By my count, this is book #11.
This book reminded me of Indiana Jones in a way because of the many obstacles the characters had to overcome or achieve before they were able to reach the ultimate fight to save the world from a horrible fate. They also had to find certain objects with corny names like “Tablet of Destiny”. This book was also packed full of information and a lot of secrets were revealed.
As always, I have included some terms and character profiles to help with this summary.
It starts out with the goddess Artemis telling Acheron that one of his Dark-Hunters needs to die because he broke into a museum and stole some ancient item called the “Tablet of Destiny”. He tells her that he will talk to him about it but he isn’t going to kill someone for something so petty. But Artemis is afraid of Sin and thinks of any reason to get rid of him. She knows she betrayed him thousands of years ago and she thinks he is going to come after her for it. She has an agreement with Acheron that she cannot kill any of his Dark-Hunters without his permission but she thinks she can go behind his back and get it done anyway.
Artemis goes running to Katra. She asks her if she remembers the Sumerian god from thousands of years ago. Kat asks if she means the one who Artemis told her had come into her temple and tried to rape and kill her so Kat took his powers from him and gave them to Artemis…yeah, how could she forget? Kat is a conduit which means she can syphon powers from one person to give to another. Artemis tells her that he wants to kill her so Kat agrees to go check out the situation. Artemis is hoping Kat will kill him but Kat isn’t young and naïve anymore so she doesn’t believe everything Artemis tells her. She knows Artemis is probably leaving out something important.
Now, we (by ‘we’, I mean Dark-Hunter series readers) have met Kat or Katra in previous books and the author has given a lot of hints to who and what she really is and who her parents might be and this book reveals that Kat is Artemis’ and Acheron’s daughter. But Acheron has no clue she even exists because Artemis has kept Kat a secret, not only from Acheron but from everyone. Most just think Kat is one of the many foundlings that Artemis has taken in and who serve her. Because Artemis is so prideful and afraid of what her family would say, she has always denied her relationship with Acheron. She is also supposed to be the virgin goddess so revealing she has a child would kind of ruin that image. Kat knows who her father is but has never met him. She keeps her mother’s secret because she loves Artemis and doesn’t want to see her hurt.
Sin is a Sumerian god or ex-god now that his powers are gone who has been betrayed by almost everyone he ever loved but the person he hates the most is Artemis because she tricked him, drugged him, stole his powers and then left him in the desert to die. Acheron intervened and made him one of his Dark-Hunters but Sin isn’t actually a Dark-Hunter. He didn’t die or lose his soul and he doesn’t even fight Daimons like the other Dark-Hunters.
Kat finds Sin in a park in New York. She wonders what the heck he is doing in New York when he lives in Las Vegas. She follows him in Shade form which is invisible to him and is stunned by what she witnesses. He fights what appears to be humans until they open their mouths and reveal rows of teeth like monsters. They had attacked and killed a woman who was lying on the ground. Sin kills the monster things and then cuts off their heads. When he cuts off the head of the human and then burns all of the bodies with his powers, Kat is appalled. She can’t believe someone would desecrate a human body like that.
She thinks he has gone insane and needs to be put down. The next day, one of those monsters tries to kill her but Sin rescues her. When he looks at her face, he thinks she is Artemis and kidnaps her. He tells her how he hates her for tricking him and stealing his powers. He tells her that he wants them back and he needs them back to fight the gallu demons and the Dimme who are escaping their prison because only a Sumerian god can keep them locked in and he is the last one left. If the Dimme get out, they will basically destroy the world and kill all the humans in it. Kat tells him she is not Artemis but Sin doesn’t believe her until Artemis pops in the room because she felt Kat’s distress. Sin attacks Artemis and then realizes that Kat and Artemis are mother and daughter so he grabs Kat and threatens hers o Artemis calls out for Deimos, the leader of the Dolophoni or assassins of the gods. Kat believes Sin’s story about Artemis tricking him and about the gallu demons so she saves Sin by flashing him to Kalosis.
