|Plot summary & excerpt here|
Release Date: August 5, 2008
Purchase Link: Amazon
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.
Kenyon sure did take her time and spared no details with Acheron's story. I was looking forward to reading this book because aside from Nick, my next favorite is his (ex) bestfriend Acheron.
So I dove in and started reading the 722p book about the life of Acheron Parthenopaeus. However the first 328p was just overkill, in my opinion I think Team Kenyon could've condensed that into 150p tops. After the recurrent lashings and abuse to Acheron it gets stale. Sure I get that his human family hated him and sold him as a whore but to fill chapter after chapter of essentially the same thing is a little bit too much. I understand that as THE Dark-Hunter his story is special and require more pages but it could've been even more dramatic if they just focused on the major events instead of writing every little thing, there were just too many similar chapters making some of the events redundant.
On the other hand I feel bad for his sister Ryssa who incidentally became Apollo's mistress and the reason why the Apollites became damned. Her timing is just wrong. All. The. Time. She always means well and she only wants to save Acheron but it seems like their father embedded a homing device to her and whenever she gets close to her brother he shows up, unreasonable, bloodthirsty for Acheron. And no matter what she does or say it doesn't carry weight because she's a woman. There were times where like Acheron, I wish his sister just stayed away from him so he won't get into trouble. But despite his cursed fate, Ryssa was all he had at this time and when she and his dear nephew died, like Job he lost everything without any sign of relief in the horizon.
Now for the part where he met Artemis. Oh fathajeezus! Our dear Acheron is a MARTYR I tell you! He's been shunned, punished, used and manipulated by this Olympian and yet he can't shake her off because Artemis made sure that Acheron won't be able to shake her off. Aside from them having a child together, Katra (Devil May Cry), Acheron needs to feed off Artemis to keep his beastly alter-ego in check. For eleven thousand years he shared his blood with this minx and suffered her whims, it made me stay in awe of his self control, if it were up to me I would've let Simi take chunks of her slowly. But through all this, it made me love Acheron more and felt his struggle to keep his humanity intact and to protect his soldiers no matter the cost.
The scene in Archon's throne room was very Samson & Delilah like. When they say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, they weren't exaggerating. Apollymi's vengeance is exact and Kenyon translated the wrath a mother feels upon losing her child to injustice and death perfectly. She was like a raging bull blasting everyone who crosses her path, seeking retribution from everyone who played a part actively and passively to the abuse that Acheron experienced throughout his mortal life. Even the Olympian gods were shaking in their boots especially the Celestial Twins because they know The Destroyer is more powerful than them even with their powers combined.
I'm glad that Tory is woman enough for Acheron. At first I wasn't very excited when I read that she'll be his love match after reading about her in Dream-Hunter but I must say that she grew up to be such a fine woman. She's the perfect compliment to Acheron's tough personality and tormented past. I guess one has to be modern to completely embrace Acheron's dark history and not care too much about the details except for the pyschological scars. Tory is that Artemis is not, compassionate, protective of those she love and self-sacrificing and it's because of this that Acheron found his redemption. Love really conquers all... as far this story goes anyway.
The resulting catfight as who gets to keep Acheron swept me away. I was cheering for Tory the whole time, wishing that she just crush the Goddess once and for all. And though Tory having special powers granted by Apollymi (you have to read the book to understand this truly) wasn't cheesy nor did it feel like a convenient twist, it was very fitting and natural that The Destroyer would do this to protect her son. Now I understand why she still wants freedom because she is still itching for vengeance against those who hurt her dearest Acheron and Artemis is on top of her list.
But despite the hiccup in editing, Acheron's personal history is the best balance of tragedy and triumph I've ever read amongst all the books in this genre! I felt Kenyon's inspiration through every page, letting the words and mental pictures wash through her. Like every DH fan, I'm anxious to read how the Nick v Ash Royal Rumble is going down. Since she's writing Nick's chronicles simultaneously with her Hunter series, I'm sure there there will be numerous plot twists coming up.
I've read in Kenyon's site that Artemis doesn't have her own book in the horizon because per Kenyon "I don't know. She's one of those characters that I can't forgive at the moment. While I feel badly for her, it's not so much that I want to redeem her. We will see."