Let me just start by saying that when I started reading the first chapter in this book, I thought I had missed or skipped a book. I was so totally lost that I went to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s website to make sure that I hadn’t missed a book or perhaps a novella. I hadn’t so I was baffled for a while because the characters kept thinking and talking about how a lot of the Greek pantheon’s gods were either captured or dead. Someone named Noir had attacked them. I kept reading but I felt like there was just too little in any of the previous books that prepared me for the abrupt change to the storyline and all of the sudden there are new big baddies that were never mentioned before. Plus, most of the characters were new or Greek gods like Zeus who never really had that big of a role in previous books. It was a bit of a shocker.
That said…once I read on, the shock of it wore off and some of the regular characters came onto the scene which helped me acclimate to the new direction the series has taken. Now that I have finished the book, I think the future of this series will be even more exciting than before and I thought that was impossible because this series is one of my favorites.
There will be words in here that, unless you follow the Dark-Hunter series, you will have trouble following so I have included a list of definitions at the end of this summary.
Cratus is the son of Warcraft and Hate. The book said that then it also said he was the son of Pallas and Styx so I was a little confused but sometimes gods are called by different names so I didn’t dwell on it. He was one of Zeus’ winged enforcers. He stood by Zeus and always carried out his orders until one day, Zeus ordered him to kill a baby. Instead of killing the child, he hid the child amongst humans. For this, Zeus punished him severely. He was sent to earth with no powers and had his heart ripped out of him every night only to be revived again in the morning. He was never allowed to get ahead. If he saved any money, Zeus had it taken away from him. He lived a dire existence for thousands of years.
Delphine is half human and half Dream-Hunter. She was told that a Dream-Hunter visited her mom in a dream and she became pregnant. She discovered her powers when she was barely a teenager and after her parents had died, she was taken to the Vanishing Isle to be raised and trained among the other Greek Oneroi.
Zeus has tasked her and Phobos, one of the Dolophoni, with finding Cratus and asking a favor of him. The Greek pantheon has been attacked by Noir and he has imprisoned or killed many of the Oneroi and Skoti and only Cratus can help them.
Noir and Azura are the new bad guys. Apparently, they have been lying low for thousands of years because their powers were muted when the last Malachai escaped their custody and then died. When Nick’s Malachai powers were unlocked in the last book, Noir and Azura felt it and enough of their powers awakened that they were able to attack the Greek pantheon and imprison many Oneroi and Skoti which also fed their powers. Many of the Skoti defected to their side because Noir and Azura promised to give them back their emotions which Zeus took away when he cursed them.
They find Cratus, who is going by the name ‘Jericho’, working as a mechanic in New Orleans. Phobos tries to talk to him but Jericho will have nothing to do with him. He tells them to…well, it wasn’t nice. So, Delphine decides to wait until he goes to sleep to visit him in his dreams and try to convince him that way. She told him that they would restore all his god powers to him and treat him. Delphine watches and waits until he sleeps but before she can enter his dreams, Azura goes to him and convinces him to side with her and Noir. They vanish.
Zeus is livid that Delphine and Phobos failed to get Cratus to help them but before he can punish them, Nike who is Cratus’ sister and the only one who stood behind him when Zeus punished him, tells Delphine that she needs to go to Cratus in a dream and seduce him. Zeus gives her three days to accomplish this.
Before Delphine can do this though, Noir attacks the hall of mirrors where the Oneroi watch over human dreams and Noir kidnaps her along with a bunch of other Oneroi and takes them to his realm of Azmodea. While she is unconscious, Cratus notices her amongst the others and is strangely attracted to her but dismisses her and turns back to what he was doing with Noir and Azura. But Azura noticed and when Cratus was in his room, she went to him with Delphine and dropped her naked at his feet. She told him that Delphine was his slave then said, “Bon appetite” and left.
