I write series, so of course, I read series. In fact, if an author hasn’t written a series, I don’t know much about them. I will read a stand-alone book, if it’s from an author I fell in love with while reading their series.
Oh my goodness, where do I even begin to talk about this series. I have a love/not-love-so-much relationship with this series. I love some of the titles enough to have already read them a second time. And others in the series, I will probably never read again. Which, as a reader, is disappointing. I’ll try to explain…
All in all, this IS a fabulous series if you’re looking for something to jump into and you enjoy long series. It’s not a consistent thread of plots, but rather feels more like three series rolled into one with familiar character appearances. The series starts out with intricate plots, tortured heroes (Sherrilyn loves her broken men), and unique plot twists. The series gets progressively simpler as it goes on, and the books shorter in length, with the exception of her main series heroes (Acheron, Styxx, and Stygian).
The premise is a group of Hunters, resurrected to life by Artemis for vengeance, agree to hunt soul-stealing vampires in exchange for their act of retribution and immortality. There are also shifters who just want to stay alive in a war with their own kind. And demons who are enslaved, and fall in love and somehow manage to get rescued. Lots of lore. Lots of humor. Lots of action. She starts the series with a ton of sex (books one and two were pretty steamy), but the heat level does not remain consistent throughout the series. I’ve noticed this is a trend in the genre for a lot of authors.
A few notes on individual titles in the series.
Dance with the Devil is probably my favorite. Zarek was an awesome hero, and Astrid handled him well. You expected him to be awful, but he wasn’t. He was confrontational due to his abuse as a former Roman slave, but otherwise socially awkward and stunted. Astrid sees this and has some amazing patience and kindness to show him. I’m not sure on the title… it doesn’t fit the book at all. Oh well. Zarek’s character growth was amazing, as was Astrid’s.
Acheron I couldn’t wait to get to and then ended up skipping pretty much to who he ended up with in the last 300 pages of the book. Yep. Acheron's heroine only gets 300 pages, the other 400 pages are all backstory. Le sigh. I *thought* it would be someone else and was seriously shocked when she turned out to be… shoot, it’s a spoiler if I say… in Devil May Cry. Talk about an “oh no, why did she let me think that?!” moment. Sherrilyn had sprinkled moments in the series with a woman who was almost obsessive in her love for Acheron up to Devil May Cry, with zero hints as to their relationship. I’m not sure if she changed her mind or what the deal was there… anyway, it threw me. Not sure if I’m alone in that or not. His story was okay. Could have done with less before his woman, and more story with him and his woman. Oh well.
Dragonmark I was so excited for and then learned it recycled almost the entire book from Son of No One. I was extremely disappointed as a reader to be literally re-reading a book (from a different PoV, but still the exact same) I’d already read. There was so much she could have done with these two characters and instead it’s like she was rushed to release the book, and they just removed a huge chunk from Son of No One, reworked the Point of View and called it good. It was not good. This is one that if you don’t mind reading paperback still, find it used… I’d say skip, but if you’re like me, you still want to know what happens with the next character, skipping isn’t usually an option. Perhaps she will decide to go back and revisit this story in the future. One can hope.
Stygian, the final in the series, also left me disappointed. She threw in a huge twist, which I respected, but then ended things way too fast. I get it, the book was already monolithic (coming in at over 700 pages). However, some of the early life stuff could have been sacrificed for the final romance and the crazy, unexpected twist. Really. It could have. I prefer to read what the characters are going through NOW rather than what they went through in the past. Maybe that’s just me.
If you want my opinion on any of the other titles, just ask! I’ll be more than happy to give them. Obviously posting 28 mini-reviews would be super time consuming, and who would read them all anyway? Hehe.