The story just gets more confusing and complicated from there. The gallu demons are an especially nasty form of demon whose bite will turn whoever they bite into a mindless killing machine just like the gallu. Sin has to find his brother Zakar because he is the Forsaken Moon (I really didn’t get this title but apparently, Zakar once fought Asag who was the donator father used to create the gallu and Zakar absorbed some of his powers which made him immune to the gallu) but he has no idea where Zakar is until the leader of the gallu, Kessar, comes to Sin’s casino and hands him a box with Zakar’s finger and ring in it. He’s had Zakar for centuries, torturing him. After Kessar leaves, they find out that the real reason for Kessar’s visit was to touch both Kat and Sin. Unlike a Dream-Hunter who can enter anyone’s dreams, Kessar has to touch someone before he can enter their dreams. He can torment them which makes them lose sleep which will weaken them.
Kessar also steals the Tablet of Destiny from Sin which has the power to temporarily suck the powers from a god. I don’t know why Sin had it unless he was going to try to use it to get his powers back from Artemis.
Kat goes to Tartarus to find a Skotos named Xypher who was put to death by the Oneroi for preying on humans and making them go crazy because he fed off their fears in their nightmares but Kat need needs him because he is the only one scary enough to go into the gallu’s dreams to find out Kessar’s weakness. Hades agrees to give him temporary leave.
Meanwhile, Kat and Sin are falling in love but both have their issues…not to mention that Sin doesn’t know it was actually Kat who took his powers and not Artemis.
There was just too much that went on in this book to mention it all here. Plus, some of it could spoil the book.
Backstory on Acheron and Artemis
We did get a closer look into Acheron and Artemis’ relationship and it is really messed up. While Acheron was still human, he and Artemis started a relationship. He would have done anything for her but when his sister told his father about the relationship, his father who hated him strung Acheron up in Artemis’ temple where the humans worshipped to prove it was a lie. He said the goddess would never touch trash like Acheron and would save him if it were true. She let him be beat and hang there for days and even told the man to beat him harder. She was too ashamed of him to acknowledge him.
Then when Apollo killed him, she must have brought him back to life. The story didn’t really go into specifics so I’m not sure about that but she bound him to her and in order to live, he needs to drink her blood. He answered her summons once afterwards and she tried to hand him a baby. He thought the baby was one that a worshipper had left for her because it wasn’t uncommon for people to do that back then and that she was trying to give him the baby to make up for his nephew who had died so he told her to go to hell. It was really Katra but he didn’t know that. For thousands of years, he ignored her summons and just focused on raising Simi and killing Daimons but he did accept the vials of blood she sent him to survive. The only reason he answered her summons again was because she had made more Dark-Hunters who needed trained. She used them to get to him because she knew he would care for them. She has a sick obsession with him. Every time, one of them wants to go free, he has to bargain with her. Once he gives his oath, he cannot go back on it or he could die. She always makes him stay in Olympus with her for weeks at a time and have sex with her. She also beats him and plays head games with him to try to show him her dominance and control over him even though if it came down to it, Acheron is way more powerful. Then she asks him why he doesn’t love her like he used to. She just doesn’t get it.
Wow, that was a lot of typing! Maybe next time, I should give one of those quick rundowns like the narrator on Glee does at the beginning for the show. Nah…that is too impersonal for me.
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.
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.
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.
Gallu Demons – created to fight the Sumerian pantheon’s enemies, specifically the Charonte demons. The horrible demon Asag was used as a donator father for the gallu. The gallu turned on the Sumerians and were uncontrollable. They have two rows of teeth and can turn anyone into one of them if they bite them. They can also enter a person’s dreams if they touch a person first but they are unable to kill anyone in a dream. The only way to kill a gallu is by beheading it, hitting it between the eyes or severing its spinal cord then burning it.
Dimme – seven female Sumerian demons (sisters) who a powerful and uncontrollable even by the gods. They are locked away in a tomb somewhere is the Nevada desert. The seal weakens every few thousand years so the Sumerian gods have to reseal it but there are only two Sumerians left, Sin and Zakar. If the Dimme are ever released, they will destroy the world.