Orphaned as a child and raised by vampires, Abigail Yager lives for one purpose, and one purpose only: To avenge the deaths of vampires everywhere. To destroy the merciless Dark-Hunters who stalk and kill her adoptive race. But most of all, to find the one man responsible for brutally murdering her family: the ex-gunslinger Jess “Sundown” Brady…
Resurrected from death by a vengeful Greek goddess, Jess must hunt and destroy the creature who’s assassinating Dark-Hunters. The last thing he expects to find is a human face behind the killings—and especially one resembling the human who’d murdered him centuries ago. Jess knows he’s not the one who slaughtered Abigail’s parents. But now he must convince her of his innocence—and cross the abyss between human and vampire—before the darkest of powers rises to destroy them both…
About the Author
In the past two years, New York Times bestselling author SHERRILYN KENYON has claimed the #1 spot fifteen times. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre she writes. With more than 23 million copies of her books in print in over 30 countries, her current series include: The Dark-Hunters, The League, Lords of Avalon, BAD Agency, Chronicles of Nick and the forthcoming Nevermore.
Read an Excerpt
By Sherrilyn Kenyon
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2011 Sherrilyn Kenyon
All rights reserved.
138 years later Las Vegas, Nevada
"How are you doing?"
Abigail Yager barely understood those words as the male doctor stood over her bed, injecting her with a substance that could very well be lethal. But if it worked, it would be worth the risk. "What?"
"Abby? Can you hear me?"
She blinked slowly and tried to focus on Hannah's question. Everything was blurry. Even so, she could see the way the light played in Hannah's blond hair. The concern on her sister's beautiful face. "Um ... yeah."
Hannah cursed. "You're killing her. Stop!"
The doctor didn't listen.
Hannah started for him, but before she could reach the far side of the bed, her older brother, Kurt, intercepted her. "Stop it, Hannah."
"We don't know what that will do to her. She's human!"
Kurt shook his head. "She needs it. If it strengthens us, it should do the same with her. Besides, it's too late. At this point, it'll either help her or she's dead. Plain and simple."
Could there be any less care in his tone?
Hannah shoved Kurt away. "I'm ashamed of you. After all she's done for us, you still see her as nothing but a human." She returned to Abigail's side and took her hand. "Stay with me, Abby. Don't leave me alone with an insensitive prick as the only member of my family."
"I'm not a prick!"
Hannah ignored him. "I need my big sis. C'mon, girl. Don't let me down."
Abigail couldn't really follow the angry exchange they were now engaged in. Honestly, all she heard was her heart pounding in her ears. She saw images of her past playing through her mind as if they were on a DVD. The old two-story house where the three of them had grown up. Of her and Hannah staying up past their bedtime to whisper and giggle about their latest celebrity crushes.
So many happy memories of that time ...
Her thoughts turned to Kurt and Hannah's mother and father, who took her in after Abby's own parents had been slaughtered. They, too, had died years ago from their curse, and there was nothing she wouldn't do for her adoptive siblings.
And you just might be paying the ultimate price.
Was that the doctor's voice?
The thrumming grew louder as she felt something shatter deep within her body. Arching her back, she screamed as every molecule in her body seemed to catch fire.
"What's happening to her?"
"Get your sister out of here."
Abigail heard Hannah protesting as Kurt jerked her from the room and slammed the door behind them. Tears streamed from the corners of her eyes. She could no longer see anything, and yet she saw everything. There was no way to describe it. It was as if she had a mirror to the world.
"Breathe," the doctor whispered. "Just breathe. I'm not about to let you die."
That was easier said than done. Pain lacerated her body. It was as if she was burning from the inside out.
Unable to stand it, she screamed until she could stand no more. This was it. In spite of what he said, she was dying. She had to be. Surely no one could withstand this much pain and live. There was no way she'd survive.
In fact, she felt the darkness coming for her. It was swallowing her whole. Piece by piece. Shredding her completely.
She turned her head from side to side, trying to breathe. Something had its hands on her throat, choking her.
Was it the doctor?
She couldn't focus. Couldn't see.
"Stop!" Her cry echoed in her ears.
Then as quickly as it'd come, the pain left her — like a bird that shot skyward for no reason. It was gone.
Her throat was so dry now. She tilted her head to meet the doctor's gaze. Concern etched his brow as he lowered the mask on his face.
