No Mercy – Dark-Hunter Series #18 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

This is the 18th book in the Dark-Hunter series and the 5th book in the Were-Hunter series. I’m not sure if it is part of the Hellchaser series but since Thorn and Fang were in it quite a bit, I’m going to say it is so it would be the 2nd book in the Hellchaser series. The Dark-Hunter series is broken down into subseries; Dark-Hunter, Dream-Hunter, Were-Hunter and Hellchaser. I have been trying to keep a close count on them but for some reason my numbering system differs from the author’s and from Goodreads. I’m not sure if that is because they count the novellas or not but I don’t count the novellas. I give them half numbers so I can keep the full length books in order.

In the last book Bad Moon Rising, Aimee and Fang finally became a couple even though there was a lot going against them. Fang sold his soul to save Aimee’s life to someone named Thorn who is Lucifer’s son….I think. Thorn is mean as hell and has no qualms about breaking a lot of rules but I think he is on the good guy’s side. He just struggles with trying to stay good. Anyway, Fang now works for Thorn, chasing down demons. He is called a Hellchaser.

Also in the last book, Savitar revoked Sanctuary’s license which took away the safe haven from the bears and many others who live at and frequent Sanctuary. Anyone could just come in and do whatever without worrying about Savitar’s wrath. An Arcadian wolf named Eli who had a beef with the Peltiers came in with his pack and a hoard of demons, planning to kill the bears but the bears had a lot of friends who backed them up. It was a virtual who’s who fighting on the side of Sanctuary. Unfortunately, Nicolette was killed trying to protect Fang from Eli’s sword. She managed to kill Eli before she died and she gave Aimee and Fang her blessing on their mating. She told her children she loved them then she and Papa Peltier died. They were bonded mates so they both died.

I was sad for the bears that Nicolette died. I had mixed feelings about her…well, not really. I didn’t like her at all. I thought she was hateful, cold-blooded and too harsh on her children and everyone else. But I felt bad that Papa Peltier had to die too and for all her children.

At the end of the book, while the bears and their friends were rebuilding the inside of the bar which had been demolished and burned by the demon fight, a Daimon came in and asked when they planned to reopen. He then walked out into the daylight without burning up. I was wondering when everyone would learn about the Daimons’ new skills. In book #15 One Silent Night, the Daimons learned that if they fed off a gallu demon and killed it after taking its soul, their inkblots on their chests where the souls they took gathered would disappear which meant they no longer had to take in any other souls. They were immortal with the powers of the demon they killed which include walking in daylight. At least five Daimons could feed off just one gallu demon and all of them would benefit. I think they realized that they weren’t just limited to gallu demons but any powerful demon would do. Stryker started converting his army. It was a big game changer, making the Daimons way more powerful and now that they can walk in the sun and the Dark-Hunters can’t, they can kill the Dark-Hunters while they sleep. Yikes!

This book starts out after Sanctuary has reopened. The Were-Hunters who saw the Daimon filed a report and are telling all the Dark-Hunters they see but everyone thinks they were seeing things and basically dismiss it. To protect Nick Gautier, Acheron has called in the “Dogs of War” which are special Dark-Hunters who have so much power that they can gather together and not feel the effects of their power draining. There are nine of them; Blade, Cabeza, Chi, El Escorpion, Ethon, Kalidas, Raden and Tafari. Acheron hasn’t told anyone that Nick is the Malachai or why they are protecting him. He just tells them there are enemies after him.

Samia is an Amazon who lost her husband and her young daughter when her sister betrayed her and sent Daimons after them so that she could take over Samia’s throne. Samia was pregnant when she died but before the Daimons could take her soul, she cried out for revenge to the goddess Artemis who made her a Dark-Hunter.

Samia has a strange power that is as bothersome as it is helpful. Anything she touches, she gets memories off of it, including people and food. She has to have Acheron conjure up all her furniture and clothing and even her cell phone or the memories would drive her insane. She tries not to touch anyone unless she has to. Sex is out of the question because the last guy she slept with, she saw all his memories and thoughts and it was way too much for her. She can also hear people’s thoughts without touching them but she can control it…mostly.

