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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait
**** I have written this review in the expectation that readers will not have begun the series with this book. While the novel can stand alone those flashes of Ash you encounter throughout the series culminate to and enhance this tale. On the off-chance that you are starting here: Acheron heads the Dark-Hunters, warriors who have sold their souls to Artemis for one final...
Published on 10 Aug 2008 by rhian_eve

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Epic and disappointing
Ash's story is hinted at throughout the other books and he finally gets his own book. The trouble with this book is that is it very, very long and the first part dealing with Ash's history and detailing his many and varies abuses is especially so. I understand the concept that the past shapes the present, but being exposed to every violent and horrific act perpetrated...
Published on 30 Aug 2008 by Healysgirl

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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait, 10 Aug 2008
rhian_eve (Swansea, Wales) - See all my reviews
**** I have written this review in the expectation that readers will not have begun the series with this book. While the novel can stand alone those flashes of Ash you encounter throughout the series culminate to and enhance this tale. On the off-chance that you are starting here: Acheron heads the Dark-Hunters, warriors who have sold their souls to Artemis for one final act of revenge, he has been protecting and guiding them in previous books and has always been an extremely cagey character. ****

Heartbreaking from the very beginning, Acheron's tale does not disappoint. The first 470-or-so pages focus on what made Acheron who he is. It was devastating in parts and heart-wrenching in others. Kenyon had fused all of the Dark-Hunter catalysts from previous novels and magnified them to shattering effect here. Acheron's past holds elements of Valerius, Zarek, Kyrian and so many others; those torturous moments that made them succumb to Artemis and her Dark Hunter lures. We are bluntly shown why Acheron stands for these men - he has endured as they endured.

Much of Ash's past is viewed through the eyes of his sister, Ryssa, who has written detailed diary entries about her brother and her futile efforts at easing the cruelty he suffers. Later Acheron's voice joins that of Ryssa and the descriptions become more difficult to bear. This part of the book depicts the first 21 years of Ash's human life and how he suffered for being born different, for having swirling eyes. Kenyon's attention to detail throughout this first section is admirable.

Initially I found myself tempted to skip the grit here, having read other reviews that told me what to expect. I will admit to a tendency to skip over details once I get the gist of what's happening. Unable to do this I was entranced and engrossed by descriptions of horror and surrvival. Had I given into temptation and skipped to the second half of the book I would have glossed over some excellent characterisation; explanations of what made the man.

The second half of the book brings us into the present and is much more in keeping with its predecessors. Ash has always been the mysterious lurker, the elusive driving force of the Dark Hunters, but he has continuously been elevated above his warriors. Kenyon writes the final 400 pages as she wrote the very best of the DH series, Ash becomes real - as Val, Vane and Talon were real. We finally learn how he became entwined with Artemis and why Apollymi is banished - why the world will end if she is ever released.

Tory, the heroine, is Ash's perfect match down to her love of history and her need for speed. She has committed herself to finding Atlantis and clearing her family name, Ash has committed himself to stopping her. In her first meeting with our hero she is humiliated by him but the discovery of one of Ryssa's diaries indelibly links her to him as he becomes her protector. I found her to be likeable, feisty and funny. As a fan of the series I had worried that there would be no faultless complement to the enigmatic Acheron but my fears were slain

Again, as a fan, I was apprehensive as to whether Kenyon would be able pull this off. Some of her more recent DH offerings have been disappointing to say the least (and I try not to think about the extremely superficial Dream-Hunter spin-offs) but Acheron has confirmed, to me at least, that the Dark Goddess is back on form. If you have stuck with the series, through good and bad, you will not be disappointed by what, let's face it, we have all been waiting for since the moment we first encountered Acheron. This is truly a must read.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Acheron: the Man, the God and the Dark-Hunter leader..., 11 Aug 2008
Quote Author's note to the reader:
"I want to warn you that the first half of this book is very different from the previous ones. Ash's human life is grim and it's harsh. I promised you the whole sordid truth of it, and that's exactly what I've written. I've pulled no punches.