"How do you feel?" There was only the smallest bit of his fangs showing as he spoke. Something else flashed. A memory of him that was gone so fast, she couldn't grasp it.
Was it important?
"I need water," she rasped.
"Do you crave anything else?"
"Yes," she breathed.
Abigail licked her lips as the memory of her birth parents' deaths seared her. Even all these years later, that memory was perfectly intact, as if it'd happened only yesterday.
Barely four years old and dressed in her red Sesame Street pajamas, she'd hidden under the bed while the man her parents had called friend mercilessly slaughtered them with a shotgun. Those horrendously violent sounds were forever carved in her heart. From where she'd been, she saw the man's black cowboy boots, which caused the floorboards to squeak while he searched her room. Terrified, she'd watched him track blood all over her pink princess rug. She'd held her favorite teddy bear to her mouth and bit him hard to keep from crying out and betraying her location. He'd paused before her dresser, and there in the mirror she'd seen his face so clearly. So perfectly.
And as she heard those heavy footsteps leave her home, she'd sworn one thing.
To find that man and kill him as brutally as he'd killed her parents. To make him beg for a mercy she had no intention of giving him.
Retribution would be hers. ...
"Abigail?" The doctor forced her to look at him. "What else do you crave?"
"The throat of Sundown Brady."CHAPTER 2
"Someone's killing Dark-Hunters."
Jess Brady scowled as his Squire, Andy, burst into the obscenely huge kitchen, huffing and puffing, with his dark hair sticking out all over his head as if the boy had been wringing at it — a habit Andy had whenever he was duly stressed.
Much less excited, especially since he'd been up only a few, Jess blew his breath across his steaming coffee. "Settle down, pup. I ain't had my caffeine yet." And he wasn't a morning person, even though his mornings were what most people called early evening.
Still the boy jumped about like a filly around a rattlesnake. Had he ever been that nervous about anything?
The answer hit him hard in the chest and did nothing to improve his irritability.
Jess quickly turned his thoughts away from that memory and focused on the boy he'd known since the day Andy was whelped.
Even though Andy was nearing thirty now, he was about as high-strung as anyone Jess had ever met. Times like this, he missed the old calmness of Andy's pa. Nothing had ever rattled that man.
Not even the time he'd landed in a nest of scorpions.
"Sundown ... you don't understand. It's —"
He held his hand up to stop the boy midsentence. "I get it, kid. Case you haven't noticed, Dark-Hunters are on almost as many menus as humans are. Having something trying to kill us is about normal. Now, why you more flustered than a preacher in a whorehouse?"
"I'm trying to tell you." Andy gestured toward the door as if expecting the bogeyman to charge through it. "There's a human out there who is killing off Dark-Hunters, and someone needs to stop them."
Jess took a slow drink before he spoke. Ah, yeah, that hit the spot. Little more, and he'd be as close to human as a dead man could come. "Well, that's just plain rude."
All that did was frustrate Andy more. "I really don't think you understand what I'm trying to tell you."
Jess scratched at the whiskers along his jaw. "And my mama drowned the dumb ones. I hear everything you're saying. There's a group of Buffys thinking we're the bad guys. Ain't my first rodeo, pup. It's been happening so long, they were called Helsings long before your daddy was a gleam in your granddaddy's eyes. Thank you, Hollywood and Stoker, for that. Not like being undead didn't suck before. They just made it worse for us by cluing the rest of the world in that we exist. Now every goth with a thirst for immortality is cruising for us, begging us to bite them and turn them. Did I ever tell you about that time when —?"
"Sundown," Andy snapped. "I —"
"You need to check that tone, boy. Remember, I used to kill people for a living, and I ain't been up long enough to have much tolerance right about now. Knock it down a notch before I forget I'm supposed to actually like you."
Andy let out a long sigh. "Fine, but answer me this."
Dang, when had the kid turned into the Riddler? He should have curtailed all those Batman reruns when Andy was a boy.
"Did any of those others ever come after you guys in the past leading a Daimon entourage?"
Now, that got his attention. While it wasn't unusual for Daimons to use humans as servants or tools from time to time, it wasn't normal for them to follow one.
Jess set the coffee down on the stainless steel counter. "Come again?"
"Yeah ... this one travels in a pack of Daimons and has been slaying every Hunter they can find. She's taken out three here and four others in Arizona and Oklahoma."
Jess took a full minute to digest that. "How do you know about this?"
