Guest Review: Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Hunter #20)
August 2 2011
St. Martin’s Press
Received from publisher
Yummy Man – Jess Brady
Kick Ass Chick – Abigail Yager
When I was approached by St. Martin’s Press about reviewing Sherrilyn Kenyon’s latest Dark Hunter book, I smacked my head on the wall. I really wanted to, but alas, even though I am reading this amazing series, I have not arrived at this book. So I asked Marcela, the wonderful lady behind The Bookaholic Cat, to see if she would be interested in reviewing it for me. I believe her exact words were: “Yes yes yes.” So without further ado, here is Marcela with her review for Retribution.
First and foremost I want to thank Julie for giving me this opportunity. When she asked me if I wanted to guest review for her blog I jumped up and down as a 15 YO at the Twilight premier, but then I thought maybe Julie was in a very strong pain medication and she didn’t know what she was saying, but I couldn’t remember her saying she was injured, so the other option was that she was drunk, but I also didn’t remember her ever talking about alcohol, she’s kind of an innocent girl. Anyway, I said immediately “sure, I would love to” you know, before she gets sober or something and changes her mind. But then she told me the review was for Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon and my suspicions started to arise again, she was giving me the opportunity to review for “her blog” the newest book from one of my favorite series, at that point I decided to ignored my misgivings and to thank the alcohol or pills or Artemis for putting this idea on Julie’s head.
And here is my review:
Dark Hunter Jess “Sundown” Brady has recently been transferred to Las Vegas. He is getting used to the city when he learns that throughout the country a handful of Dark Hunters have been killed by a human who is working in league with the Daimons and it’s suspected this unusual group is heading to Las Vegas.
Jess is patrolling when he senses Daimons in the area. It’s fighting time, but things are different this time: when he stabs the Daimons through the heart, they don’t die. While he is trying not to get killed, Sin comes to his rescue and explains that this Daimons have eaten Gallu demons and the only way to kill them is to cut their heads and burn them. This new kind of Daimons can walk in daylight and have the same powers the Gallu demons they absorbed had. Nice!
Soon after this fight, Jess falls into a trap. A human woman in company of two demons tries to kill him but he is faster and better than them. The Daimons escape but he captures the woman. A woman who reminds him of the man that betrayed him over a century ago; a woman he is sure is responsible for the Dark Hunters deaths.
Abigail Yager witnessed the assassination of her parents by the hand of Jess “Sundown” Brady or at least that was what she believed for many years. Years she spent training and submitting to medical experiments in which she was infected with demon blood. All this to become a killing machine to protect her Appolite adoptive family and friends from the evil Dark Hunters, whom she believes prey on them and humans alike. And of course to avenge her family, eliminating Jess from the face of the earth.
But when Abigail wakes up in Jess’ house some serious events occur and she starts to contemplate the possibility that maybe the people she considered her family have been manipulating her by feeding her incorrect information. If that is so, she has been wrong all along and has killed innocent people. One of the innocents she has killed was a Guardian of the Native America Pantheon; and now his death has unbalanced the system and is bringing plagues and destruction. The only way to correct what is going on and avoid the destruction of the world is with the sacrifice of the person who killed the Guardian, in this case, her.
Jess was a friend of Abigail’s family and after the assassination of her parents, he tried to locate her but it was impossible. Now she is with him, she makes him feel as if a missing piece of the puzzle of his life has been found. A piece he is soon to lose again when she is sacrificed.
Abigail doesn’t want to die; she wants to learn the truth about her parent’s deaths. She also wants to know Jess better. At the same time she knows she is responsible for what is going on and wants to right her wrongs, even if it will cost her her life.
Retribution is book twentieth in the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Retribution has a different feeling from previous books in the series; we see characters like Zarek, Sasha, Sin, Talon, and Nick, and a new spectrum of characters that belong to the newly introduced Native American Pantheon. The most important are Ren, Choo Co La Tah and Coyote. Daimons have some stage time but now the Daimons are Daimons version 2.0, harder to kill and with other surprises up their sleeves. As Jess says in the book, Retribution is: New rules, new playing field.