Part One:

And with that I considered myself warned for an emotional rocky road ahead of me. Is Part One of Acheron grim? Yes. Does it speak of gruesome acts? Most definitely! Is it sometimes difficult to read? You bet. Despite, or perhaps because of it, Part One packed a punch with a sledge hammer and without a shadow of a doubt Ash stirred my emotions unlike anything I've read lately. Seeing him grow up through the eyes of Ryssa I cried for him, I ached for him to be hold in love, and I got angry for him. Everything that happens makes me say this is not a story for the faint of heart but for those who are well acquainted with the Dark-Hunter stories knew that his back story wasn't going to be pretty.

From the events leading up to his birth, to the moment he barters with Artemis outlining the Dark-Hunter's rules and every event in between I was mesmerized by what was put in front of me. How resilient can de soul be, before it becomes jaded and hollow? I loved to see Ash through Ryssa eyes but when we go to the point of view of Ash himself at a certain moment in the story I was swallowed whole by his personality. Ryssa is an intense character but Ash made my emotions soar in empathy for him. I would say every character is intense, Apollymi, Styxx, their human father the King, Estes, Artemis, everyone got a rise out of me, whether this was good or bad. Every dark trade known to human nature is portrayed in Acheron's past which makes the acts of kindness and love shine like a phoenix flame in contrast.

Sherrilyn Kenyon puts it all out there for us to read in the first part of Acheron's epic journey and I for one am thankful for this story. In every dark and light facet of it, Ash his story cannot be read and not stir your every emotion. It speaks of his origin in both attitude and quirks to his character and I feel I've got to know him in all the ways that is important. After Part One I was more than ready for Part Two and his HEA! And wondering what kind of woman would be able to bring down the walls surrounding his heart.

Acheron is probably bound to captivate you in the most unlikely of ways as his story unfolds.

Part Two:

Part One was steeped with so much life altering events it was a shock to get back to the present and pick up on everything Sherrilyn Kenyon is renowned for. Her calling card of barbed comments intertwined with acerbic humor and fast paced dialogues was present from page one and it starts off with a verbal bang as Ash meets his heroine. I got that giddy feeling riding my stomach again, something I hadn't felt in quite a while regarding this series.

The feelings between Tory and Ash are one that carefully blossoms. It is a slow dance that is both tender as it is sensual. Though the physical heat is present it is the heart that carefully cast tendrils of trust towards one another that endeared me. I was enamored to witness this as I eagerly indulged myself to succumb to the compulsion to read on and way beyond the midnight hour. Tory is in search for Atlantis but most of all to restore her father's reputation. She is serious, but with a spunky attitude and I enjoyed her chemistry with Ash. Now that we got to know where Ash is coming from more things make sense. He is intrigued by Tory but at the same time doubts ride his conscience. They have a magnetic pull and at the same time they can irk each other. Conflicts, choices and the heart that needs to make decisions as the past catches up is what Part Two is all about.

Of course some of the most beloved Dark-Hunters make an appearance and I immediately went head over heels for each and every one as the witty banter was there again. I got a wave of old Dark-Hunter vibe that I couldn't get enough of. A moment between Tory and her friends in Tabitha's shop was hilarious. But then again, Tabitha and her unique view on matters always managed to bring a grin to my face.

As I closed Acheron's book I felt that the weakest thing in Part Two was the plot, it fell to the background as the story focused on the journey of Ash and Tory which could have been even more deepened if there would have been more pages. I didn't get the sense of closure with the plotlines that were set up in previous novels. It is rather pushed forward, making me wonder what lies ahead and if certain characters/plotlines will be further more explored. Now I am only looking with more eagerness towards the release of One Silent Night!

Throughout the complete novel we get to witness more of Acheron "the man/God" than Acheron "the Dark-Hunter leader". It was different from what I expected yet it was an utterly satisfying read. This is Acheron's book and he took center stage in a formidable way from cover to cover, sating all my wants for him.

Let a new ARC begin with One Silent Night! I'm more than ready...

friend of Tory to Ash
"I've never had a man pick me up before and not grunt like he's dying. I'm in heaven. Marry me, Ash, please!"
"I would say yes, but I come with more baggage than even samsonite can cover."

4,5 stars

reviewed by Leontine
Courtesy of Realms On Our Bookshelves
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth the wait, 4 Sep 2008
D. Allsop "dimbit1" (London) - See all my reviews
Well this book seems to be a long time coming but it was definently worth the wait. All the other Dark Hunter novels seemed to be building to this one book.
I was aprhensive when I opened the book and as with a lot of Sherrilyn Kenyon fans I was wondering whether this book would live up to all the hype. Well let me tell you - It does!!!

However it is important to read the authors note at the beginning, before you even start reading Ash's story, otherwise you will be shocked though in no way disappointed. Kenyon tell us that the first part of this book is not written in her usual style, although she does reassure us that the second modern day part of the book brings back that gold star humour.

Part one of the book had me holding my breath and close to tears.It is set eleven thosand years ago and tells of Ash's life before he became the leader of the Dark Hunter. Who his mother is and what his fate is going to be!!
It is beautifully written, heart wrenching and brutally realistic. Ash's life before he died is not for the weak hearted, he is abused and hurt in unbelievable ways. But this is what made Ash the person he is in the second part of the book.

Part two of the book is classic Sherrilyn Kenyon, humouros, fast paced, action packed with just the right amount of steamy seduction and romance. Ash is a complex character, who has a lot of baggage, his heroine is a feisty history loving woman. Their relationship starts of rather rocky but it soon gets moving.

Acheron is a fantastic book, I don't want to give away any of the plot but I flew through the book, I was still reading at 4 in the morning, but it was worth the bleary eyes the next morning.

I am now eagrely awaiting the next installment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fitting HEA?, 21 Aug 2008
I really wanted this book to be fabulous and a fitting HEA for Ash. The first part of the book, Ash's back story I found myself reading until midnight as I found it so engrossing although not always enjoyable due to the strong content. Admittedly towards the end of the first part, i wondered what else SK could think up to do to Ash but a riveting read non the less.
I would have liked to have seen some glimpses of what Ash did for thousands of years between his reaching godhood and the current day.
The second and much shorter part of the book, meeting his heroine and falling in love, I did not find nearly so interesting. Personally I did not find the chemistry between them so strong as in earlier books such as Vane and Bride. I felt SK kept telling me about how good they were together rather than letting the characters and the writing do the telling. Tory kept getting described in such glowing terms by SK yet I did not see this coming across in her words and actions and really, did not see why Ash fell in love with her. The plot and action was a little weak and contrived also. To anyone not familiar with the DH books, the book is readable as a stand alone but not recommended because I think you would build up a different picture of Ash from this book rather than getting to know him through his appearances in earlier books.
So perfectly readable but not the outstanding book I hoped for.
5 stars for the first section, 3 stars for the second.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - well worth the wait!, 9 Aug 2008
After all of the build up, and such a long wait, I must admit to being worried that this book wouldn't live up to my expectations, but once having started I couldn't put it down.

As has been said in reviews elsewhere, the first part (Acheron's backstory) is quite harrowing in places, but necessary to explain how he's become who he is today. It very nicely pulls together all of the snippets that have been referred to in the DH books in the series to date, fully explaining his human life, how he came into his godhood, the destruction of Atlantis, and his relationship with Artemis (initially, had some empathy for her, but this soon disappeared as the story progressed!).

Once you get into the second part (current day), there's a return to the more light-hearted approach from the previous DH books. The intial meetings with his heroine (won't say who it is for those who don't know yet!) are excellent. It's very amusing to see her dealing with him in such a way so different to everyone else in his life!

My only criticisms would be that he seemed slightly too "normal" when compared to the dark & mysterious Acheron we've known previously, but then, we've only ever seen him for short periods in the other DH stories. Also, the second part could have done with being a little bit longer (it is quite a bit shorter than part 1).

That being said, it was well worth the wait, and when you get your hands on it, you definitely need to aside a good few hours, as once you've picked it up, you won't be able to put it down. I did manage to have a break in between parts 1 & 2, but each part really does warrant being read in it's entirety in one sitting!

The good news is, that whilst Ash has now got his HEA, I definitely don't think that this is the last we're going to see of him :-)

I would imagine he's going to play quite a major part in Stryker's book in a few months time - looking forward to that one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet !!!!!!!, 7 Aug 2008
Jessie Mackenzie (Greenfield, Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Acheron (Dark Hunter) (Hardcover)
Okay its finally here. Ash's story, the whole and bloody hell of it all.Be warn tho, to those who think they have read it all and nothing could shock them, Ash's past has had no punches pulled. Its brutely and bloody and very shocking.You will be taking on a horror story and wonder how Ash didn't just turn his back on everything and walk away.But to fully understand his HEA you have to read the past and see Ash in way ( I hope) no-one should ever be treated.
I could tell you more but to do that would be to spoil this book.He's past is 428 pages longer and you may need a break after reading them but come back to read the rest of the book and his HEA.You see new side to Apollmyi and its nice to see that when the chips are down you you can tell who your friends really are. Its worth it just to see the beauty that comes with complete trust and unselfish loving that a pure heart can save the most lost of causes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all Artemis haters!, 27 Sep 2008
To finally read about how Artermis get her just dues and not from Ash but someone else, makes it all worth while for every humilation, abuse, pain and degradation he suffered.

I'm not going to give a review of the story itself, many have done a great job of it, but will give my feelings on it.
I so much wanted Ash to have his HEA that it was simply torture to read the first part and suffer right along with him. When the second part started I had to take a few moments to compose myself from that rollercoaster of raw emotion from Ash's suffering.
Ash is a sweetheart and truly wonderful hero. All he wanted was to be accepted and loved for himself. The second part is more reminscent of her DH novels but with a slight difference in that Ash is not a true Dark Hunter but human/god.
The heroine, Tory, is just what Ash needed, someone who loved him totally, regardless of his differences and his past.
I really liked Appollymi. From previous bks she comes across as evil but here you find out what she's truly like and the immense love she has for her son, and the lengths she would go to protect him.
Loved the fact that Tory is just like Apollymi in the sense that she would do anything to protect Ash. But unlike him, she would kill to save him, even if it means destorying everything, including mankind.

This is a 5* read my only complaint is that the second part should have been a a bit longer. Despite this, it does wrap up nicely and it's wonderful to see the Dark Hunters from previous novels all band together to help Ash rescue Tory. Even Styxx, whom I absolutely hated in the first, redeems himself in the second part.

I like all Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter books but this one I simply loved. It finishes off the Dark Hunter's series nicely, according to the author this arc is over and she now moves to another arc starting with Stryker. And I'm looking for to this new direction the series take and to Nick's book. Nick is not truly a DH since Stryker owns a bit of him, and as this bk ends it seems Nick is falling into the clutches of the heifer-goddess. (though I seriously hope not)
I like the character of Savitar, hope he gets a bk too. And then there's Jaden, really, really like him, hope there's a book on him. Seems like he is as tortured as Ash was.

An Excellent read.

Well done SK!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, emotional, humorous, and just plain fabulous!, 24 Sep 2008
I just finished reading Acheron, and i loved it. The first half made me cry in more than a few places, all the horrors of Ash's human life are laid bare, and the word emotional doesn't even come close and the second half was just as moving in it's own way, there were parts of it that made me laugh, (Ash getting buzzed on Sprite, falling down the ladder, and dancing to disco!) and parts of it that brought tears to my eyes, Tory sticking up for Ash with Artie, 'Ash is the man i love, and anyone who takes issue with him, takes issue with me' had me cheering, finally someone who can and will touch Ash like he matters. I liked the fact that Tory was 'normal', that made her all the more endearing in my eyes, it goes to show that love can pop up when you least expect it and in the most unexpected ways, and that sometimes, you don't have be a 'Barbie' to end up with 'Ken'! I've read the whole DH series in 2 months so i still have a clear picture in my mind of all the other books, and imo opinion it just felt to me in the 2nd half of the book, we got to see the real Ash, whereas in the other DH novels he was always holding most of himself back and putting on a front.

Judging from the end of this book, i definately don't think we've seen the end of Artie... can you imagine if her and Nick ended up as a couple further down the line?!!

The only weakness in my eyes was the ending, but then we haven't seen the beginning of One Silent Night, it may all become clear then, and i'm sure it will! I would have also liked to see Jaden feature a bit more in the end so we can see how his arc is going to start off and be worked into the equasion. I'm already highly anticipating his story, and hope i don't have to wait too long!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect - can't wait for more, 8 Sep 2008
This review is from: Acheron (Dark Hunter) (Hardcover)
After waiting for years (not always patiently) the book of the books "Acheron" finally arrived in August, 2008.
First impresisions: the cover looks really beautiful and the book is a big one, 722 pages to enjoy.
Like many other fans of the Hunter-series I had high expectations regarding this book. And for me all of them were fullfilled because the book is just perfect.
Ok, part 1 is hard too read because it deals with Ash's past and after getting glimpses of it in other books now for the first time you see the whole horrible tragedy of it. I cried several times while reading it because of what Ash had to go through. But you have to read it to really understand the person Ash is today and to finally understand what motivates him to make a change in the human world.
Part 2 is all about the present and giving Acheron some much needed happiness. For the second time in the series you meet his heroine, Tory, who is just perfect for him (after reading part 1 it became clear that Artemis could never be his heroine).
Tory, more at home in the world of history and books, is the perfect match for Acheron because she has no prejudices and a lot of love to give without demanding anything Ash doesn't want to give.
It's nice to see how Ash behaves with someone he truly loves and trusts (ok, I had to cry again, because it's just so beautiful reading about him being happy).
Besides seeing Ash truly happy for the first time there are going on other interesting developments involving Nick and Artemis. You also get to see some glimpses of Savitar and his humour and I really enjoyed his interactions with Ash. Hope Sav will get his own book in the future.
So as a facit if you haven't already bought yourself a copy of Acheron get one, look for a quiet place, grab some tissues, enough food and water for a couple of days and enjoy this perfect book.
Have fun - norarobertsismyqueen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait and bring on the next phase!, 22 Aug 2008
Read Me (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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Its ben a long time coming for all the original Dark Hunter fans but finally Ash's book is here. It doesn't disappoint.
The first half of the book is about Acheron's past, told mainly through the eyes of his sister Ryssa. Ryssa is the only member of his family who really cares about him and this is a nice relief from the constant abuse that he suffers. The first half of the book is all about making sense of all the family rivalries, loyalties, Gods and Godesses. Its a mammoth section of the book and quite rightly as everything that has been hinted at in previous novels now begins to make sense - Ash's relationship with Artemis, Apollymi, Simi, Styxx and Apollo.
The second half of the book brings us right back up to speed in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina and with it introduces the anthropologist Torey who thinks she has discovered Atlantis. The fact that she has also discovered Ryssa's diary leads her to Ash. She is the geeky, clumsy, gutsy and intelligent heroine that Ash deserves. This is the Ash that we know and love, but I have to admit that although he makes perfect sense after reading the first half of the book he doesn't always tally with the Ash of previous novels. The Zen master Ash who always had a witty comeback and an all-seeing presence is replaced by a more human Ash (weirdly for an Atlantean God).
However minor grumble aside, this is a great book, I really don't believe that anyone who has been reading the series (and please don't try and start with this one if you haven't) will be let down by this. There are some brilliant scenes in the book in particular when Artmeis gets her ass kicked but also when all the ex-Dark Hunters appear.
It may not be the last book in the series but it does feel like the end of an era. So a triumphant farewell and bring on the next phase of the Dark Hunters. I can't wait!
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Acheron (Dark-Hunter World)
Acheron (Dark-Hunter World) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Paperback - 4 Dec 2008)
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