"I was contacted by Tawny, who got it from her mother." Now, to most, that'd sound bizarre. But like Andy, Tawny was a multigenerational Squire. A few thousand years back, the Squire network had been set up to provide a "normal" cover for the nocturnal Dark-Hunters during the daylight hours when they were sleeping. The Squires helped them to pass for humans, and most of all, the Squires shielded their existence from the rest of the world and took care of their day-to-day necessities so that they could focus on their job. Killing Daimons and freeing the human souls they'd stolen before those souls died and were forever lost.
But the best part about the Squires was that some of them were Oracles who could speak directly to the gods and get information from them that the Dark-Hunters could use to track and kill Daimons.
Tawny's mother happened to be one of those Oracles.
Deciphering what the gods said, however, was another matter.
Jess leaned against the kitchen counter and crossed his arms over his chest. "Tell me exactly what her mother said."
"She said that there's an ill wind coming and that you should guard your back. Lionel didn't fail to make it home before dawn. He was murdered and his killer, a human leading a Daimon guard, was on the hunt for more of his kind."
Lionel was another Dark-Hunter who'd been assigned to Las Vegas. He died three nights ago, after he'd failed to make it to shelter before the sun rose — at least that was what they'd been told. Immortality had its price, and while the things that could kill them were few, those few were an ugly way to die.
Jess rubbed his thumb against his brow. "And the gods spoke that plainly?"
Andy hedged. "Well ... not exactly. You know how they are."
Yeah, they always spoke in riddles that were tougher to unknot than a two-headed cobra. "So how —?"
"It's taken them days to decipher it, but she swears she's right and that you need to watch your back."
That, he'd been doing since the day the goddess Artemis resurrected him. Bart had tutored him well on guarding every angle of his body and staying alert no matter what or who. Jess wasn't about to ever be a victim again.
"Don't Andy me. I believe her. She's one of the best Oracles we have."
He was right about that. But ...
"We all make mistakes." And Jess had made more than his fair share.
A tic started in Andy's jaw. It was obvious he wanted to throttle Jess, but he knew better than to even try.
"Fine," he said, finally relenting on the matter. "Whatever. You're the one they're after, so it's none of my business. Plenty of other Dark-Hunters to work for. They're probably a lot less irritating, too." Then he changed the subject entirely. "I repaired your tracker and phone." He held Jess's iPhone out to him. "Try not to get it wet tonight."
"Not my fault the Daimon I was chasing decided to run through a water fountain." Damnedest part about living here in Vegas, there were huge fountains all over the place, and for some reason, Daimons seemed to think Dark-Hunters were allergic to water. Or maybe it was their way to piss them off before getting killed.
Andy ignored his comment. "Mom overnighted some of her oatmeal cookies for you. They're in the jar by the sink." He pointed to the container that looked like a Conestoga wagon, which was really out of place in the commercial-grade kitchen designed to feed a large army.
The thought of those cookies perked him up a lot. Cecilia made the best in the world. That was what he missed most about Andy's pa working for him. C used to have a fresh batch cooling on the stove every evening when he came upstairs for coffee.
Andy continued his report. "I picked up your laundry and hung it in the hall closet. I checked with the company, and your horses will be transported out here next week from your ranch, so you can quit pouting every time you pass the saddles."
Wow, he had no idea he'd done that. Huh ... he'd have to keep an eye on his expressions. He hated to be that obvious to anyone.
Andy gestured toward the door. "The boots you ordered are in the box on the hall table, as are the throwing knives Kell sent to replace the ones you broke the other night. I couldn't get the black Stetson reblocked, so I have a new one on order. Your bike is fully gassed, and Sin has offered all of you free valet parking at his casino while you hunt. He'll have his staff leave the bike parked in front so that you can grab it and go when you're ready to head home, and if you get trapped in the city and can't make it back here before dawn, you can hole up in one of his rooms — they'll have a key at the concierge with your name on it. Is there anything else you need?"
That was the best part of Andy. Like his father, he was as efficient as the devil's desk clerk. "Nope. Can't think of anything."
"All right. I'll have my cell phone if you need anything." The boy always said that.
Jess moved toward the cookies. "Have a good night."
