Review: Born of Betrayal by Sherrilyn Kenyon

born of betrayalReviewed by Jen

At a time where I am feeling very disconnected from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, I am happy to report that I enjoyed this latest League book. I did have some issues, but I liked both main characters and their second chance at love story, especially with their grown son a major player in the story.

This is finally Fain’s book, and Kenyon primed us well with Talyn’s story in the last installment. We’ve seen the fallout from Fain’s decision to leave Galene all those years ago. Her social standing was ruined and their son lived a life beneath even the lowest castes of society, since he had no paternal lineage. Fain went off and married a human woman, despite his betrothal to Galene and, well, everyone ended up suffering for it. [Read more…]

Review: Dragonbane by Sherrilyn Kenyon

dragonbaneReviewed by Jen

When you develop a long history with a series you have loved the way I’ve loved this one, it’s hard to let go. But sometimes, it’s the best choice. I feel like I’ve said, “this is the last one” to myself a fair number of times, only to get sucked back in by my memories of stories past. (Dance With the Devil, anyone?) But the thing is, even when one kind of brings back the glory days the way The Guardian did, I’m getting to the point where it all feels recycled. Even the good stuff, done so many times, doesn’t shine the way it used to. [Read more…]

Review: Born of Defiance by Sherrilyn Kenyon

born of defianceReviewed by Jen

Sherrilyn Kenyon hits the rewind button in this latest installment of The League. We’re going back to the time that coincides with the first book of the series. For me, that was cool in some ways, bad in others. I liked it because Nykyrian’s book was my favorite and I enjoyed revisiting some of the events of his story, albeit from a different perspective. It was challenging at times, though, because I read that book many years ago and I was struggling to remember what I should know, not only about Nyk’s history, but Fain Hauk’s. After all, Fain is our hero’s father. [Read more…]

Review: Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon

son of no oneReviewed by Jen

I seriously debated with myself about whether to read this book.  I hated Styxx with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, and honestly, the Dark Hunter series has been losing me for awhile.  I have had an increasingly difficult time following all the threads of the larger story arc since Acheron. I thought I might be ok when we started to learn about the Hellchasers, but then we moved on to the Native American lore and with some of the Greek and Atlantean stuff still in there, I just can’t keep up.

All of that aside, I really loved the early books in the series. I had to give it one more chance, even though I had never even heard of the hero or heroine.  I’m glad I did. [Read more…]

Review: Born of Fury by Sherrilyn Kenyon

born of furyReviewed by Jen

Sherrilyn Kenyon is the queen of the tortured hero.  I have to admit, I was a little worried where she would go next after the misery of Styxx, but I am happy to say she struck a much better balance this time around.  This is Hauk’s story and we finally get to go beyond his hulking tough-as-nails exterior, to the warm and gooey center underneath. [Read more…]

Review: Illusion by Sherrilyn Kenyon

illusionReviewed by Jen

I honestly wasn’t looking forward to this book.  Based on the set-up, I thought it was going to be all filler, set in some kind of alternative reality that would have no bearing on the bigger picture in the Chronicles of Nick series. Not only was I wrong about that, it ended up being the best installment in the series to date.

There is, indeed, an alternate reality in play. (There seems to be a few of them floating around in this series.)  But what’s happening there is not filler[Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

Review: Rise of the Gryphon

rise of the gryphonReviewed by Jen

This is such a good book; an awesome urban fantasy. It’s complex and action packed; it’s got great world building, well developed characters, and a fast moving plot. I did not want to put it down. Now that it’s over, I can’t wait until the next book is out, so I can get back on the ride.  For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it’s nothing like what you’re used to from Sherrilyn Kenyon. It’s not a romance (though there is a romance in the story.)  It’s 100% UF.  And this book, by the way, is not the place to start. Go back to Blood Trinity and start there. (Do it now!) [Read more…]

Review: Cloak & Silence

cloakReviewed by Jen

I feel like I have been waiting forever for this book. It’s been more than a year since I read Born of Silence, and despite the elapsed time, my enthusiasm has never waned about seeing Maris and Ture’s story.  I will say this, League fans, be sure you’ve read that book before reading this one or you will be spoiled to high heaven.

