cross-posted from On a Pale Star: A Book Blog for Speculative Fiction
The blurb, from Goodreads:
Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before.
Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date.
The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.
I do love how, even though there’s an obvious formula in the Dark Hunters series, it works each time. I get a little bored when I read them back-to-back, but when it’s been months between readings, as it had been for me before picking No Mercy up off my nightstand, it’s refreshing to know that the good guys will get their happily ever after, or at least their happy-for-right-now. It’s also refreshing to pickup a volume this size and read it in one sitting.
More and more, this series is feeling like a cozy comforter; something wonderful to curl with on a snuggly evening. The basic formula is unchanging, but the evolution of the wider plot line keeps me coming back for more. I keep wondering just what the hell is going to happen to the repeat characters I’ve fallen in love with–Acheron, Nick, the Peltier and Kattalakis clans–because I know with all the crazy going on life isn’t going to be easy for them.
No Mercy focuses on Dev Peltier, one of the Peltiers’ identical quads, and on the Dark Hunter Samia, a former Amazon queen, and as such one of Artemis’ favorites. She’s also one of the Dark Hunters known as the Dogs of War–who are described as being just a few steps shy of berzerkers and vicious fighters, even among the Dark Hunters.
This is a romance, so Dev is a man’s man and has no hope of love for himself, and Sam is deeply wounded by the betrayal that made her a Dark Hunter, and at the mercy of the powers she gained when she sold her soul to Artemis, so neither of them are looking for love, cuddles, or sparkly rainbows. Nonetheless they get thrown together by the craziness that seems to swirl around New Orleans and Acheron’s soldiers.
I like, really, really like, Samia. The last time I remember a female Dark Hunter being the focus of the series was Danger, and I never really identified with her–I think hers is the one book of the series I never finished–so I wondered if I’d be turned off by another story focused on one. My fears were unfounded. Sam kicks ass and is just three dimensional enough to be believable while still fitting neatly into the expectations that come with this genre.
Dev has been, until this point, a mostly ancillary character in the enormous supporting cast of the world Kenyon has created. Nonetheless, I’ve had a sort of fictional crush on him for a while now. How could I not be fond of a hunkalicious bar bouncer who drips with sarcasm whenever he graces a page? So I was prepped to be fond of him, and diving deeper into his character only reinforced that fondness.
I like the characters, but really what I enjoyed was the larger plot-building. We see Nick, and we see how his spin-off YA series, the Chronicles of Nick, is intersecting with this main story line, and we get glimpses of how the big players (such as the PITAs known as the Moirae) are operating and pulling strings. I can’t help but wonder how these larger plotty bits unfold in Retribution, which is the next book in the series and came out earlier this year.
So yes, another solid installment in the series. If I’m not mistaken, this is book 19 in the Dark Hunters series. It reads like Sherrilyn Kenyon has tons of story left to tell, as far as the larger plot, and I have to wonder how she manages to keep all this straight in her head. She has a huge cast of characters and story arcs that cross several books at a time–and not all in a linear fashion. Whatever she has planned, I’m along for the ride!