Andy nodded before he went to the door. He paused as if he wanted to say something else — then he quickly took his exit to head to his apartment over the garage. For some reason, as the kid left, Jess had an image of Andy as a little boy chasing after his father. He could still see Andy's chubby cheeks, wide eyes, and freckled face. Hear him asking in that youthful tone if Jess would teach him how to ride, and then picking the boy up from the dirt the first time Andy was thrown by the Shetland pony Jess had bought for him. Little booger had gotten right back up, dusted himself off, and then climbed into the saddle like a trouper.
Now that little boy was a man strangers thought was older than Jess.
That was the hardest part of being immortal. Watching people he cared about be kids, grow old, and die while he never changed. And just like with Andy, he'd known the boy's father from the moment Ed was born. The Taylor family had been his Squires from the beginning of his Dark-Hunter life.
Even so, he'd kept a wall between him and them. Never letting them in too close. At least not until Andy. He didn't know why, but that little shit had wormed his way past Jess's best defenses. In many ways, Andy was like his son.
There was only one other person in his long life that Jess had felt that way about.
He winced at another memory he wished he could purge.
Aching with remorse and grief, Jess pulled his watch out of his pocket to check the time. The moment he opened it, he paused to stare at Matilda's face in the worn-out sepia photograph that had been kept inside his watch since the day he was reborn. No matter how many years passed, he still ached over the loss of her.
That had been the only thing he truly hated about his rebirth. Knowing she was alive and not being able to see her. Dark-Hunters were forbidden from having families, and they were never to let anyone from their past know that they'd come back. It was part of what they swore to when Artemis created them.
Still, he'd kept tabs on her while she lived and made sure that she never once wanted for anything. She'd gone on to marry and have six kids.
To the day she died, she'd never known who her benefactor was. The Squires told her it was a trust fund set up by a distant uncle who'd died and left it to her. She never knew that money came from a pact he'd made with a goddess to even a score that no amount of violence could tally.
Sometimes dead wasn't dead enough.
His throat tightening, he closed his watch. There was no use thinking about what should have been. He'd done what he'd had to. Matilda had probably been better off without him, anyways. Sooner or later, his past would have caught up to them, and the result would have been the same.
At least that was the lie he told himself to make it all bearable. But inside, he knew the truth. No one could have loved her more than he had.
More than he did to this day.
Excerpted from Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Copyright © 2011 Sherrilyn Kenyon. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have read and reread all of Kenyon's Dark Hunter books as well as The League series. And, I regret to say her writing in her last several books has gone down hill. Because of that I no longer buy her books but get them from the library. Retribution was totally confusing as there was no prologue or introduction to this new pantheon and I never quite figured out who was who or even what it was all about. I barely got through the book and put it down several times in frustration. The writing was juvenile, full of cheesy quips and humor in situations that should have been more serious. This is not the quality of her previous novels. As far as I'm concerned, I have no desire to read any more of Jess and Abigails adventures if that is the direction Kenyon is going. What happened to the true Dark Hunters - Nick's story (not the teen books she has written as I won't bother to read them) and Savitar who are both such interesting characters with so much potential for great books. I guess there are died-in -the wool fans who will purchase and read anything she writes. I will just reread her best and leave it at that.
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I am a huge fan of the Dark-Hunter series, but this...this was just terrible. The characters were weak, there was no chemistry, and the story rambled so much that I often had to re-read pages because I thought I'd missed something vital. Not to mention all of the grammatical errors. (Who on Earth edited this book?!) There was no connection to the other books with the exception of some very poorly thought out cameos. Needless to say, I'm glad I checked it out from the library as opposed to purchasing it. I don't know what Ms. Kenyon is trying to do. First, she re-writes history with the Chronicles of Nick, and now this. I would much rather she stop writing than to put out something so sub-par. Those who rated it highly must not have read the series, or must be someone from her publisher. (Also, why am I seeing negative reviews with four stars? Pay attention people! And please READ the book before you review it!) Seriously, if you think this piece of garbage is a good book, go back and read the others in the series. This pales in comparison.
