Monday, December 8, 2008

"One Silent Night" by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Well, it was bound to happen at some point. I used to really like the Dark-Hunter series, considering it a bit of a naughty pleasure. The books were never going to qualify as "great" literature, but gosh - they sure were fun reads, and they always had a good, hot romance. The series (including the Hunter series) is now up to fifteen or sixteen books, and unfortunately, I think Kenyon has gotten to the point where she's really reaching for material. I was pleasantly surprised by "Acheron", but with "One Silent Night", we're back to scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Rather than even attempt to describe a plot to you, faithful fans, I will merely tell you why I wasn't thrilled with this book and why I will no longer be reading the series. There are several reasons, but let's distill it down to its most basic aspect, shall we? COMPLETE LACK OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. This is something that's been plaguing the last few DH books, with the exception of "Acheron" but that one also clocked in at 700+ pages. OSN has so many characters on canvas that I was desperately hoping for a scorecard of some sort. Most of the gods/goddesses/Daimons/demons, etc, had been introduced at some point, but there were a few names I plain didn't recognize. For example, Nick's former nanny makes an appearance, and yeah, she's totally not human. Huh? I don't even remember him having a nanny! He and his mom were poor, so how is that possible?

Along the lines of the lack of CD are also what I consider to be actions completely out of character, and this book has tons of them. Stryker, Ash's long-standing nemesis, is actually the hero of this book; he wins back his ex-wife of some 11,000 years ago, shows his soft side, claims to have the welfare of his men at the top of his mind, etc. WTF?? I don't ever remember Stryker being soft about anything; the man killed his own son for fraternizing with the enemy. Sigh. The ex-wife isn't any better, and wonder of wonders, she's got a slave that she tortures, one that happens to be some sort of last-of-his-kind hottie. Does that sound familiar to anyone? I checked out reviews on Amazon and several posters pointed the similarities between Jared (no, I kid you not - that's the immortal guy's name!) and Ash. I realize that Kenyon has had abuse issues of her own, and I could appreciate where she went with them in Ash's story, but I really don't want to read more of the same, especially not that. Move on, please.

It's always a sad day for me when a writer I once really enjoyed goes into this sort of crap territory. But Kenyon isn't the first to be abandoned by me, and I doubt she'll be the last. The one good thing about fiction is that there's always someone else out there writing along the same lines, and there's always newcomers that really bring something to the table. Why read the half-hearted attempts when you can be awed by the excellent? So long, Dark-Hunters, and here's hoping you find your way back someday.

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