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Monday, October 14, 2013

REVIEW: "Styxx" by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #23)
Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon
For Ages 18+
Paranormal Romance
St. Martin's Press -- September 3, 2013
Hardcover, 836 pages
Purchased from Target

THEMES
Tortured Hero, Kick-Ass Heroine, Reformed Villain, Tearjerker

SUMMARY
Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.

As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.

The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now. She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her.

But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer.

Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it's your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?

FIRST LINE
"You missed, moron.  My son still lives, and one day, we are going to bathe in your blood."

MY THOUGHTS

Warning!  This review does contain minor spoilers for the earlier books in the Dark Hunters series.

I have been reading Kenyon's Dark Hunters series for almost five years and really enjoyed the ride in this complex, highly original paranormal world.  But, I will admit that my overall interest in these books has waned for awhile now.  Then I heard that the next book in the series would be focused on Acheron's brother, Styxx, who has not received the most favorable reputation so far.  I love a good reformed villain story so I knew I was going to check this one out even though I still hadn't read the previous book, Time Untime.

I have had a hard time trying to figure out a way to review this book in my regular fashion, but I think this one requires a different format.  So I am going to provide you with my thoughts and opinions in bullet points rather than the normal sentence/paragraphs.

-- I loved learning more about Styxx's past and how it helped shape the character that we are more familiar with as DH fans.

--Styxx's military career was surprisingly enjoyable and I was fascinated by his relationship with his sword master.

--I love strong heroines so I absolutely adored Bethany and her own unique brand of badassery.

--The fact that Styxx and Bethany fell in love during the time of Atlantis was very different for a Kenyon romance and it was one of my favorite parts of the whole book.

--Styxx and Bethany have to go through a lot to get their happily ever after which makes the super sweet ending that much more satisfying.

--The boys' sister, Ryssa, was one of my favorite characters in Acheron, but I found myself hating her early on in Styxx.

--I still like Acheron as a character, but my initial opinion of him has changed because of his treatment of Styxx both in the past and in the present day.

--It was interesting to see what Styxx was doing during the eleven thousand years that Ash was working with the Dark Hunters and how he was still able to maintain his innate goodness.

--Styxx's friendship with one of Ash's biggest allies was a pleasant surprise and I am hoping to get that guy's story soon.

--This book helped answer a lot of questions that I had about Ash's destiny in particular the whole Destroyer thing.

--The scene where Ash spied on Styxx in the desert and discovered something interesting was one of the most tear-jerking moments I've read in a long time.

--I did think that Styxx went on way too long with the 800+ pages and more than half of that being set in the past.

--I did get bored (at times) by the fact that every bad thing that could possibly happen to Styxx in his life did happen.  I love tortured heroes, but this was too much for even me.

--While I was excited to see Bethany and Styxx get their happily ever after, I did find the ending rushed and a little too perfect considering all the crap that they had to deal with throughout the entire book.

--I am definitely still invested in this world and am excited to see how these events effect the overall series plot.

--Despite the issues I mentioned above, I did enjoy this book and feel like doing a massive re-read of the entire DH series sometime soon.

4 STARS

FAVORITE QUOTES
All the times in his life he'd preached to others that there were always three sides to every event--yours, theirs, and the truth that lay somewhere in the middle.  Yet when it came to his brother...Emotions don't have brains.  Ash knew that better than anyone.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Fantasy Lover
1.5. Dragonswan
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
11.5. Fear the Darkness
12. Devil May Cry
13. Upon the Midnight Clear
14. Dream Chaser
15. Acheron
16. One Silent Night
17. Dream Warrior
18. Bad Moon Rising
19. No Mercy
20. Retribution
21. The Guardian
22. Time Untime
23. Styxx

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