July 4, 2011

Dark Hunter Series I by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon are paranormal romance novels that follows the interesting points in the lives of Dark-Hunters, Dream-Hunters and Were-Hunters. There is a reading order but each book is different as it tells the story of a certain Hunter, his past, his pain and redemption and of course there's always an extraordinary female involved.

This series is like Harlequin went Goth. Like any paranormal romance story, there are some corny lines but it's compensated by those VERY steamy love scenes that will probably put Skinemax to shame. However, it doesn't lack in adventurous action involving supernatural creatures. The theme that ties the books together is their immortal brotherhood and their quest in ridding the world of blood-sucking-soul-stealing Daimons.  Some of the characters appear in the succeeding books as well for the sake of consistency but the main storyline is focused on one Hunter.

There are 20 novels so far and the latest one is to be released on August 2, 2011. There is also a Manga and Anime series based on Dark-Hunters.

I have yet to complete the series but for the meantime, this is the first installment.  

 Kenyon Mythology

Apollites - children of the Greek God Apollo whose characteristics exceeds those of the human race. However due to their superiority complex, their race was cursed by Apollo when they killed his mistress. He shunned them from his sight (the sun) making them creatures of the night, they have fangs and they nourish themselves by feeding on each other's blood only. They are short-lived and on their 27th birthday, they age rapidly and turn to dust while still alive making their death very painful. The only way to alleviate this if they turn Daimon.

Daimons - are "vampires on steriods with a God complex," they are Apollites who refused to die as fated and chose to run away from Apollo's curse. They are vampires who prey on humans but not for their blood but for their souls so they can feed off on their energy, extending their lives. The souls that they feed on affects their disposition as it eventually takes them over similar to a possession. There are 4 kinds of Daimons: the bloodsuckers, energy/dreamsuckers and slayers (from Night Pleasures).

The Pyramid of Protection are the warriors and servants of Artemis whose goal is to hunt down the Daimons. They gave their souls to the Goddess until they can find someone they can trust to give their souls to (usually this happens when they find their one true love). Should the recipient of the soul fail the test, the Hunter loses their soul and powers and will wander the world as Shades, trapped in the world alive but with ghost-like qualities. There are three departments in the organization:

Dark-Hunters - vampiric-like in the sense that they avoid the sun and have fangs. They do not feed on human blood although there are times when they crave for it. These hunters are soulless and are forbidden in the presence of other Greek Gods. Their goal is to protect the humans from Daimons and should they betray their oath in protecting the innocent they will be turned into Shades. They hunt the Daimons who feed on human blood and souls.

Dream-Hunters -these hunters all have dark hair and pale eyes, they are sleep god/goddessess but they've been cursed by Zeus and stripped them from having emotions. Dream-Hunters can walk our dreams and even heal you from your painful memories or make you forget them. There is one Dream-Hunter assigned to every Dark-Hunter and they usually aid in healing them while they sleep. They hunt the Daimons that feed on human energy and/or terrorize our dreams.

Were-Hunters - they are wolves that has enough magic to travel through time and shift into a human when the need arises. They stalk the Daimon Slayers.

Night Pleasures - the first Dark-Hunter book. This is the story between Amanda and Kyrian of Thrace and how he regained his soul, defeated a Daimon and awakening Amanda's powers. Their story is a romantic drama, it's very sweet and a little bit corny, a romance novel through and through. What kept me entertained were the Dark-Hunter adventures and Nick Gaultier. We get to get a glimpse of him in his 20's and he's still acerbic as ever. Overall, this novel is ok but I have a feeling that the succeeding ones will be better.

Night Embrace - Talon was an ancient Celt Prince who carries the curse of a God who will take away everything and everyone he cares for in return for the death of His son. Talon finds his wife reincarnated in Sunshine and as true love dictates, they find a way to break the curse and get Talon's soul back from Artemis. These two are so combustible, they've been down and dirrty in the first 100 pages of the book and it doesn't end there. They just can't get enough of each other, my goodness! So far, this is the steamiest book amongst the 4 that I've read.

Dance with the Devil - Zarek, a former Greek slave, has always been a loner and has a death wish thus making him the perfect Dark-Hunter. He has been a whipping boy when he was still a mortal and when he became a Dark-Hunter, he was shunned, exiled and punished for a crime he didn't commit. In his very long and desolated life, he longed to be loved and wanted but his instincts told him to stay in isolation. Until he met the Nymph Astrid who turned the self-loathing hunter into a loving, tender man. This book is so cute, poignant and touching, you can feel Zarek's pain and torture. You'd even want to kill Artemis yourself to avenge the injustice done to him.

Kiss of the Night - Wulf is a Viking who was tricked into becoming a Dark-Hunter. One of his powers is that no human can remember him 5 minutes after he leaves their presence aside from his descendants. Cassandra is a half-Apollite who only has 8 months left before she's bound to meet her fate. In this volume Kenyon gives us a glimpse of the Apollite world, how their community works and dispels any preconcieved notions about them being strictly blood/soul sucking predators making Wulf (and the reader) doubt some of his Dark-Hunter oaths. As a reader, I felt for the Apollites and the ones who turned Daimon. I understand the need to survive and the price one sometimes has to pay to keep on living.

Bottom line is the Dark-Hunter world is getting more interesting. The love stories are just icing on the cake but the underlying story is much deeper. The Daimons wants to rule the world by releasing the Atlantean deity Apollymi, The Destroyer, and the Hunters are out to stop them from doing so. The characters especially the Daimons are multi-dimensional. You can't pick a side between Kenyon's heroes and antagonists, she always throws these curveballs that makes you want to switch sides. And the Hunters, oh my the Hunters! I like that the way they are described, it's like they are a cross between your usual pop Vampire and Werewolf so I get the best of both worlds in my heroes and even the Daimons are described as god-like too. It's like a model casting call if you know what I mean.

But aside from the beautiful descriptions, the dialogue has some humor in it although as abovementioned, some of it are corny. Although in hindsight, love usually is so in my opinion, it's tolerable. So far, the series is a good bedtime story for adults especially if you're a woman. You'll end up having a smile to your face as you close your eyes, hoping these Hunters visit your subconscious plane and claim you as his mate.

Til the next installment folks, for now I'll be waiting for my Hunter ;)


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