Samia meets Dev Peltier one night when she goes to Sanctuary. She discovers that she can touch him and she feels and sees nothing about him.

That night, a fight breaks out between a slug demon in a biker body and another human. The staff breaks in up but then the slug demon says something about how they are all in for it and then he explodes and a snot-like substance goes everywhere but mostly all over Dev. While Aimee wipes the human’s minds who saw it, Sam touches the slime to get the demon’s memories. She sees him in Kalosis, watching as a bunch of Daimons are feeding off of his master. One Daimon grabs the slug demon and asks Stryker if he can eat him but Stryker tells the Daimon that he is worthless because he has no soul. When the slug demon’s master dies, the slug demon realizes he is free but starts running to get away from the Daimons. Just before he leaves, one of the Daimons slams something into his chest which was probably what made him blow up. The Daimons wanted to keep what he saw from getting out.

Sam invites Dev over for a one-night stand because she cannot pass up the opportunity to have sex with someone with whom she won’t see all his memories. Since she is a Dark-Hunter, relationships are banned so she can only have a one-night stand.

We’ve met Dev in almost all of the previous books. He is a quadruplet and most people can’t tell him and his brothers apart. He usually stands at the front door of Sanctuary as one of the bouncers. We know he is a smartass and a badass. He is also an Arcadian Were-Hunter bear but hides that fact. Everyone outside his family believes he is Katagaria.

Of course, he agrees to sleep with Sam. Who would pass that up? But they don’t plan on actually liking each other so much. Sam discovers that anything Dev touches negates the memories like when he touched the cheese, she was able to eat it without hearing all the annoying mooing sounds. She really likes him but then starts to feel guilty when she thinks about her husband. She all of the sudden tells Dev he has to leave which baffles him because they had had such good sex and were really comfortable with each other but he leaves.

Medea, Stryker’s daughter, has a spy at Sanctuary so they learn about what happened with the slug demon. Stryker wants Sam for her powers so he can learn Apollo’s weakness and how to kill him. He sends Daimons after her during the day but Dev shows up and helps her get away from them. Now, the fact that Daimons can walk in the daylight is out but Stryker is determined to have Sam and her powers so he calls on an empusa demon who has a prior beef with Samia.

Lazaros wants Sam in a bad way. He wants her dead but not before he tortures her first. Sam has no idea why he’s after her but it is because she killed his brother when she took her revenge against her sister. Sam thought she had killed Daimons but it was actually empusae demons who had come after her and her family. When Lazaros goes after her in an alley, she is saved by Cael and Amaranda. I thought it was funny when these two showed up because I was just wondering whatever happened to them or if we were ever going to hear about them again. We met the couple way back in book #9 Dark Side of the Moon. Cael was a Dark-Hunter and Amaranda was an Apollite whose 27th birthday was fast approaching. They had married which goes against the Dark-Hunter rules not only because they aren’t allowed relationships unless they win their souls back from Artemis which rarely happens but also because it’s a conflict of interest. They were attacked by Daimons and Amaranda inadvertently drank blood from one of the Daimons when she bit him which turned her into a Daimon. She fed Cael Daimon blood which turned him into something…not Daimon but something else.

Sam wakes up in a strange room. She soon learns that Amaranda and Cael work for Thorn. Thorn thinks he can keep Sam safe but when Dev learns, he wants Sam back. Thorn tells Dev that he can keep her safer than Dev can and when Dev argues, Thorn decides to make Dev prove it. He tells Dev that he has 24 hours to bring back Hippolyte’s Girdle which can only be worn by one of Hippolyte’s descendants which Sam is and it will protect her because it will give her certain powers. Thorn then gives Dev some weird riddle which is supposed to help him find the girdle. If Dev doesn’t get the girdle within 24 hours, Thorn will keep both of them forever.

