Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Hunter #15)
August 5 2008
Mass Market Paperback
St. Martin’s Press
Yummy Man – Acheron
Kick Ass Chick – Soteria (Tory) Kafieri
From Goodreads –
Eleven thousand years ago, a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. But the strongest steel is forged from the fires of hell…
Acheron’s human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, he became the sole defender of mankind. Only it was never that simple. For centuries, Acheron has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence. Now his survival—and ours—hinges on hers, and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both. War has never been more deadly…or more fun.
Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon is the fifteenth book in her Dark Hunter series and this one…let’s just say I don’t think there is a word written that can adequately describe how amazing this book is. It has been described as ‘epic’ and ‘series changing’. It was also called ‘one of the most anticipated books of 2008’ when it was released. I can see how fans of this series would have been beside themselves when they heard that Ash was finally getting his own book. I have only been reading this series for the past couple of years and even I was crazy anxious to get to this book. The reason is because Sherrilyn is a genius when it comes to the way she wrote this character in the previous fourteen books. He’s practically a side character in those books yet you can’t help but be drawn to him. He is often the character you walk away thinking about even though he may have graced only a dozen pages in the book. But this time, there are over 800 pages of Acheron and believe me, each and everyone will affect you in one way or another.
I was told that the first part of this book was very heavy and yeah…people were not exaggerating. Acheron was born Apostolos in the year 9548 BC. Yes, that would make him over 11,000 years old now. The first chapter grips you write away as we witness the goddess Apollymi (Ash’s mother) trying to keep Archon (Ash’s father) from killing her unborn child. Right away you can tell that as much as Apollymi wanted Ash to be born, no one else did. The Fates foretold that Ash would be the end of everything so in order to prevent that from happening, daddy wanted baby dead. Apollymi hides Ash in the human realm and that is where we see him next.
This next part of the book is told from Ryssa’s point of view – Ash’s human sister. I really enjoyed her character. She was the one sweet piece of Ash’s horrible life. And when I say horrible, I mean horrible. I won’t go into detail because really, there is too much to say, but I will say that how Ash is not batshit crazy and going around killing everything that moves is a wonder. It shows us just how strong his character is.
Finally, we are in present day…well 2008…and we witness how Ash meets the one woman who has ever made him feel like a man even once knowing every part of his story. She learns of his past, his present, who and what he truly is…and still she wants to be with him. That is a treasure to Acheron because he has never met anyone who knows the details of his past and who still wanted to be with him for him and not for wanting something from him.
I don’t think I’m going to go into the present day story anymore than telling you that Acheron is from Atlantis and knows that there are things hidden there that could ruin his reputation and the reputation of those he cares about if it was discovered. When Tory breaks news that she has indeed found Atlantis, Ash must discredit her. Let’s say Tory doesn’t take that well. That’s all I think you really need to know. I thought it would be best to focus mostly on how I felt about the characters in this story…so that is what I am going to do.
As I quickly mentioned before, Ryssa is a lovely character. The scene where Ash is a boy and has known no love other than from his sister and he finally admits that he loves Ryssa…so touching. There is such pure innocence in Ash’s expression when he talks to Ryssa – his whole heart right there for her. It’s almost sweet if what he says and feels wasn’t so sad. I was not surprised by Ryssa’s fate but man, it hurt. I hurt for Ash.
Speaking of hurt, I would have loved to hurt his human father, uncle and brother Styxx. Assholes the lot of them! How can anyone treat another human being the way they did and still sleep at night?! Just unbelievable.
Soteria, Tory for short, had a really tall order to fill for me. She had to be worthy of Acheron and I feel she did it. She didn’t treat him like anyone else in this series which I loved. She truly treated Ash like a man and not like the walking god that he is. I loved how she was with his friends too. She was already immersed with people who knew him without even knowing it! She was very well written and I’m glad she is who Ash ended up with.