I fell in love with Jess “Sundown” in Zarek’s book (Dance With The Devil) and I’ve been waiting for his story. He is a yummylicious cowboy who, as many of the other Dark Hunters, had a tough life when he was human and was betrayed by his closest friend. I love that despite all the things that have happened to him he still has a good sense of humor. And as he proved to us in Dance With The Devil he is also a great friend and a protector at heart. In Retribution we see a different facet to Sundown, his softer side, the side that loves a woman and is willing to sacrifice his oneself for that love. *swoon*
With Abigail it takes a little bit more time to like her, she is newly introduce and wants to kill our hero. She has been poisoned with lies all her life and at the same time she is a victim in a greater scheme of events. I liked that she is not closed to the possibility she might be wrong and when she realizes her mistakes she wants to do whatever it takes to fix them.
Jess and Abigail’s feelings were believable; they have a special connection that transcends frontiers. And there is great chemistry between them. But… The romance is the only part where I have a little complain. I wanted to see more smexyness, I know the plot was very fast moving and so many things were happening at the same time that it was hard to even include a kiss, but still I wanted more. With a sexy man like Sundown, who wouldn’t? That’s the reason I gave it 4 ½ stars and not 5.
The secondary characters in this book are great, from the old ones to the new ones. The ones that stand out the most are Sasha and Ren. I wasn’t sure what to think about Sasha in previous books, but in this one I can tell you I loved him! He was a funny character, a breath of fresh air in difficult times; but I’m sure all his humor is to hide painful memories he has deep inside him. I really want to know more about him, I need his book, yesterday.
Ren is a Dark Hunter who belongs to the Native America Pantheon. He is another one with a torturous past. Ren will be our hero in the next installment of this series.
Zarek makes an appearance, I love that we learn a little bit more about him and his blissful married life. Nick is in the book for two seconds, two seconds that broke my heart. Every time I see him my heart aches for him, for what he was and what he has become. Sundown’s squire Andy reminded me a lot of Nick when he was a Kyrian/Talon’s squire. *cries*
I was a little bit disappointed while reading because Ash didn’t make an appearance, it was just mention once that he couldn’t be there because Tory was in labor. I didn’t care about Tory, I need it my Ash dose. And thank the gods from all the pantheons, Mrs. Kenyon listened to my supplications and gifted us with a bonus scene, the scene when Tory is giving birth to Ash’s baby in New Orleans. What can I say? Thank you, thank you, Mrs. Kenyon. That scene was perfect. I won’t give too much away because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I will only say that I love Simi with all my heart, I want her outfit and she is going to be the best sister ever. Ash is Ash, dreamily perfect. But the big surprise was Artemis, I don’t know what happened to her, I just hope for Nick’s fate that it won’t be something momentarily.
All in all Retribution was a great addition to a great series, an installment I’m sure all Dark Hunter’s lovers would enjoy. The end was left a little bit open, I’m sure the resolution to some of the conflicts within this new Pantheon will be found in Ren’s book.
Retribution shouldn’t be read as a stand-alone, but as a part of the series, there is a lot of back-story that is worth knowing.
My Verdict: 4.5 stars
My favorite quotes
“’Can you give me any guidance?’
Sasha snorted. ‘On what? A new personality? Car buying? I’m a wolf, cowboy, not a life counselor.’”
“Archeron always says that our scars are there to remind us of our pasts, of where we’ve been and what we’ve gone through. But that pain doesn’t have to drive or determine our future. We can rise above it if we let ourselves. It’s not easy, but nothing in life ever it.”
“Sasha? I need some tissue to pack my nose with.”
The wolf gave him a suspicious stare. “Is that hygienically sound?”
“Fine, but if you get toxic shock up your nose, buddy, remember I warned you.”
Sounds good, right? Don’t forget that St. Martin’s Press is giving away one copy of Retribution! All you have to do is leave a comment here by August 9th 2011. Thanks Marcela!