- Series: Dark-Hunter Novels (Book 22)
- Hardcover: 656 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books (August 28, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781250102683
- ISBN-13: 978-1250102683
- ASIN: 1250102685
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 151 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"[A] publishing phenomenon...[Sherrilyn Kenyon is] the reigning queen of the wildly successful paranormal scene...Just one example of arguably the most in-demand and prolific authors in America these days." ―Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a regular in the #1 spot. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre in which she writes. More than 60 million copies of her books are in print in more than one hundred countries. Her current series include Deadman's Cross, The Dark-Hunters, The League, and Chronicles of Nick. Her Chronicles of Nick and Dark-Hunter series are soon to be major motion pictures.
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Boy, was I wrong. There are many things wrong with this book but I'll only discuss the 3 that bothered me the most:
1- This is the book with the greatest amount of inconsistencies I've seen in all my years reading DH.
Stygian was supposed to address and resolve some of the plot-points we've been seeing gather in previous book. For example:
- Who is tampering with the temporal line? (Introduced at the end of "Styxx")
- Who is Acheron's father aka Kissare reincarnated? (Introduced during "Styxx" and re-introduced at the end of "Dragonsworn")
- What are Sarraxyn's Dragonmark powers? (Introduced during "Dragonmark")
- Is Tiyana Deveraux alive or trapped in another dimension? (Introduced at the end of "Son of No One" )
The book doesn't touch a single one of these plot points, and even worse, in trying to reconcile its story with what we know so far, it pops one inconsistency after the other, to the point in which it starts to contradict and sabotage itself by revealing inconsistencies that were actually introduced or addressed earlier in the story.
Stygian is fraught with this little inconsistencies that makes me wonder whether it actually ever went through a proper round of content editing. In a series already confusing because of too much content, it gave me a headache just to try to put everything in place.
2- Almost 200 pages of repeated content wasted
I wasn't happy with the amount of scene recycling, almost to the verbatim, that happens in Stygian. In this case, I believe it's even worse than in Dragonmark, because, just like in Acheron and Styxx, this book has 2 arcs: A past arc and a present arc. The past arc has a lot of character development for Urian, and because of this the fact that the present arc is basically the same old scenes we've already seen, the second part of the book suffers in comparison. The only part of the second arc that are interesting are the pages where his relationship with Phoebe is explored. Everything else, up until the end, is repeated content. I was pretty disappointed by this, because I came into this book wanting to see parts of Urian we hadn't seen before, such as how he adapted to not being a Daimon anymore, how his relationship with Styxx changed from friends to father-son, how he interacted with Styxx and Bethany as his new parents in a household dynamic, how he coped with the fact that Styxx, with whose loss he identified was now happy, and how he reacted to having a new, immortal little brother after having lost all 9 of his siblings. None of these conflicts were resolved or even addressed during Stygian, in fact, we did not get a single scene that featured an interaction between Styxx, Bethany and Urian as a family. The only psychological growth we see from the character during the second half of the book is his forgiveness and acceptance of Stryker at the very end. It bothers me that the author wasted so much time on the things that we had already read and didn't approach any of these topics which now will never be addressed as we are moving into a new story arc.
3- This book completely belies and shatters Urian's character
Over the last 20 books, Urian's core appeal as a character has been his staunch devotion to his dead wife, and yet, in this book we see him sleeping around, holding relationships with 4 different women, a couple of them at the same time, professing his love for one woman while he sleeps with another one, and holding a "loving" relationship with a woman for 8000!!!! that somehow, someway, never made it into any of the 20 books of content that we've had since we met the character.
For Stygian, the author wanted to follow the structure that worked so well for "Styxx" by situating a love interest for Urian in the past, get separated for motives not of their doing and having them reconnect in the future. In fact, it follows almost the exact pattern, down to the fact that both Bethany and Sarraxyn end up turn to stone during the years they are away from Styxx and Urian. The only problem is, while the approach of the secret lover worked with Styxx because we were not that familiar with his characters, we have been following Urian's story for a while, and as such, such a big secret (so big that no one EVER has mentioned it) seems ludicrous and unbelievable. As a result, the book portrays Urian as fickle and lacking depth in the way in which he deals with his relationships.
In the past he meets Sarraxyn, and falls in deep, eternal, heartbreaking love with her (much like Styxx), he reaches Katoteros in her arms, she gives him the kind of love that will destroy him if lost, the kind of love no one recovers from. Except that then, of course, he loses it. Oh, poor Urian, we'll suffer with you, we'll hurt with you till the end of time... oh no wait, 2 chapters later, he meets Phoebe. Miracle! Miracle! Once again, eternal, heartbreaking love (not much like Styxx), once again, Katoteros in her arm, with the exact same love words and the exact same feelings. Once again, if he loses his love, this time, this time for sure, he will lose his mind. Wow, Urian, we are so happy that you managed to move on, after the horrible pain (of 2 chapters). But of course, as we know, Phoebe dies too. Poor Urian, poor poor Urian. We feel his hurt, his sadness, his despair, we see him thread the edge of suicide for 16 long years. 16 long years of loneliness and agony. 16 years of unimaginable pain that never ends... until Sarraxyn appears out of nowhere and he jumps into bed with her literally seconds after they meet again. With no regrets, grief, or hesitancy after those 16 long years, because hey, love is love right? Doesn't matter that it's 2 different women, he loves them both the same way, so exchanging them willy nilly is surely not that big a deal. Love is always good. Especially when the author has squandered 600 pages of her book and now needs to scurry around to pull a happy ending (however ridiculous) from out of her sleeve in the remaining 40 pages.
Not anything like Styxx.
I really wanted to like Urian and Sarraxyn, mainly because I like Urian, and I like Sarraxyn, but every time they came together it felt so shallow and fake to me. Like the author was bent on getting them together even if it didn't fit, even if their interactions were awkward and out of sync.
And then the author goes and makes Phoebe (whose relationship with Urian actually gets explored in depth and it's believable) the bad guy of the book. Phoebe, who has been Urian's character flag for 20 books. Who has been the staple by which people recognized the core of Urian's character. But hey, who cares about more than 10 years of relationship and 16 years of mourning, you are a bad guy now! So boom bara boom, I don't love you anymore.
It read to me like a cheap, lazy exit. Almost as if the author wanted Sarraxyn to be Urian's HEA but she didn't want to go through the trouble of actually resolving the 16 years of grief that Urian had carried around and give him and Phoebe the ending they should've had.
To be honest, I didn't want Urian ending with Phoebe. I wanted him to end with Sarraxyn, but the way she did it, just makes me feel like I was cheated out of the story I was promised, and out of the true, deep and heartfelt romance she never delivered.
However, I fell off the badwagon at Styxx because it ruined me emotionally.
So when I checked about this book, I opened it and read it. The sex scenes are pretty droll and vanilla for someone who's 11K YEARS OLD, and then just around the half way mark it's a mashup of scenes from the old books about Urians parentage.
Which is unfortunate. I literally have never almost fell asleep at the end of a book, but this one. Yes, the eyes drooped low and I was like. Yup. This one absolutely sucks.
Now, if you are a super fan and just want every little detail of this world and have to have Urian's mini story, and it is a mini story at this point. Go ahead and read it.
Is is the book moving the world forwards? No.
It's more of the same.