Acheron. He is one of the best male characters out there in my opinion. He is right up there with Curran for me. As soon as even just his name is mentioned I sit up straighter and pay extra attention to what I’m reading. He is complex beyond any character I have ever read yet Sherrilyn writes him in a way that he also feels accessible. In this book we see every possible side to him. His strength, his weakness, his humor and his vulnerability. Ultimately what he is always doing is just trying to do right by everyone else no matter what it costs him. He is extremely intelligent and knowing yet I feel I could totally go hang out with him. He is brilliant, plain and simple.
I really enjoyed catching glimpses of characters from the first 10 or so books in the series and some from more recent installments too. Seeing them again reminded me of how much I love pretty much every character Sherrilyn has created for this series and how they leave an impression on us even though we have not read their books in the past year. And it was truly touching to see them all coming to Ash’s side when he needed them. For Acheron to finally realize that he is respected by his friends was wonderful to witness.
When I say I love pretty much every character Sherrilyn writes, I would mean that Artemis is the exception. Not that Sherrilyn doesn’t write her well – I mean she would have to be written well in order to be detested by so many readers – but she is an absolute crazy bitch. I’m not even going to use my little * in that one. She is a bitch and I’m writing it out in full. After reading this book I do feel like how she is isn’t completely her fault but it’s pretty close to being all her fault so I still hate her. Artemis’ relationship with Ash is so complicated! There is a grain deep inside her that cares for him but it’s like she has no idea how to access it. As a goddess, she’s clueless on how to be kind and tender so for moments at a time I actually felt sad for her. Now when I say moments I mean tiny blink of an eye moments. Every other time I wanted to slam her. In the eye. With something sharp. That had been heated over dark read coals.
This book is an emotional book. It’s not “cry big snotty tears” emotional but rather a story that will draw out pure raw emotion. Raw emotion is what you will feel and raw emotion is what you will find in this book. Not once did I feel like Sherrilyn was sitting at her computer thinking “Oh if I write this the reader will not be able to stop crying for a week bwa ha ha” but nevertheless, there are many scenes that will make you weep. Guaranteed. While you’re reading, your heart hurts then turns hopeful then burst with happiness…only to start all over again and again. And again. It is an emotional ride like nothing else (as long as you have been following this series – you wouldn’t quite feel this way if you just jumped into this book). Now don’t let the emotion in this book turn you off – there are some fun light moments too. I am not a ‘cry-fest book’ reader – actually, I tend to avoid books like that – but this one is worth every tear, every Kleenex and every bottle of wine you crack open.
Epic and Extraordinary, Genius and Remarkable. These are just some of the words used to describe this book. I sometimes feel like those words are overused when it comes to books, but for this book they are the perfect words. Sherrilyn did an incredible job with Acheron and I am so glad that I was finally able to read it. It is the sort of book that makes you feel sorry for the next book on your reading list because there is no way it will ever stand up to this one. Yes, it was that good and it deserves every acclamation and big fancy word it has received. It’s a masterpiece in its genre.
Giggle worthy quotes
“’Did you hear about our nephew?’
‘I did. Ryssa was just here with him.’
She wrinkled her face up. ‘Don’t you find babies nasty and disgusting?’
‘No. I thought him beautiful.’
She scoffed. ‘You would. I think they’re smelly and fussing. Never content. Always demanding. Yuck, I can’t imagine going through all that to have something so nasty clinging to me.’
Acheron rolled his eyes as he imagined all the poor infants that were given to Artemis. Obviously, she gave their care over to someone more maternal. ‘I’m thinking the Greeks should have learned this about you before they declared you the goddess of childbirth.’”
“’Ooo, and I have another thought. You’re omniscient, right?’
‘For the most part, yes.’
‘Then you have to tell me this ‘cause I have to know. What’s at the end of everything?’
He shrugged. ‘That’s easy enough.’
‘Then tell me.’
‘The letter G.’
Groaning, Tory hit him in the head with a pillow.”