Cael and Amaranda think Sam can help Dev and go behind Thorn’s back…or maybe not…and separate her essence from her body so that she can go on the adventure with Dev.

Now, they have to figure out some cryptic riddle and find the girdle which will include lots of fighting once they figure it out. If they do get it, she is still wanted by some crazed demon and Stryker. Even if she makes it out alive, she can’t keep Dev which is sad for both of them.

I liked this book because I have always liked Dev and it had a lot of recurring characters in it. What I had trouble with was all the Indiana Jones adventure stuff that they had to endure. I’ve never been good with that kind of thing. It’s just one hurdle after the other and to me, all of it is the same so I usually just skip over most of it until the final challenge and hope I didn’t miss anything too vital to the story. Luckily, going after the girdle was a small part of the book.

I almost forgot. Nick and Artemis have hooked up. Acheron found the two together in her temple on Olympus. He asked Artemis if she tied herself to him which means Nick will be her new toy and depend on her blood to live. At least, that is what she thinks. I don’t think anyone can really have control over Nick. But after he visits her, he does look pale and looks like he is in pain. It makes me wonder if she is abusing him like she did Acheron before Acheron escaped her clutches.

It is really weird but I don’t remember any of this story from the first time I read it. In fact, I think I may have skipped it all together. But I had the book on my Kindle so I must have purchased it and read it. My memory cannot be that bad…can it?

I’m off to read the next book.

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.

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.

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.

Arcadian – Were-Hunters who are born human but can shift into animal form when they reach puberty and unlock their magickal powers. Arcadians believe they are superior to Katagaria because they are more human. When they sleep, they retain the natural form of a human.

Katagaria – are animal hearted Were-Hunters who are born in animal form and able to transform into human form when they reach puberty and unlock their magickal powers. When they sleep, they retain their natural form of an animal.

Note: When Were-Hunters have mixed parentage, an Arcadian mother and a Katagaria father or vice-versa, they can be born either as Arcadian or Katagaria. It is rare but a Katagaria can be born in human form so they are thought to be Arcadian but when they reach puberty, their true or natural form will turn out to be their animal.

Mating – Were-Hunters do not get to choose their own mates. The Fates choose them and the Fates often seem to be cruel about it. Were-Hunters have to have sex in order to find their mate and when they are assigned their mate, matching tribal or geometrical designs are burned into their skin (usually on the palms of their hands but not always). Once the mark appears, the couple has three weeks to complete a mating ritual or the male is rendered impotent for as long as the female is alive. The female can have sex with others but will never have children. Even if they complete the ritual, the male can only have sex with his mate.

Bonded Mates – a mated couple can choose to complete a binding ritual which will tie them together forever. If one dies, the other one dies.

Sanctuary – a neutral zone for all things paranormal. Nicolette and Aubert Peltier aka Mama and Papa Bear set up Sanctuary after two of their cubs were killed by Arcadian Sentinels. Anyone is welcome at the bar even Daimons as long as no one gets violent or sheds blood on the premises. It is also imperative that nobody exposes the paranormal world to the humans who frequent the bar. To humans, Sanctuary is a popular biker bar and attraction in New Orleans.

Omegrion – is the ruling council of the Were-Hunters. One representative from each patria of both Katagaria and Arcadian sit on the council and have a vote. The Omegrion is responsible for setting and keeping the laws of the Were-Hunters. The members also are responsible for punishment of Were-Hunters and call for a blood hunt for any who are deemed a threat.

The Omegrion meet on the Savitar’s moving island of Neratiti. Savitar is the mediator to the Omegrion and nobody messes with Savitar. A glaring reminder of that is the empty seat where the Arcadian jaguar representative used to sit. After pissing Savitar off, Savitar destroyed all of the Arcadian jaguars. There are none left so the seat on the council remains empty.

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.

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.

Characters

Acheron – main character of the Dark-Hunter series. He has a lot 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. He is also a Chthonian.

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.

 

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