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Monday, November 28, 2011

REVIEW: "The Guardian" by Sherrilyn Kenyon

TITLE: The Guardian
AUTHOR: Sherrilyn Kenyon
SERIES: Dark Hunter #21
GENRE: Paranormal Romance-Demons, Mythology, etc.
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2011
READ DATE: November 2011
SOURCE: Book Depository
SUMMARY:  Dream-Hunter Lydia has been charged with the most sacred and dangerous of missions: To descend into the Nether Realm and find the missing god of dreams before he betrays the secrets that could kill her and her kind. What she never expects is to be taken prisoner by the Realm’s most vicious guardian…

Seth’s time is running out. If he can’t hand over the entrance to Olympus, his own life and those of his people will be forfeit. No matter the torture, Seth hasn’t been able to break the god in his custody. Then there’s the beautiful Dream-Hunter Lydia: She isn’t just guarding the gates of Olympus—she’s holding back one of the world’s darkest powers. If she fails, an ancient curse will haunt the earth once more and no one will be safe. But evil is always seductive...



MY THOUGHTS:


The Guardian is the newest installment in the Dream-Hunter branch of the epic Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  As many Kenyon fans know, this series is separated into three main branches: Dark-Hunter, Were-Hunter, and Dream-Hunter.  While they may delve off into different areas of the DH world, it should be noted that the books are meant to be read in order as a whole.  Kenyon has an ultimate ending planned out for this world and the only way to fully appreciate it is to read all the books.

As expected of a series with over twenty books, there are some high and low points.  Unfortunately, for me, quite a few recent installments has been a little lackluster.  While I have enjoyed the new information and the characters, I have found myself wavering in my overall obsession of the series.  The last two books have only been 3 or 3.5 star reads for me which is devastating for a Kenyon fangirl.  Well, thank goodness, I didn't hesitate to read The Guardian because it reminded me why I love these books so much and why I cannot wait to find out what happens next in the DH universe.

To provide a very quick recap, the Dream-Hunter branch has been dealing with the big bad threat of primal gods Azura and Noir.  These two have been trying to find ways to increase their influence in the human world in order to bring out some version of the apocalypse.  There is some crossing over with the Dark-Hunter and Were-Hunter branches in this grand plan, but I won't go too deep into that in this review.  What you need to know is that the Dream-Hunters, or warriors who protect dreams from monsters, have been used and abused by these gods and are beginning to fight back.  There are many aspects of the apocalypse in this series and this is the Dream-Hunters' main battlefield.

The main couple in this book are Seth and Lydia.  Lydia is a Dream-Hunter who is also half Were-Hunter.  Her father, Solin, has been captured by Azura and Noir in an effort to discover valuable information about the Dream-Hunters and the whole Greek pantheon.  It is Lydia's job to find and rescue him from the Nether Realm.  Unfortunately, Solin is being held by Seth, an ancient warrior who has been a slave to Noir for centuries.  Throughout his enslavement, Seth has been through horrible torture and is willing to do almost anything to avoid that type of life.  Therefore, he is charged with getting the desired information out of Solin for Azura and Noir which becomes a little more complicated when Lydia enters the field.

Lydia is an okay heroine.  She is definitely strong and independent.  She knew what she had to do and was willing to sacrifice anything to achieve her objective.  Her loyalty to Solin and the other Dream-Hunters was admirable.  She had a few annoying moments, but that is par for the course for Kenyon's heroines.  Thankfully, the TSTL parts were pretty rare for Lydia.  As a reader, I would love to find out more about her half-breed background, but I believe that may have been glossed over for the purpose of the plot.

And then, we have Seth.  Kenyon is well-known for her sexy, tortured heroes and Seth is one of the best.  He comes from the Egyptian pantheon and has unimaginable power that is controlled by his masters. The torture scenes in this book are pretty graphic and make you feel for Seth especially as a small child.  The biggest lesson that Seth has to learn is to trust someone besides himself with his true feelings and know that he is worthy of being loved.  This is a common theme in this series, but Kenyon manages to make it feel fresh with Seth's character.  Despite all the torture, he is a decent guy who has an affinity for reading and falls hard for Lydia from the beginning.

There are many secondary characters that pop up throughout this book.  Fans of this series will find some familiar faces such as Zarek, Delphine, Fang, Aimee, and, my personal favorite, Jericho!  These are all previously main characters who are in the story for a reason not just to gloat about their personal happiness.  We also have some characters that we've met before and continue to tantalize readers with their mysteries.  Solin is definitely future hero material and Jaden is probably the most buzzed about DH character since Acheron.  The little tidbits about these characters just made me want their stories even faster!

The Guardian had one of the most organized plots in quite awhile for this series.  There was a definite beginning, middle, and end and it was fairly easy to follow.  There are many new details about the DH universe especially the demon section.  I loved finding out more about Azura and Noir's plans and their realm.  The only qualm I had about the plot was the anticlimactic ending. There was a lot going on and many conflicts being revealed and then it felt like it was just over.  I know there are more installments to be written about these characters, but I would have liked a more definite conclusion to Seth and Lydia's story.  Overall, this was one of my recent favorites in the DH series and I cannot wait for more!  



4 OUT OF 5 STARS


FAVORITE QUOTE:


"Hey now,” Maahes said. “Don’t be making that face. Okay? You start crying, I start crying, and I look like a total freak when I cry. Nothing worse than a big-ass man blubbering like a baby. Totally kills my chances with the women. You know?"

SERIES INFORMATION:
1. Fantasy Lover
2. Night Pleasures
3. Night Embrace
4. Dance with the Devil
5. Kiss of the Night
6. Night Play
7. Seize the Night
8. Sins of the Night
9. Unleash the Night
10. Dark Side of the Moon
11. The Dream-Hunter
12. Upon the Midnight Clear
13. Dream Chaser
14. Devil May Cry
15. Acheron
16. One Silent Night
17. Dream Warrior
18. Bad Moon Rising
19. No Mercy
20. Retribution
21. The Guardian
22. Time Untime (To Be Released 2012)

BOOK TRAILER:





INTERESTING LINKS:


Book Depository Page
Goodreads Page
Author Website

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