Apollymi want Atlantis found because it holds dangerous secrets and if anyone finds and breaks the hidden seal, it will release the goddess Apollymi who will destroy the world. The goddess Artemis has sent Kat, one of her hand maidens down to pose as one of Geary’s crew members and to make sure Geary never gets near Atlantis. At one point, Artemis blew up Geary’s boat when she thought Kat let her get too close to Atlantis. Luckily, Arik’s brother Solin felt Artemis’ presence and got everyone on a life raft just before the boat blew up.
Arik thought it would be easier to seduce Megeara like it was in the dream world but nothing on earth is as it is in dreams. In dreams, she is less inhibited and more care-free but in real life, she is more modest. He tried to feel Geary up in public and she freaked out asking if he was in the habit of grabbing women’s private parts in public without their permission. And now that he is human, he has emotions and he is feeling remorse of the deal he made with Hades. He is falling in love with Megeara and wonders how he could have just traded her soul away so callously.
As Geary gets to know Arik, she starts to fall for him but what will she do when she finds out he traded her soul just to get down her pants?
I had a hard time liking Arik at first but I warmed up to him once he started feeling remorse. I just kept thinking, “What a spoiled brat!” but then when you take away someone’s emotions, it the making of a sociopath so what more could anyone expect?
As always, there are stories within the story that will be important later on in the series and Sherrilyn Kenyon digs deeper into some character’s profiles and introduces us to a few more.
We met Kat or Katra in book #4, Kiss of the Night. The events of that book actually happened after this book and I had to keep reminding myself about that. Kat is one of Artemis’ kori or hand maidens but she’s not just any servant. She is super powerful, maybe even more powerful than Artemis. She loves Acheron with all her heart and saved his life in a previous book but she poofed away as soon as he opened his eyes so that he wouldn’t see her. He doesn’t even know she exists. She will do anything to protect him though.
We meet the three Oneroi who lead the Dream-Hunters, D’Alerion, M’Adoc, and M’Ordant. They have slowly received their emotions back which they have to hide from everyone else. Zeus’ curse is weakening and other Dream-Hunters are showing signs of emotions too but they have to punish and stop any who are a threat or who may expose them to Zeus.
Solin is half human but he is also have dream god. When Zeus rounded up all the Dream-Hunters and cursed them, he also killed all of their families…except Solin. He got away and was banished to the human realm and has been hunted ever since. Arik calls him “brother” but he is more of a distant cousin.
Megeara’s teenage cousin, Tory, will definitely be important in the future but I won’t give it away here. She is a teenage genius with thick glasses and a saucy but friendly personality. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to anything ancient like Greek mythology. While other teenagers are go out shopping or to the movies for fun, she reads Homer and Plato.
Zebulon who is called ZT…not sure where the T comes from…is a Chthonian with a bad attitude. He was keeping an eye on Geary and her crew but I think he was there more to protect the humans than anything else. He said he was 27,542 years old but that Arik was even older. He helped Arik and Geary in when they fought the Dolophoni but only because he was angry that the Dolophoni started a fight where humans could have seen them.
And we got a closer look at Apollymi. She is called the Destroyer because she destroyed Atlantis and sank it to the bottom of the sea when Apollo killed her son, Apostolos. She went through Greece annihilating everything and would have continued on destroying the whole earth if the Greek gods hadn’t found a way to contain her and imprison her in Kalosis . It’s not like she is in chains or anything. She lives in a palace and has servants. Arik told Geary that he visits a lot of dreams so he sees and hears a lot. He believes that Apostolos is alive and he hears him talking to his mother to calm her down when she gets upset. Bad things happen when Apollymi is upset.
Although, Apollymi is called the Destroyer, I don’t think she is pure evil. She is cold and calculating but I know she feels love and protects Kat and Acheron. She also doesn’t seem petty like the other gods but if you cross her, she will seek revenge.
I hope I didn’t miss anyone but since I feel like I have written a novel with this summary, I am going to quit here.
Note: In my word processor, I used endnotes but when I copied and pasted it in WordPress, none of it showed which irritates me a little because it was a lot of work and now I have re-write it all. Poop!
Dream-Hunter – children of the Greek gods of sleep Morpheus and Phobetor. The goddess Mist or Myst is the mother of most of them but some Dream-Hunters have human mothers. Dream-Hunters visit the dreams of humans, gods and Apollites. There are two kinds of Dream-Hunters, Oneroi and Skoti.
Oneroi – Oneroi are dream gods who visit the dreams of humans, immortals and gods. The Oneroi are in charge of policing dreams and keeping track of the activities of the Skoti to make sure they don’t harm any human.
Zeus cursed the Oneroi because one played a trick on him while in his dream. Zeus cursed them to not have any kind of emotion and the only way they can have emotions are by going into people’s dreams. They are only allowed to visit a person’s dreams once and move on to the next person. There are different classes or types of Oneroi and their roles or assignations can usually be recognized by the first letter of their names.
D’ – are assigned to immortals and gods. They help Dark-Hunters with their nightmares and help them transition from their past mortal life to their new immortal life. These Dream-Hunters are the only ones who can revisit the same person more than once and usually stay with the same Dark-Hunter forever.
M’ – are the enforcers of all Dream-Hunters. They police the Oneroi to keep them from turning into Skoti and are the ones who pass judgement on any who break the rules.
V’ – are the Dream-Hunters who help humans with dreams and nightmares, usually caused by Skoti feeding off of the human’s fear and emotions.
Skoti – an Oneroi turns Skoti if they become obsessed by a human’s dreams. They revisit an individual either because they get a high from the human’s emotions or they become infatuated by them. The Dream-Hunter becomes an incubus or succubus. The result drains the human emotionally and physically from lack of sleep and often drives the person insane. Most Skoti are children of Phobetor but not all of Phobetor’s children turn Skoti. Oneroi hunt down and punish Skoti but many of them escape justice and prey on the emotions of humans for centuries.
Dolophoni – children of the Furies who are the assassins for the gods. The gods call on them to take care of anyone they consider a threat. They use weapons forged by Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods, and can only be called off by the Erinyes and that never happens
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. If she ever gets free again, not only will she kill the Greek gods but she will obliterate the world.
Chthonians – Humans, Atlanteans and Apollites born with godlike powers to protect their people against gods who would abuse them. They have the ability to slay a god without upsetting the balance of the universe. But for every god they slay, they lose some of their power and they will die if they kill too many gods.
Kalosis – the Atlantean hell realm where Apollymi is imprisoned…well, not exactly imprisoned since she is lives in a palace and rules the realm. There is no sunlight in Kalosis so it is dark all of the time. Stryker and his Spathi Daimons also live in Kalosis.