Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Plot Type: SMR
Ratings: V3-4; S4; H3-4
Publisher and Titles: St. Martin’s
Seize the Night (2004) (Valerius & Tabitha)
Sins of the Night (2005) (Alexion & Dangereuse)
Styxx (9/2013) (Styxx & Bethany)
Son of No One (9/2014) Cadegan and Josette Landry)
Dark Bites (Dark-Hunter novella collection, 1/2014)
The Dark-Hunter Companion (2007), a nonfiction companion book to the series in which Kenyon explains and analyzes the Dark-Hunters world
Kenyon writes a related series called DREAM-HUNTERS. Here is a description of that series from her web site: "Traditionally called the Oneroi, we are what protect the humans, Apollites, and immortals while they slumber. We are the Dream Warriors. The ones who battle the Skoti Daimons and demons who drain the energy, dreams and life from sleepers....We are also helpers to the Dark-Hunters and Were-Hunters working as a go-between when they need help from the gods or healing."
BOOK 17: Retribution
As the story begins, Jess has been tasked with tracking down a serial killer who has murdered several Dark-Hunters. When he discovers that the killer is a young human girl who looks just like his long lost love, he's not sure how to react. Then, he learns that along with her Dark-Hunter victims, she has also killed Old Bear, Guardian of the West, which let loose the horrors that Old Bear was guarding. During a horrific magical wasp attack, Jess and Abigail begin to bond, and their romance is on. Both Jess and Abigail are haunted by their tragic pasts. He became a Dark-Hunter to wreak vengeance on the man who killed him and raped his fiancée. Abigail is an orphan who was raised by Apollites after the murder of her parents, and she has been told repeatedly that Jess is their murderer. (Now, we all know that Dark-Hunters never kill innocents, but Abigail has obviously not been reading the series, so she doesn't know any better.) The conflict involves the building of trust between Jess and Abigail and the defeat of Coyote, who is trying to take advantage of Old Bear's death to make a power play of his own. Unfortunately, towards the end of the book, events begin to get convoluted and hard to follow. I read this as an audiobook and kept wishing I had a print copy so that I could look back and double check past events in order to better understand the ending, which involves love, revenge, death and reincarnated spirits, with several confusing flashbacks (confusing, at least, in audiobook form).
When Ash, Talon, Sundown, Sasha, Urian, and Nick finally show up near the end to save the day, I was just as happy to see them as Ren was because they are the only familiar frame of reference in the whole book. Ash has a new look in this book: He and Tori cut their hair and donated it to Locks of Love, so Ash's hair is very short—and that gets lots of sarcastic comments from the D-H guys.
All in all, this is a disappointing book, with too much repetitious information and too many confusing flashbacks along with a mashed-up mythology that is never quite clear. The ending feels rushed and anti-climactic. I expected more than a quick defeat of not one, but two, villains, but they both take place in the blink of an eye.