To sum it up: Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.
Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he 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.
FYI: This was one of the best investments of time and money that I’ve ever spent on a book.
This is probably one of the most difficult reviews that I’ve ever written. How do you write a review for a book you adored? What could you possibly say about a story that left you truly in awe? I apologize if this review is a long one… but the book was definitely worthy of a review that does it justice.
I first came across Ash in Zarek’s story. (Dance with the Devil) It was actually my first Sherrilyn Kenyon book, and to be quite honest, I didn’t think that I would like this series, period. But after reading Zarek’s story, (which I actually enjoyed immensely) I knew I had to read about Ash immediately. I was literally drawn to his character- I found myself craving every page that he was on and wanting to read more and more about him. Believe it or not, the second I finished Dance with the Devil, I went and bought Acheron- and I’ve never been more happy about that decision.
Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that I have a harem full of all of my favorite heroes. And dare I say it… but I think Ash just made it to spot number one. I haven’t felt this way about a hero in… well… ever. Since I was first introduced to him, I’ve been in love. The kind of fictional character love where you’re literally thinking, speaking, and dreaming of the hero on a twenty-four-seven basis, even after you’ve finished the book. I’m sure I just made myself sound like a complete lunatic, but hey… it is what it is.
To look at Ash was to want him.
To see him was to ache to touch him.
He had been built to please, and trained to pleasure.
As a young boy, Acheron accepted anything without complaint. All his life, all he ever craved was a loving touch; one that wasn’t selfish or hurting. He was a ghost who walked through life observing it… wanting to take part, but too afraid to risk being hurt to reach out. It took an incredible amount of strength for him to be alone in the world; to have no shelter from those that hurt him. All he had ever asked for were the two things that no one had ever given him: Love and respect.
The first half of the story was perfection personified. It was truly gut-wrenching to read every page of Ash’s torture. He lived with abuse on a daily basis- physical, mental, and sexual. He was betrayed by all who should have loved him. I have NEVER read a book that made me feel as much as this one. Ash, no doubt, faced hell on earth as a human… and reading about it broke my heart into pieces. This part of the story was just so compelling, and it can’t help but touch your heart, and make you see and feel every betrayal, both physical and emotional that Acheron faced.
“She reached down to brush his hair back from his forehead. Ash buried his face against her thigh and nipped the tender flesh there as her hand touched his cheek. ‘Please don’t pull my hair,’ he breathed in a ragged whisper, not wanting anything to spoil this moment. ‘…I would never hurt you, Ash.'”
As for the second half (present day)… I wouldn’t say it was a disappointment… I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the first half. It felt a bit rushed, but only because the first half was so much more deep than his present depicted. During this half of the story, Sherrilyn Kenyon paid a little less attention to detail, and focused more on the action that was constantly going on. I’ve only read one other book in this series, and after reading the second half of this story, I’d say that the everything that happens in the present time, falls more along the rest of her novels in the Dark Hunter Series. The heroine, Tory… well… let’s just say, she grew on me. After reading the first half of the novel, and really getting to know Ash on a personal level, Tory just wasn’t who I pictured him with. I’d definitely describe her as a smart-mouth with a temper. *rolls eyes* (And anyone who knows me, knows that’s not a quality I care for my heroine’s to have.) In my personal opinion, I saw him more with a heroine who’s similar to his sister Ryssa. I just felt that she tried her absolute hardest to understand Ash on such a level that no one else did- her love was absolutely unconditional, where-as Ash’s relationship with Tory, just seemed to happen without near as much work. It was almost as if her character understood Ash’s insecurities within a few pages, where-as everyone else who knew him on some sort of level, never got close enough. With that being said though, her courage and strength won out, and I ended up liking her more and more towards the end of the story. She ended up giving him a self-worth he had never known before, and the love he felt for her made him better than his past. She was a smart woman with the ability to love unconditionally and selflessly. Tie that in with loyalty and a sense of humor, and I can see where Sherrilyn Kenyon felt Tory was right for Ash. And to be fair, I loved him so much, there probably isn’t a heroine in the world (aside from me) who would have deserved him.
To all of you who have never read a book in Sherrilyn Keyon’s Dark Hunter Series, I’ll definitely say that this can be read as a stand-alone. (Although, other fans out there of the Dark Hunter Series, might not be too happy with me, for actually encouraging you to read this book before the others, hehe.) There may be times in the second half, that become a bit confusing when other characters are introduced, especially if you’ve never read any other book in the series… but not enough so, that you’re completely lost and unable to understand what’s going on. All in all, this book was beautifully written… and with both parts of the stories combined, it made for a perfect read, and another one I can proudly add to my “favorites” shelf.
DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR, AND BUY THIS BOOK.