Friday, January 31, 2014

Seize the Night, Sherrilyn Kenyon

Yay!! Valerius is back!

OK, you have no idea who that is.

So remember Zarek from Dance with the Devil? This is the brother that I mentioned. I wanted he and Zarek to reconcile.

And Kyrian from Night Pleasures? Well, this is the grandson of the guy who crucified him (No, I don't mean that as a figurative crucifixion. I mean literally.) and who also looks exactly like his grandfather.

Oh, and don't forget Kyrian is married to Amanda now, and her twin is Tabitha, our heroine.

One big happy family, right?!

Maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh!

OK, I'm done.

So, Val's story is one of the easiest to read. He certainly hasn't had an easy time of it, and you feel bad for him, but for some reason it just didn't hit me like the others have.

And he does act like a dick. A big one. It's intentional, a defense mechanism to keep people away, just like Zarek acts crazy, but Val does a seriously good job of being a dick.

He and Kyrian come to a truce, if not a friendship, and Zarek moves to accept his brother - even making him a god like he is. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but we find out in Kiss of the Night that Zarek takes great pleasure in messing with Val using his new god powers. Well, now the sibling rivalry is on equal footing.

So, what happens? Well, everyone dies.

No really.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Night Play, Sherrilyn Kenyon

So, back in Night Embrace, we meet Vane and his brother, Fang, very briefly. They were wolves who could take the form of humans. Vane helped Talon by protecting Sunshine during the day when she needed to be out.

We find out later that in return the Daimon's attacked his pack and killed a bunch of the women and children, including their sister and her new litter.

As punishment for the decision that lead to the Daimon's attack and, therefore, their sister's death, their father (gleefully) sentences them to death. Something he's been wanting to do since they were born. To ensure he gets rid of them, he also sends some Daimon's after them.

Vane manages to fight them off, but Fang is seriously wounded and goes into a coma.

Now, present day, Fang is still in a coma and he and Vane are staying at Sanctuary. Hiding really. Their father is still out to kill them, after all. Well, once he confirms they are in fact alive.

Anyway. Back to Night Embrace. When Vane was protecting Sunshine a friend of hers, Bride, comes to chat. Vane is immediately attracted to her, but doesn't make a move because a) he's busy protecting Sunshine, and b) Bride is human and Vane is a wolf.

Only he's not.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kiss of the Night, Sherrilyn Kenyon

I was very confused at the beginning of this one.

So, this is the story of Wulf. Wulf is Talon's best friend and he enters Talon's story (Night Embrace) by phone. What threw me off was at the start of this one, Talon is single. At first I thought I'd messed up the order, but a quick check confirmed the order.

Then Talon and Wulf have a phone conversation and I realize it's the same conversation as in Night Embrace. Just from Wulf's point of view.

This book takes place at the same time as Night Embrace and Dance with the Devil.

Once that was established it was all good.

So, Wulf is a Norse hunter - think Beowulf - who was cursed so anyone not of his bloodline forgets him after he leaves their presence. How sucky is that? He also never got vengeance.

How does that work, you ask? Well, Loki tricked him and exchanged his soul for another hunter's. It was never his choice to become a Dark Hunter.

Anyway, the reason I enjoyed this one so much was that we learn so much more about Apollites and what their lives are like. And how they view the Daimons.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dance with the Devil, Sherrilyn Kenyon

So, at the end of the Night Embrace review, I mentioned Zarek and the cliffhanger. Luckily this book clears that up.

So, during Night Embrace, Zarek turned Sunshine over to the baddie trio. Then he changed his mind and protected her. For betraying the trio, and therefore helping to thwart their plans, they've decided to kill him. At the end, it looks like that's just about to happen.

Of course it doesn't.

So, Zarek was banished to Alaska 900 years ago when his village was destroyed. Truth be told, he's always thought he destroyed it. So did the other hunters. His memories are vague and disconnected though. No one really knows why he wasn't just executed for such a horrible crime. Turns out he didn't do it, but that's besides the point.

As horrible as the stories for Julian, Kyrian, and Talon were - as sad - this was worse by far.

Zarek was a Roman slave when he was alive - a whipping boy for his 1/2 brothers. You read that right, his father beat him into blindness as punishment for what his other sons did. His Roman sons.

That's bad enough, but now as a Dark Hunter he's alone, despised. Killing those you're meant to protect is the worst of crimes for the hunters. His fellow hunters treat him as a pariah. A rabid dog. He can't go out in the sun, so during the summer months in Alaska when the sun doesn't set, or sets only briefly, he can't go get food, so he starves. But immortals can't die of starvation.

