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Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter Companion Cover Picture

Sherrilyn Kenyon’s
Dark-Hunter Companion

Sherrilyn Kenyon with
Alethea Kontis

Published 2007     420 pages

Summary (from the book jacket)

Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion is essential reading for anyone who has recently made that once-in-a-lifetime deal with Artemis.  Packed with insider knowledge and secrets mankind are rarely privy to, it’s also a valuable guide to the Dark-Hunter series for lesser mortals.

It includes a Dark-Hunter directory, a handy reference guide to Dark-Hunter and Greek mythology, useful tips on dealing with daimons and squires, lessons on conversational Greek and Atlantean; there’s even a section on how to handle unexpected visits from ancient gods…

The companion even also includes a brand new short story from every Dark-Hunter’s favourite writer Sherrilyn Kenyon.

The Review

As everyone in the world must know by now Sherrilyn Kenyon is the author of the immensely popular Dark Hunter paranormal romance novels.  (If you aren’t familiar with the Dark Hunter books of Sherrilyn Kenyon then you can stop reading this review now because chances are that you probably aren’t going to be interested in a companion guide to that series!) 

The writing credits for the Dark Hunter Companion list it as written by Sherrilyn Kenyon with Alethea Kontis.  Althea Kontis is the author of several short stories and has her own small dark fantasy and horror publishing company too.  The book contains several original illustrations which are credited to the Dabel Brothers (artists who specialize in fantasy novel/comic illustration – Dabel Brother Productions produce the Anita Blake graphic novels amongst other things.) 

Having established the fine fantasy/horror credentials of the people involved in the production of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion it leaves only one question left to be asked.  Which is, what went wrong?

At first glance the contents of the book look promising.  The guide contains:
“So Now You’re A Dark-Hunter… what to do, what not to do and how to royally screw it up”, “Dark Hunter Directory – your fellow soldiers”, “Were-Hunters – their bark has nothing on their bite” and “Dream-Hunters – Mr. Sandman, your new best friend.”  The contents continue on in this vein until we get “Yes, Virginia, It Is A Language - conversational Atlantean for the world traveller” and “All Greek To You – insight into being and speaking Greek.” Ending with bonus material that includes an interview with Sherrilyn Kenyon plus an original dark-hunter short story and some scenes that were edited out of the final printed versions of Night Embrace and Seize The Night. 

So what’s the problem?  The book has been written as if you, the reader, have been made a Dark Hunter and you need to read up on what you should do next.  That’s not so bad but the narrator gives the reader all this information with chirpy humour as if she is speaking to you (newbie dark hunter) directly, which in itself isn’t so bad but I can’t help but feel that a guide book should have logical ordered information without the forced humour and in-jokes.

The content is odd too.  While the Dark-Hunter Directory is probably the most useful part of the book (there are so many secondary characters in this series that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of them all) the other parts of the book are weak.  To fill the book’s long 420 pages the content contains a lot of what can only be described as irrelevant filler.  If I want recipes, I’ll buy a cook book and if I want restaurant or travel information I’ll get a travel guide book, if you get my drift.

Probably the strangest part of this book is “Widget Bones’s Diary.”  This is a Dark-Hunter parody.  What is strange about it is that Widget Bones is written as a male Dark Hunter – while it is kind of funny it makes little sense.  If the story had been written with Widget as a female Dark-Hunter obsessing about her clothes, appearance and being generally useless at killing daimons it might have been funny and made sense.  Maybe Dabel Brothers felt this way too because the illustration for Widget Bone’s Diary is of a clearly female character in pyjamas?! 

The brand new short story isn’t actually a new story but a reprint of “Second Chances” which was originally published in a collectable booklet in 2005 it was only issued in limited numbers so most people probably haven’t read it but that still doesn’t make it a brand new story as advertised on the back cover of the book.  It’s a reissue - that’s different to brand new.

Summing up there are parts of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion that I liked (the interview with Sherrilyn herself and the Dark-Hunter Directory stand out) but on the whole I found this book confusing, which isn’t good for a companion guide book.  Widget Bones illustration aside I thought the rest of the illustrations were very good and complimented the Dark-Hunter Companion well.  This book has an odd, confusing mixture of content and is written in a style that isn’t to my personal taste but that’s not to say that the dedicated Dark-Hunter fan won’t like it. 

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 2 stars out of 5

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