Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title: Acheron
Series: Dark-Hunters
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Read copy: Hardcover
Published: August 5, 2008
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312362153
ISBN-13: 9780312362157

Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.

Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence.

Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.

War has never been more deadly... or more fun.

My rating:

He will be born when the moon swallows the sun and Atlantis is bathed in total darkness.

Eleven thousand years ago a new god was born. Cursed into the body of a human to escape death, Acheron spent a lifetime of abuse and humiliation. His human death almost destroyed the Earth and plunged the once thriving civilization back into the Stone Age. Brought back against his will, he became the sole defender of mankind.

For millennia he fought for our survival alone and hidden a past so horrendous he is prepared to do anything to keep it concealed.

Now, a determined young woman threatens all he’s become. She refuses to be intimidated by him, she refuses to listen to reason, and she is prepared to do anything to find the lost kingdom of Atlantis.

In this most anticipated Dark-Hunter novel to date we will learn the true story of the Dark-Hunter leader, Acheron Parthenopaeus. The truth about his human life, and the life of the god he has become.

He was made human in order to escape death, but in death he was reborn a god...

_______

R/N: There are not many spoilers in here, but if you haven’t read the book, you might not want to read from this point on. There is just so much you can say about any book without revealing at least a little bit.
I’ve been waiting for this since the series started and have read it in one sitting (I’m still bleary eyed because of it), so I hope you’ll excuse me if I go into a little (not too much) detail.

_______


The first part of the book, the longest part, focuses on Acheron’s human life. It starts just before his human birth and ends with the birth of the first Dark-Hunters.

Reading it chilled me to the bones. Although Sherrilyn Kenyon did write a short Author’s Note at the beginning warning us this wasn’t a DH novel we were used to (at least the first part), it was still hard to swallow.

The gruesome details of his life were softened a little, since the beginning, the most chilling humiliation of his childhood is told through his sister Ryssa’s journal. Through her eyes, the eyes of a pampered princess, the reader is spared some of the more detailed descriptions, but feels the torture and shame even more because of the words she uses to shield us.

It gives true insight into what makes Acheron tick, if you pardon my expression. I’m one of the many who’s been criticizing his actions and behavior in the last few books, yet the first part of his story explains just why he does what he does, why he acts like he acts, what makes Acheron Acheron.


The second part is an exemplary specimen of the DH novel we love and adore. Fast-paced, witty dialogue, the incessant banter. The AG even brought back characters from all of her previous novels for one hell of a reunion.

I do have a bone to pick on the second part though. It looked like at least a hundred pages were missing from the beginning of it. If they were cut—shame, if she didn’t write them—maybe she should have.

No offence, but for an eleven plus thousand-year-old god who’s been known to scoff at love (“Gods save me from love”), has big trust issues (read the first part to know why), and show/hide spoilerdoesn’t think sex is all that great [gasp] (again, read the first part to know why—who would blame him, really), he’s a little too quick to fall for the charms of a measly human, that compared to his age is an embryo (or so he claims).

Also, Soteria is even quicker to forgive him for the humiliation in Nashville. It made me grit my teeth. I know he’s a god and all and I know he’s prepared to do anything to prevent Atlantis to be found, but destroy a scholar’s reputation because of it... I think I’d hurl more than just a hammer. Anyway, she’s quick to make friends when she learns he can read the journal she’s found. And he does make a sweet apology. ;)

The whole tortured hero thing started to get old after a while. I know he’d gone thorough hell, only to be brought back to go through hell again, but still, at times it made me roll my eyes. He’s a freaking god, for crying out loud, he should’ve stopped moping, get himself together, and make them pay. As a god he was a little too selfless for my tastes, although I did understand his motivations...He does stop moping, get himself together, and make (some of) them pay. Eventually.

But every tortured hero is bound to get his salvation (usually in the form of a woman), and Soteria is his absolute salvation. She sees him for what he is, not what he’d been, she doesn’t even blink when she learns the truth about him except to keep the tears at bay. And what is most important to him, she holds him as if he matters and she doesn’t shy away from him in public...or at the sight of his eyes.

She is the one to finally banish all his demons, even a certain redheaded problem, because despite her scholarly ways, she’s like a mother cub, not afraid to fight a goddess for the man she loves. And she is also the one that makes Ash embrace who and what he really is...

“I am the god Apostolos. The Harbinger of Telikos. The Final Fate of all. Beloved son of Apollymi the Great Destroyer. My will makes the will of the universe.”


...not only the Harbinger for his mother, but also for the one woman he’s ever loved. For her he’s prepared to do anything, even destroying the world. Or suffering the worst humiliation ever for her to be able to restore her father’s reputation.

Apollymi has become one of my favorite characters. Despite being the goddess of death, the Great Destroyer, she’s still like any other mother. She would die for her son and she would give anything for him to be happy. Even part with a few of her powers to create a strong protector for her beloved Apostolos. The protector that would finally teach the ‘heifer-goddess’ a long-overdue lesson (I would have been happy to lay a helping hand).

The ending was just perfect, down to the dress, despite the ominous threat heard in the rumbling of the thunder.


P.S. I loved the drunk-on-Sprite scene, by the way. “You’re a cuddly drunk. And a real chatterbox.”



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