Really..? Was this a DH novel or another new series SK has got going again? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the DH/DH series, but something is definately going on with the last few novel's. Retribution started out great and I was all excited to get going with the story. Then I kept reading and waiting for the story to get going, and waited, and waited. At the end of the novel, all I could say was....What??? Really??? This was about 10% DH and 90% about SK's Personal Native American Heritage. She even says that herself in the book. If I wanted to read a Native American novel, I would have gotten one, but I wanted a Dark/Dream Hunter novel....and didn't get one. So many new characters in the novel I could not keep up with who's whats's & how's. If the Dark Hunter series is turning into a Native American series, and according to SK, looks like it is with Time Untime I am going to need a Native American Companion SK also states on her website that we were getting a "surprise from Talon". If there was one, I didn't see it. The 20 pages in the back of the novel about Acheron were the best thing about the book. And even if you admit it or not, SK has a real talent for describing "love scenes" which we all want too. But... One in the whole novel ???!!!! And I would rate it at PG17. There are only two reasons I would recommend this novel. 1-just to have the completed series on the shelve and 2-Acheron's 20 pages. I was so looking forward to giving this an awesome rating, but I just can't. Please SK, get back on track!
I have read all the Dark-Hunter books and anxiously awaited this one, even pre-ordered it. This is definitely not up to par in any way. The best part of this book is the bonus at the end about Acheron's child's birth. Please... get back to your quality of writing for #21. If this book had been the first in the series, I would never have read the next 19. To those people who have actually reviewed this book before reading it, you may want to change your reviews...
I am so glad that others felt as I did and were disappointed by this story arc detour. I have been reading the darkhunter series since Fantasy Lover was 1st released and this book is by far my least favorite and the most disappointing read for me personally. If Sherri hadn't added the bonus birth scene for Ash's baby, the whole book would have been a complete waste. The birth at least saved it, somewhat. The hero in this story is not the one everyone loved in Dance with the Devil. He's totally different, and not in a good way, and I didn't feel the love story between him and his heroine, at all. The new subcharacters didn't add anything to the world she's already created and I am sorry I didn't wait to buy this book in paperback and saved myself some money.
I have read everyone of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Darkhunter/Dreamhunter books. While I thought Jess and Abby were a great couple, the story seemed very rushed. A lot of information and not a lot of explanation. Didn't flow well. This was not one of her best books.
It appears after writing her YA books about Nick,which I really enjoyed, she forgot how to write for adults. This was the worst DH book. It wasn't even written in the DH style, and waaaay too many stupid movie one liners in way too many conversations that didn't even really matter to the story. Without the one sex scene, it appears to have been written for a 12 year old. I will not buy a DH novel from Ms. Kenyon in the future if this is the new way the story's are being written. This book was a waste of money.
I have read the entire Dark Hunter series and have enjoyed them tremendously. This edition of the series left me feeling disappointed and bored. Of course when reading a series you can not leave one out and in this case that is really too bad. Maybe the next one will be better.
This is probably the most poorly written book I have ever forced myself to read. I have not yet been able to finish it - too much of a chore. How this nonsense fits into the DH series I have yet to discover. It is littered with cliches and old jokes. I cannot believe I actually paid for this.
The Dark Hunter series is one of my favorites and I eagerly awaited the release of book 21. Unfortunately, it was a major disappointment. It took me more than a week to finish this short book. I found it excruciating! Character development was non-existent. The writing was worse than the choppy story. "He might can do that."!! Really?? I wondered if Sherrilyn let someone else write this book. BTW, I agree this is not the proper forum but, I can understand complaints of the price. Not worth the cost. The previous storyline was only minimally touched upon. I hope book 22 gets back on track.
I have read all DH books and was very disappointed with this one. The story was boring and kind of hard to follow... maybe because it was boring. I read the whole book waiting the moment it would get better and it never came. The extra added at the end about Acheron was ok but could be so much better I just think MS. Kenyon might have lost track of what this series was about. She included way too many meaningless conversations between the characters, I felt she was trying to fill up space for 235 pages this was a story not worth reading.
Waited days for the book and it wasnt anything like the series very unhappy!
Not nearly as good as I was anticipating. Loved the bonus at the end. Sherrilyn seems to have lost her way. Download of the pre-order was a hassle!!!
I cannot believe I have to give Retribution 2 stars. It's breaking my heart. The stars are for Sasha who was funny but oh my Ms. Kenyon, I believe you left half of this book in your own head. I have read EVERYTHING well almost everything you have ever done and I think I am starting to prefer your sci-fi but that's just a side note. There was no passion or tone or heart to this tale. I think it could have been there . . .you just left it somehwere else. I can't wait to see what's next. . . .
