Review: Styxx

styxxReviewed by Jen

Some people really loved this book. They gave it 5 star reviews. Some even called it the best thing Sherrilyn Kenyon has ever written.  I am not one of those people.  In fact, I was barely able to make myself finish Styxx.  Not because it was 800-and something pages… but because it was one of the most miserable books I have ever read.  It is filled from cover to cover with rape, incest, abuse, torture, and unrelenting suffering for our hero.  Before you tell me that Kenyon is Queen of the Tortured Hero, don’t waste your breath.  There is no balance in this story between darkness and light.  It’s 95% horrible and 5% …well, not horrible for Styxx.  And in case you’re wondering, “It can’t be worse than Acheron, can it?” Well, yes it can. And yes, it is.

Basically, this is the companion story to Acheron’s book, from Styxx’s point of view.  It essentially throws out everything Ash thought he knew about his brother.  Styxx was abused physically, emotionally, and sexually.  He loses his virginity in an incestuous gang rape.  On page.  Then he is raped more times than the total of all rapes I have ever read in any books in my life, put together.  He is raped and raped and raped. By his uncle, the guy’s buddies, senators, Greek gods, Atlantean gods, the guards, the fucking guy who whips him for his dad.  Everybody rapes him.  And then when you think to yourself, he can’t possibly be raped any more, he is taken captive and raped for a year straight.  It’s simply horrific. And that is not counting the torture by the monks with the hot pokers, the constant pain he feels from every injury committed against Acheron, or the attempts on his life by every single member of his family.

His mother hates him. His sister hates him. Ash hates him.  So does every member of the government… every member of the royal household.  Pretty much everyone except his beloved trainer Galen, who actually hated him for several years first.  He doesn’t even meet his heroine until 175 pages into the book.  They’re with each other off and on about 5 years (while he is getting raped on the side all the while) — and they are apart more than they are together. Then Ash becomes a God and Styxx gets sent to live alone on an island for 11-thousand years.  With his heroine dead.  11-thousand years.  Because 21 years of rapes, torture and abuse isn’t enough.  Yet he comes through it all with a good heart. And he still is capable of love and a desire to have sex.  Only with Bethany, of course. (That’s the heroine’s name, by the way.)

Plus… when he finally gets off the island… and he tries to kill Ash to end his own miserable existence… he gets the extra treat of living through Acheron’s memories for three years.  There is no end to this man’s suffering.  And even past page 775, he is still miserable and being manipulated and thrown away.   Does this tell you anything??

I know the idea is that there is supposed to be something beautiful about a man so tortured being able to retain his ability to love.  But there is nothing beautiful here.  I ended up just wishing the poor man could die, simply to end the cruelty.

P.S. Acheron is painted as a complete dick in this book.

I’m done.

Rating: D-

*ARC Provided by St. Martins

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press


  1. Oooooooooooooh, I am so glad I did not go for this book. I was already tiring of Kenyon. The magic got lost for me right before Acheron, though I stuck it out through that one… Meh… You are so right about the need for balance in books and honestly, who on earth wants to read depressing and brutal fiction when the evening news takes care of that?

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      Amen! This is the most brutal book I have ever read.

      • One has to wonder what is going through an author’s head that makes them think loyal readers (and I was certainly one of them) will stay when the writing becomes unacceptable… Surely she knew she was getting too dark. Oh well, another series disappointment down the drain for me. Thanks for your honest review, saved me from buying and not finishing a book!

  2. Oh, no! This sounds horrible. I just started the series and only on book 5. I thought Zarek’s abuse was horrible and was glad the next book wasn’t so dark. Not sure I can take much more of that kind of abuse on a person. I bought all the books, so I don’t want to waste my money. Guess I will try to read it when I finally get through the next 20 books or so.

  3. I immediately canceled my order of this book upon reading your review. Reading Acheron was bad enough (I skimmed most of it). There is no way I could read Styxx. This sounds beyond grim and horrible.

  4. Whoa – guess you didn’t like it. I actually haven’t read this series at all yet but know many people who are really into it. Sorry you didn’t like it but I appreciate the review.

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      I loved the series in the early days. The last several books I have been hit or miss with me. This … was simply in a category all its own.

  5. Damn. That’s all I can really say about this story. Damn.

  6. As usual great book, all are n the series. This and Acheron are a Must Read….. Could not stop crying……

  7. There is lot of heartache in the booki agree, but if u read Acheron first, the different perspective of both brothers was captivating and Acheron came good in the end……. Some didn’t read due to the review, can’t disagree more, it was intense but as always the end was touchig

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