Not to mention the emotional starvation.

Like I said, sad.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Night Embrace, Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book two in the Dark Hunter series finds us with Talon and Sunshine.

Yes, Sunshine. Her brothers are named Storm and Rain. To be fair, their father is a Native American shaman.

Anyway, Talon is our Dark Hunter. He worked with Kyrian to police New Orleans up until Kyrian got his soul back. Talon is an ancient Celtic warrior who pissed off a god of the Gauls. The god cursed him so that every human he loves will die.

The important thing to realize there is that Celtic and Gaulic gods are just as real as Greek gods. I love that. It opens up the storylines - though I'm still not entirely sure where the gods fit in.

Sunshine, as it turns out, is the reincarnation of Talon's long dead wife. They're soulmates.

She's also friends with Selena. Selena, if you remember is best friends with Grace (Fantasy Lover). She and Sunshine share a workplace, of sorts. They each have sidewalk displays, Sunshine for her art, Selena as a psychic.

Beyond the fact that all the pantheons of gods are valid, I liked this one because it doesn't end the same way as Kyrian's story. Kyrian gets his soul back and gets to live his happy human life. I expected the same basic story. Sunshine gets Talon's soul back and they live happily ever after.

Only this vengeful god makes it a little more complicated.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Night Pleasures, Sherrilyn Kenyon

OK! I'm finally seeing how these work!

Ok, so Julian, in Fantasy Lover. Back before he was cursed, his best friend was Kyrian of Thrace.

Remember Grace? Julian's love? Her best friend Selena is a psychic and is the one who found Julian's book and got Grace to call him out. Selena's sister is Amanda.

This is Amanda and Kyrian's book.

Amanda's family is like Selena, except for Amanda. She's the only "normal" one. That even includes a vampire hunter. Really.

For real.

Kyrian is the first Dark Hunter we meet and I finally know what they are! OK, a Dark Hunter is a warrior who has sold his/her soul for 24 hours to exact vengeance. Nope, not the Devil - Artemis. In payment, they become immortal hunters of Daimons. Daimons are Apollites who have decided to extend their lives by killing and eating the souls of humans.

None of those words make sense, do they?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dragonswan, Sherrilyn Kenyon

So, this is the next instalment of the Dark Hunter series...and the series hasn't even officially started yet!!

So this is listed as "0.5." It's another prequel in the series, though it does seem to give more info on the substance of the series.

So we meet Channon and Sebastian at a museum where they're both admiring a tapestry. They go to dinner and instantly hit it off. They share an intended one night stand, but Sebastian finds he's been mated.

Oh, did I mention he's a dragon? ;)

So, Sebastian is a were-hunter. Weres, or shifters, were created as a way around a curse. I think. I was a little confused. Regardless, their creator had 2 sons. He wanted to save them, so through alchemy he spliced them with animals. Only, as such things normally do, it didn't go quite according to plan. It split the 2 boys, creating 4 - 2 with the heart of a human and the abilities of animals, 2 with the hearts of animals and abilities of humans.

If that's not clear, think of it this way: humans that can become animals and animals that can become human.

With the power to travel in time.

A little scary.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fantasy Lover, Sherrilyn Kenyon

This is another paranormal romance series. I started it before Christmas - before things got all wonky.

A lot of times when I start these, I've gotten interested by a book later in the series. I see that one, think it looks interesting, and being a little OCD, go find the first of the series and start reading.

This is one of those.

Honestly, if I'd read the back of this one first, I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought.

I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about it.

So this is a prequel or companion novel to the Dark Hunter series. In it we meet Julian and Grace. Julian is a Greek Demi-god, son of Aphrodite, cursed by his 1/2 brother to be trapped in a book. Whenever someone says his name 3 times (Beetlejuice anyone?), he comes out of the book and must serve the person who called him for a month as a sex slave.

Grace is a straight laced teacher with a still mending heart.

Let's just set aside the whole "sex slave" as entertainment (ours not Grace's) for a second. I'll just say sex trafficking and slavery is very much an ongoing issue and shouldn't be trivialized.

Moving on...

Setting that aside, it was just ok.

Julian's story is heart rending, so that gives it a little help. Just gave it a little more dimension. Grace is strong and smart. If you like romance, I think you'll like this one. For me, I'm just not sure. I enjoyed it, and I'm going to keep on in the series mainly because I don't know where this series will go from here - Dark Hunters weren't even mentioned, so I don't even know what they are. So my curiosity will keep me going, but I think my initial reaction would have been accurate: Not a second thought.

Fantasy Lover, Sherrilyn Kenyon