Retribution Sherrilyn Kenyon St. Martin's, Aug 2 2011, $25.99 ISBN: 9780312546595 He was a gun for hire in the Old West; feared by his so called peers other cold hearted killers. He vowed to change when he fell in love with Matilda and she agreed to marry him. Their love ends in her tragic death at their wedding when his best friend the best man killed him to collect the bounty on William Jessup Brady's head and raped Matilda. He left her pregnant. She gave her son away and went on to live a relatively happy life. Artemis called Jess' spirit to her. She offered him a choice to go after his killer and Matilda's rapist in exchange for her owning his soul as one of her Dark-Hunters killing Daimons who eat human souls as sustenance to survive. Someone is murdering Dark Hunters and no one is as shocked as jess when that adversary tries to kill him. The slayer is Abigail Yeager who was raised by vampires who brainwashed her into believing Dark-Hunters were evil. The execution of Jess is personal as she knows he killed her parents though he vehemently denies it. They are attracted to one another, but she must be sacrificed in the valley for killing a Guardian. An old God watches the pair waiting for the moment to kill Jess and take Abigail. The latest Dark Hunter fantasy is as fabulous as its numerous predecessors due to the seemingly star-crossed lovers. From the Greek Pantheon of the gods, Jess and Abigail must fight essences so much stronger than either of them, but love binds them to a more powerful level. She brings out the best in him while his willingness to die eternally for her encourages her to be even better of a person. They make Retribution an enthralling spellbinder. Harriet Klausner
I love the Dark Hunter series, but I agree with the majority of the people who reviewed this book it was terrible! I had such a hard time keeping the plot straight that I had to put it down several times. I think if she wanted to write a book about Native American history then she should have started a new series as this book had nothing to do with the Dark Hunter books. If she is going to continue writing in this direction I will not be buying any of her books in the future.
Let me start by saying that I love Kenyon's books. I've read every Dark Hunter & Dream Hunter. This one was not up to her normal caliber. It didn't live up to the hype. It felt forced & did not meet my expectations. My daughter has also read all of the books & she agrees with me.
I really looked forward to this book and was very confused and disappointed! I have loved all of the Dark Hunter books and this one just seemed too off track. I thought the story became very disorganized and confusing at times. I also did not feel the relationship between Sundown and Abigail. I hope the next book is back on track and more like the previous Dark Hunter books. I did love the ending about Ash and Tory! This is the only part of the book that was worth buying. Maybe her future books will include even more about them.
Kenyon really missed the mark on this one. Where are all of the characters we are addicted to reading about, such as Ash, Nick, Artemis, and Stryker? Hope the next one is better or I'm done. Just awful.
I have read all of the series - my favorite books multiple times - and I was disappointed in this one. I finished it but had to force myself. The story at the end of the birth of Ash's baby was much better and more interesting than all of Retribution. That said, as always, I look forward to more Dark Hunter novels. I agree with the people who say that the reviews are not the place to complain about Nook prices. I have always purchased new hardcover editions and I am very pleased with both the Nook and the prices.
I love this series, but this book just wasn't as good as the previous ones. I hope she'll go back to story lines similar to the previous books in the series.
I have read all of the Dark Hunter books and loved everyone of them! Even Ash's! However, this one was just "ok" for me. I didn't really feel the love connection between the two leads. I love any Native American story lines but this sub-story just didn't seem complete or very well thought out. The "bonus" at the end felt like an afterthought. This almost didn't even feel like Kenyon's writing. This may have been the last Dark Hunter adventure I read which is sad, because I really loved getting lost in their world.
had me hooked. It was a great great read!
I have to agree with other negative reviewers and am thankful that I managed to get a copy from the library instead of paying for it. If Ms. Kenyon wanted to explore her Native American roots, she should have started a new series. The hodgy podgy attempt to mix Greek mythology with the Native American one just didn't work. It also didn't help that the romance between Jesse and Abigail was weak. Abigail makes for a very unlikable heroine to begin with - she killed numerous Dark-Hunters, thus turning them into shades, which is supposed to be a fate worse than death (as per previous books), but here it only warrants a few frowns here and there, and that's it? Her supposed expression of remorse and guilt rang as deep as someone saying sorry for running a red light. I am sad to agree with those who think Ms. Kenyon is phoning in. If anyone is interested in good Native-American based fantasy/paranormal books, I suggest C. E. Murphy's Walker Papers series (the first book is 'Urban Shaman'). They are good examples of how to blend in mythologies with modern setting and come out strong.