Delphine wakes up and is embarrassed of her nudity but Cratus immediately uses his powers and covers Delphine with a cloak. He is kind enough to her even though he doesn’t like that she is a Greek goddess. She tries to convince him to fight for them but he hates Zeus and refuses to ally himself with him. She knows that without Cratus and his powers which are equal–if not greater–than Zeus’, Noir and Azura will defeat them and they won’t just stop there. They’ll want to destroy the world with their evil.
There was a lot going on in this book with the new bad guys, new characters, new threats and there was something mentioned called “the Source”. The Source wasn’t really explained so I had to gather what was said about it and draw my own conclusion. The book said that there were not many gods left who drew from the Source but Cratus/Jericho was one of them. I think the Source is ancient and might be older than all life forms. Whatever it is it is powerful.
There was also a big emphasis on check and balances and how the universe needed symmetry. It was used a lot when explaining about the Malachai and the Sephirii. Historically, the Malachai is evil and the Sephirii is its opposite and equal in power. But Nick Gautier is the Malachai. His powers were bound at birth and only released when he had a threat to his life while War was fighting him and trying to kill him. Usually, the Malachai is raised to be evil and hate everyone but Nick is half human and was raised with love and compassion so things he is a different kind of Malachai, one that has never been heard of. But his potential for evil is there, especially with his hatred towards Acheron.
Jared was introduced in the last book. He is the Sephirii and said to have betrayed his own kind which led to the slaughter of all of the other Sephirii. Because of his betrayal he was damned by the Source to always be a slave. His current master is Zephyra who loves to torture him. Jared seems to be a good guy and is definitely powerful.
We met Jaden in an earlier book. He is pretty mysterious and not a lot is known about him except that he is a demon broker. He brokers deals when a demon wants something, he finds a way to get it done…for a price. He’s cunning and astute too. He seems to know things about the future and uses that to his advantage yet he also seems to be a good guy. There is also some kind of strange relationship between Jaden and Jared. In this book, there was an interaction between the two that made Jericho confused. He didn’t know if they were lovers, related like brothers or just really good friends.
Noir and Azura are the new bad guys. They seem to be a couple but I wasn’t real clear on that especially when they mentioned that they needed to find their sister Braith.
There was also someone named Asmodeus. He was a little elf-like demon who served Noir but who was assigned to Jericho. He was hilarious. He rambled when he talked and gave out way too much information without even realizing he was doing it.
I’m wondering when Stryker is going to make another big play. Up until now, he was the main enemy and threat to everyone and at the end of the last book, he and the Daimons became even more powerful. They discovered that if a Daimon feeds off a gallu demon and kills him, the Daimon no longer has to take in souls to live. They found out that at least five Daimons could feed off one gallu demon and when the gallu demon was killed, their inkblot stains on their chests where the souls gathered disappeared and they became immortal. They can also walk in daylight now. I thought it was great for humans because the more Daimons who fed off the gallu, the less they would depend on humans but I was wrong. Stryker still hates humans.
He and Zephyra haven’t revealed their new secret to anyone yet. The only reference to it we had in this book is when Jericho and Tory went to Kalosis to ask Zephyra to borrow Jared, Tory told Zephyra that she was looking awfully tanned for someone who couldn’t go in the sun. I’m hoping Tory wonders more about that because Dark-Hunters could be in serious trouble from Daimons since they can now go out in daylight and the Dark-Hunters can’t.
So now, the good guys have more to worry about. They have Stryker and his Daimons and now Noir and Azura. Things are getting really interesting.
Terms and Definitions
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 (Skotos is the singular form of the word) 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.
Malachai – created when the Primus Bellum was fought, the darkest power (the Marvomino) created the Malachai to fight the Sephirii. In the past, all Malachai were evil and cold-blooded because they were raised without love or compassion. They were tools of absolute evil and have the powers to destroy gods and absorb their powers without disturbing the fabric of the universe.
Sephirii – originally created as consorts to the three primal gods of light, they served to protect humans. Sephirii are the only ones who can bring down the Malachai.
Marvomino – three evil primal gods, Noir, Azura and Braith
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.
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.
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