Sunday, September 15, 2013

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Review)

Dark-Hunter #24
Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Mythology
Publication.Date:September 3, 2013
Published By:  St. Martin's Press
Website:Sherrilyn Kenyon 

Styxx on Goodreads
My review copy:Personal library

Where to get:

Just when you thought doomsday was over...

Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.

As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.

The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now. She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her.

But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer.

Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it's your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?

I could honestly quote this entire book. She has such amazing an amazing way with words that nearly every page is filled with profound quotes, quotes that make you laugh and smile, quotes that make your heart hurt, quotes that make your heart sing. Normally I take note, on each of her books, of quotes that really resonated with me. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case with Styxx. I was so wrapped up in the story that doing anything else while reading was unimaginable. I did write down a few - as you can see below - but there are so many more throughout the novel that you really need to read it to understand its depth.
"You missed, moron. My son still lives, and one day, we are going to bath in your blood." 
"A wise man once told me that life, like war, is neither right nor wrong. It just is. And rather than worry over a philosophy you can't change, you should just try to live through it as best you can." 
"Human?" Dionysus asked.
Don't I wish.
"God of drunken lunatics?" he shot back at Dionysus.
"Damn, boy," Camulus laughed at Dionysus. "You've fallen a long way down. Yesterday Greek incompetent float driver. Sheez, and I hooked up with you? What was I thinking? Artemis is right, what kind of idiot picks a float to mow a guy down so that he can go home with his dead wife? You're lucky you didn't kill him then, and blow the entire plan."
"Hey, have you ever tried to drive one of those things? It's not exactly easy."
"You dare to stand with the enemy?"
"Against you, Father, I'd stand with Mickey Mouse."
"Every man, woman, and child is capable of extreme and utter prejudice and cruelty when they feel justified in their hatred. Right or wrong. We are all capable of lashing out when we're in pain. No one, not even you or I, is immune to that. As Plato said, be kind to everyone you meet for we are all fighting difficult battles."

     Styxx is one of those rare novels that takes everything you know about a character and turns it completely upside down. The best way I can describe it is a quote from the book (and I wish I could remember the page and exact wording): "There are three sides to every story: yours, theirs, and the truth somewhere in the middle." I thought I had the character of Styxx pegged, but I was so wrong!

     Styxx is born the crown prince of Didymos. His twin brother, Acheron, was shunned from birth by everybody but Styxx and their elder sister, Ryssa, who can't stand Styxx. Acheron's silver eyes was the cause of the hatred, as he was clearly a child of the gods, and proof that their mother had been unfaithful. Of course, there is more to that story, but I'm not going into that drama. Separated at the age of seven, Styxx and Acheron live completely different lives. (If you want to know more about Acheron's saga, and I think you should read it before Styxx, pick up Kenyon's Acheron.)

     After a failed suicide attempt, Styxx comes across a blind fisher woman, Bethany. They build an amazing relationship built upon trust and love, and despite all the evil Styxx has gone through, he finds peace with Bethany. The relationship between this two is absolutely beautiful. Styxx protects Bethany and is faithful only to her - something probably unheard of in Ancient Greece, especially from royalty. It is important to know that she isn't a blind fisherwoman, but the Atlantean and Egyptian goddess Bet'anya. One of the things I really like about Bethany is that she is honest and truthful, which is quite different than the other gods/goddesses we've come across.

     If you haven't read any of the Dark-Hunter novels, the Greek gods - and a couple other Parthenons - play a HUGE role in her novels. They interact with these characters, ruin their lives, fix their lives, so on and so forth. They aren't mystical beings that may or may not exist, they are straight up flesh and blood. More or less.

     The first part of Styxx takes place while he is growing up in Didymos from (roughly) 9548 BC - 9527 BC. Styxx is an amazing character who goes through Hades but doesn't take it out on others. He keeps his inner turmoil inside and doesn't let others show it. It's unfortunate that the reason he does this is because nobody cares. His father excepts him to act like the crown prince that he is (even when he's merely a boy of five) and his sister and mother loathe the very sight of him. Every one accuses him of being spoiled and arrogant, but he's anything but. He looks out for those he cares about and does the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do.

     One of my favorite characters, is Galen. While tough on Styxx in the beginning, they have a turning point in their relationship when Styxx is relatively young. At this point, he sees Styxx's character as it truly is and not what the rumors say. He takes Styxx under his wing and becomes the father Styxx never had. It's an amazing relationship and I love that Galen sticks with, and up for, Styxx. While it is sad that Galen was the only person Styxx could trust, aside from Bethany, I am glad that he was around for him.

     I honestly cannot say enough good things about this book - but this review is long enough already as it is, isn't it? If you're a fan of Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series, this is definitely a novel you cannot skip. If you haven't read any of her novels, you do have the ability to start with this one. Kenyon does an amazing job of refreshing the memory of those who have read her books, which allows newbies to grasp the plot.

    With her amazing writing style (with a nice mixture of profound quotes and great humor), plot progressions, world and character building, Kenyon never fails to disappoint. Her characters are lovable, strong, and truly unique from one another. I haven't come across a single character of hers I haven't loved - villains excluded. There's a reason Kenyon is my favorite author and that I completely fangirled when I first met her.

     If you haven't started this series, I suggest your start with book one, Fantasy Lover. Yes, there are 33 of them (some are novellas), but the way she writes the novels is amazing. With each progression she drops new secrets and hints that are revealed in later books, and that's one of the things I love so much about this series. They can all stand on their own, but read in order create an amazing world with characters you care so deeply about that the injustice that occurs hurts your heart and you want to fight on their side. You squeal when past characters show up in new novels and you wait at your doorstep - or run to the bookstore - on release dates.

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