This –to the best of my knowledge– is Sherrilyn Kenyon’s first stab at m/m.  And I have to tell you, it feels just like any one of her m/f romances… only you get two tortured heroes instead of just one.  Two men who have known nothing but betrayal and derision.  Two men who have never been loved.  Essentially, you’re doubling the Kenyon effect.  For fans, it’s really win-win.

The story begins at the same time as the events roughly 3/4 of the way through Born of Silence, only it’s told through the eyes of Maris and Ture.  It starts with Ture and Zarya being tortured by the League and follows the events through their rescue and recovery.  Zarya was already trying to hook Maris and Ture up, and their connection was real from the very beginning.  Neither thought they could make a real go of it, though. Maris was too in love with Darling and Ture was too tied up in his work.  Yet, the more time they spend together, the more they are unable to ignore their growing regard and attraction.  And before they know it, they fall in love and their walls come crashing down.

There are problems, of course.  Their emotional scars run deep, but the external threat is serious. There is a huge target on Maris’ back, which means danger for Ture by extension.  And there is the Darling-factor.  Maris fears his love for his best friend will forever keep him from a real relationship.  But there is really no doubt that each man has finally found someone who would never hurt or betray him.

As for the sex… it’s pretty on par with the heat level of other League books.  For m/m fans, there is a noticeable absence of prep/ lube and Kenyon straddles the line of being mostly clear in what’s happening.  The lube issue notwithstanding, I was generally satisfied and I think most readers will be too.

Overall, I enjoyed it, though it was a bit predictable.  It was also a little over-the-top at times, with lines like: “Tell me what it’s like to be held by someone who really loves you” and “I can’t be hurt anymore. I am tired of it.”  Like I said before, it’s pretty standard Kenyon, but maybe a little more pronounced because of the double-hero factor.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Cloak & Silence
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Release Date: July 8, 2013

Review: Inferno

Reviewed by Jen

I was thisclose to dropping out on this series. I’m not usually a YA reader, but I make a few exceptions with authors whose adult series I enjoy.  Reading the Nick books seemed like a no-brainer since it is so intimately entwined with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books.  But the early installments were just too young for me.  The characters, their thoughts, the dialogue, even the way they were treated by the adults seemed even younger than their chronological ages.  It alienated me. It felt like there just wasn’t enough growth.

I’m glad I gave it one more shot.  While this is still nothing like the Dark Hunter books in the romance department, I finally feel like we’re seeing the characters evolve and mature.  There is a minimum amount of Cherise (who I have grown to truly dislike reading,) far fewer “gah”s, and less ruminating from Nick in general about being a misfit kid.  Now before you do too much celebrating, there is still a big old message (not even a little bit subtle) about being true to yourself and fighting bullies.  But still… improvement.

As the book begins, Nick is dealing with the revelation that Kody is not who she appears.  She may be, in fact, an assassin sent to kill him.  Of course, we the readers are privy to who she really is and why she is there, but this is a tough pill for Nick to swallow. He breaks up with her, feeling heartbreak for the first time.  Thankfully, the teen angst is only a small part of the book.

The larger arc centers on someone targeting both Nick and his father, trying to get to the Malachai mojo.  It gets a little complicated with all of the players. But it’s got a good amount of intrigue and momentum.  What I liked about it, is that the series arc actually moved forward in a big way.  I felt like as much actually happened towards moving along the series arc in this book –as in all the previous ones combined.

There are a lot of cameos and shout-outs to Dark Hunter characters and how they fit into the big picture. There are explanations and flash forwards.  It’s a fun ride. And Nick is so much less annoying.

I think the Epilogue is going to garner some mixed reaction.  It’s clearly the set-up for the next book, but I hope it’s not the subject of the entire installment.  For me, that would be a complete throwaway.  I won’t spoil it, but IMO, it equates right up there with an entire book that’s a “dream” and will have no real impact on the series as a whole.  But I will give Kenyon the benefit of the doubt and give it a try. After all, she came through in this one.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by St Martin’s 

Click to purchase: Amazon
Inferno
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin