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Not what I wanted for Ash ...
on 25 January 2015
I put off reading Acheron for so long because I wanted the time and the space to enjoy it. Ash has always been my favourite character in the Dark Hunter series, he's so powerful and commanding with a backstory that we've only ever been given glimpses of.
Before you start the book there's a note from the author to advise that the first half of the book is all about Acheron's past, and that it is brutal and often makes for uncomfortable reading. Truly, Sherryilyn Kenyon does an astounding job of sharing Acheron's bloody and painful beginnings and if you weren't already in love with him when you started the book, you will be the time you get through the first half.
And then we start on Acheron in the present day. Which is when I started to struggle. In all the other Dark Hunter books I've read, I've obviously failed to pick up on the clues to to Ash's visual appearance and the fact he looks like a 21 year old goth. As an older reader (not quite in the 40 zone), no matter what Ash did or said, I just couldn't engage with him as an attractive, sexy character, because he was too young. I always imagined Acheron akin to Zeus from the Disney film Hercules, an older man, but fresh and kindly faced. I just couldn't get my head around him looking like a 21 year old man. And that ruined it a bit for me - not the author's fault, I know. But still it was a deal breaker.
Then there was Tory, Acherons love interest. We already met her in one of the Dream Hunter novels, when she was just a teenager. Now she's 20. She's extremely intelligent and whole a concoction of contradictions. For everything I went through with Ash in the first half of the book, and for everything I'd learned about him in previous books, for the first half of the modern day section, I just couldn't warm to her. I didn't like her and didn't feel she was anywhere near good enough or special enough to be Ash's partner. And Ash wasn't his normal self either. His actions, thoughts and deeds often felt so out of character, that I had to wonder if it was the same author writing him.
Of course, everything comes to a satisfying conclusion, with some great action from Apollymi (Ash's mum), but by the time we reach the warm and fuzzy ending, there's just a bit too much cheese for my liking.
This is a huge book--over 700 pages--and it tells a good story. There are some great twists and edge of the seat moments, but it wasn't the jaw-dropping, compelling and all-defeating book I had hoped for. Moving on with less magnificent and omnipotent characters than Archeron, I hope the series will return to the style which first drew me in.