Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Retribution

Retribution: Dark-Hunter Series #21
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: ebook (448 pages)
Purchase: Amazon or IndieBound
Provided by: self-purchased
Audience: Adult

A hired gunslinger, William Jessup Brady lived his life with one foot in the grave. He believed that every life had a price. Until the day when he finally found a reason to live. In one single act of brutal betrayal, he lost everything, including his life. Brought back by a Greek goddess to be one of her Dark-Hunters, he gave his immortal soul for vengeance and swore he’d spend eternity protecting the humans he’d once considered prey.

Orphaned as a toddler, Abigail Yager was taken in by a family of vampires and raised on one belief— Dark-Hunters are the evil who prey on both their people and mankind, and they must all be destroyed. While protecting her adoptive race, she has spent her life eliminating the Dark-Hunters and training for the day when she meeting the man who killed her family: Jess Brady.

A gun in the hand is worth two in the holster…

Jess has been charged with finding and terminating the creature who’s assassinating Dark-Hunters. The last thing he expects to find is a human face behind the killings, but when that face bears a striking resemblance to the one who murdered him centuries ago, he knows something evil is going on. He also knows he’s not the one who killed her parents. But Abigail refuses to believe the truth and is determined to see him dead once and for all.

Brought together by an angry god and chased by ancient enemies out to kill them both, they must find a way to overcome their mutual hatred or watch as one of the darkest of powers rises and kills both the races they’ve sworn to protect.

I have been a fan of the Dark Hunter series since I picked up the first books a couple years ago. I love the mythology references and the bantering between characters, and this book is filled with both. I have been a huge fan of the Dark Hunter series for a while now. Kenyon’s writing style has intrigued me and I love getting lost in the books. After twenty plus books, I found that some of them seemed a bit formulaic; following a similar plot line and always with a happy ending. I was excited to read Sundown’s book since he was a formidable opponent in Zarek’s book. I can honestly say, this book was a pleasant surprise.

Sundown’s own personal brand of humor was the element that kept me reading and Sasha’s sarcasm was the icing on the cake. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next and how they were going to make me laugh. My Nook was in danger the entire time I was reading since every time one of them would crack a joke, I would have to choke back my Diet Pepsi.

Jess tells his story throughout the novel rather than in one quick flashback. I liked that he gave you pieces of his past that revealed the kind of man he was and has become. He is a strong protagonist and holds his own against Sasha, who is a were with a biting sense of humor. (His book ought to be fabulous! He’s been a supporting role long enough.) When Jess comes across Abagail, he is faced with a personal test and must overcome his own ghosts to help her understand the things she has been taught and raised to believe are wrong.

Getting Abagail to admit she might have been wrong, while keeping her alive are two very difficult jobs, but Jess doesn’t hesitate to take on the challenge. I was a little disappointed at this point in the book. I expected some resistance from Jess and there was none. He accepted her and fell for her without any apparent angst over it. She had murdered his friends and was after him, and yet, he was turned on rather than angry. I expected him to make her pay in some way, but he didn’t and that didn’t seem to fit with his personality, in my opinion. 

The action and the sexual tension between them was what kept me reading, although I would have liked to read more of that as well. It seemed to draw them together quickly and there wasn’t a lot of resistance. However, we are reading a romance and waiting too long would drag the story out. I’m one of those readers who want the story to continue though. I am also not a fan of the quick wrap-up at the end of a book and I felt like this was a short, let’s just finish the story, ending. 

All of that being said, I still loved the book, and would read it again and again. I am looking forward to the next book in the series and can’t wait to see who the focus is going to be.

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