Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Sherrilyn Kenyon - Styxx
Styxx of Didymos has long been assumed to be a pretty unpleasant guy. The heir to Didymos, the spoiled and arrogant prince, the nasty brother of Acheron and Ryssa, this is classic Kenyon. There are TWO sides to every story and when Gods are involved, they can really make even one side of the story look nothing like the truth. Separation from his beloved twin brother Acheron at the age of 7 was the most formative moment of Styxx's young life. From then on, he was alone in the world for all intents and purposes. One day, when the trauma and tragedy of his life hits a breaking point, he stumbles upon Bethany, a fisherman's daughter and his life changes completely.
Bethany is really a Goddess of Wrath and Misery and one of the less powerful goddesses in the Atlantean pantheon. She is in Greece on a retrieval mission - looking for Apostolos - but she is sidetracked by Styxx. Soon, the two fall in love and discover that there is more to life than obligation and duty. As a respite from all that they are forced to endure, the two forge a love that seems unbreakable. Until fate steps in and shows that the worse torture imaginable is still better than eternal separation.
As I said, til now, Styxx has been the "bad" twin. But even Acheron has not known the whole story of his brother's life. There is always more to the story and in this case, it has been intentional that Ash didn't know everything. What amazes me the most about this book is that Kenyon swore she would not write Styxx story. BUT, there were SOOOO many things put into place very early in the series. Things that could only make sense if she knew something was up. Things that we read, questioned, but then soon forgot. Well, get ready. Because they come back into the picture now and those things make sense. The way Kenyon can make those twists and turns make sense is sheer genius.
Seems vague, right? You betcha! I just can't even begin to figure out a way to reveal without revealing. There is too much going on in this book. But there are things that I can say. Styxx is very lovable. He is not who we think, not who Ash thinks, he is. In many ways, his life has been harder than Ash's and even Ash comes to realize he goofed - big time - in misunderstanding things that were right in front of his face.
The interesting thing is that I love Ash as a character, but never really liked his book - Acheron. There is suffering and then there is what Ash endured. At many times in Ash's book, I skimmed over it and even before reading Styxx I tried to give those parts another chance. But I failed again because it really bored me at times. So I was worried that I would have the same problem in Styxx's book. That I would be unwilling to read all the torment and that the shear misery would get me down. For the record, I did not skim one of the 820+ pages of Styxx. Not one. I was completely wrapped up in Styxx's story and his life and devoured the book. Styxx has a dry humor that I loved, his inner monologue, which is a considerable part of the book, was one of the few that I could stomach, and his love story with Bethany was sweet. Never did I feel that Styxx's story was a copy of Ash's nor did I think that Styxx was the weaker brother. Ash may be the all-powerful Atlantean god, but Styxx was a renowned general and a hero in his own right. In Ancient Greece - Styxx was the good guy and Ash the bad guy. Yet neither brother comes off as "second fiddle" to the other (though both felt they were) and given Ash's larger than life character, that is a truly impressive feat.
Is this my favorite Dark Hunter book....? Maybe. I can't say for certain because I am still on a bit of a high from it. But it is definitely in the top five. Styxx may have even topped Ash for me as a favorite character - though that could also be because Ash doesn't exactly shine in this one. Either way, another great addition to the series and I think this one may have done it.... Kenyon may well be my all time favorite author!
P.S. - In the three months that I had the book all to myself, I reread it about three times. I think I can now safely say that this is my favorite in the Dark Hunter series. I am disappointed that the next Dark Hunter book doesn't pick up where this one ends because there is a character in this one that MUST get their story - like yesterday. And that they aren't the next in the series is killing me! :)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Other books in the Dark Hunter series: Fantasy Lover, Night Pleasures, Night Embrace, Dance with the Devil, Kiss of the Night, Night Play, Seize the Night, Sins of the Night, Unleash the Night, Dark Side of the Moon, The Dream Hunter, Devil May Cry, Upon the Midnight Clear, Dream Chaser, Acheron, One Silent Night, Dream Warrior, Bad Moon Rising, No Mercy, Retribution, The Guardian, Time Untime
Chronicles of Nick: Infinity, Invincible, Infamous, Inferno, Illusion (April 2014)
at 8:53 AM