Published 2008 728 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron endured a lifetime of hatred. His human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Brought back against his will, he 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 never wants revealed. Now his survival, and ours, hinges on the very woman who threatens him. Old enemies are reawakening and uniting to kill - them both.
Note: To avoid confusion in this review when I am referring to Acheron the novel I’m going to call it Acheron and when I’m referring to Acheron the character I’m going to call him by his nickname Ash…
Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron novel (titled for its protagonist the cursed Atlantean god Acheron) represents the culmination of a story arc that has been running throughout the entire Dark Hunter series building up over the course of 12 books (or 14 if you include the Dream Hunter novels.) This long awaited novel is Ash’s life story from his time as a mortal in Atlantis up to the present day when he finally meets a human woman who he falls in love with.
Weighing in with a page count of well over 700 pages Acheron is actually two books in one. The first story is over 400 pages long and tells of the terrible abuse he suffered first as a mortal at the hands of his family and then later as god at the hands of Artemis. Some parts of Ash’s history covered here have been hinted at and briefly mentioned in the previous Dark Hunter novels but Acheron sees the events laid out in a chronological order that goes a long way to simplifying the complex Dark Hunter history and origins.
Part of Ash’s early history is told in first person by Ash’s mortal sister, Princess Ryssa, in the form of her personal diaries. The rest of the story is told in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s usual third person perspective but not in her usual light-hearted style.
Ash was cursed by the Fates from birth - meaning that he suffered horrific physical or sexual abuse from just about everyone he came into contact with. The only person who didn’t abuse him was Ryssa but due to his twisted fate whenever she tried to help him she usually made his situation worse. Ash’s constant torment makes the first part of Acheron difficult reading, even though this is clearly a fantasy novel populated with gods, goddesses and demons his constant abuse is all too human and gruelling to make comfortable reading.
The second part of Acheron is set in present day New Orleans and is written in the usual style that readers have come to expect from the Dark Hunter novels. Sarcasm, banter and fast paced action mix with heart wrenching romance to make a hugely fun and hugely readable story.
Ash has always been a man (god) of mystery but understanding his past means that readers can understand where his great compassion for humanity comes from and also makes the romance between him and Tory more meaningful. Initially Tory’s character seemed difficult to relate to since she just seemed to be the requisite female lead character that Ash would first have to argue with, and then fall in love with, while lacking character and realistic motivations of her own. However, given a few chapters she does grow more engaging although she never comes anywhere close to rivalling Ash’s likeability (but this is his book not hers so I suppose that’s only fair!)
Acheron been a long time coming but is definitely worth the wait. Seriously, what’s not to like? Sherrilyn Kenyon is writing on top form here, delivering all the things that established Dark Hunter fans have come to crave – such as fast paced thrills, hot romance and witty banter. This novel is actually two books in one making it incredibly good value, plus this is the story of Ash who is most people’s favourite Dark Hunter. Okay I made that last bit up - he’s actually my favourite character but I think you get the drift…
LoveVampires Review Rating:
Visit Sherrilyn Kenyon's web site for news of forthcoming Dark Hunter releases and to read excerpts from her books, as well as get lots of background material on the Dark Hunter characters and world. Visit Sherrilyn's site