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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Spoiler-filled review ahead...

Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Dark Side of the Moon@Amazon

Ravyn is having a bad day. This Dark-Hunter and Arcadian Were-Hunter Leopard guy has been captured in kitty cat form and locked in a cage in a Seattle animal shelter, totally vulnerable. Disgraced investigative reporter Susan is having a bad day too. Humiliated to be working at a cheesy tabloid called the Daily Inquisitor (wasn't that Dorian's newpaper on One Life to Live?), she has been summoned by her friends to an animal shelter, where her allergies kick in right away. Her friends are behaving very strangely, and send her away with a big cat who makes her sneeze. When the cat turns into a rilly, rilly hot guy in her living room, things
can only be heading downhill from there. Soon Susan and Ravyn are up to their necks in weird doings, vicious Daimon killers, corrupt policemen and hot sex.

Okay, enough synopsis. I remember the days when a new SK release meant a immediate trip to the bookstore. I would read and read and read and not be interested in talking to anyone until the book was done. Sadly, this no longer seems to be the case. DSOTM is another disappointment from Sherrilyn Kenyon. Now let's be honest, it's not as though Kenyon is William Faulkner. She is often guilty of broad characterization and sloppy writing. Her book balanced the fine line between total cheese and escapist adventure. But I felt she did it so well. I can forgive a multitude of sins for a totally involving world and a compelling love story. But between Sins of the Night, Unleash the Night, and now this book, SK appears to be losing sight of what made her books so much fun: the interesting world she built and the hot love story. I'm just warning you now, the rest of this review will be filled with spoilers as I explain just what made this book so disappointing.

First of all, the heroine, Susan, is hella annoying. Her main trait appears to be her sarcastic sense of humor, and all I can say is, "Shut up, already." Her dialogue consists of such witticisms as "You know, I would bring you up on sexual harassment charges, but that would imply that you have actually had sex in your lifetime...(p.5)" [which, huh, I don't get it], or, "Oh gee, golly, goodie Mr. Leo! Can I have my eyes gouged out too (p. 70)", or,"I'm the one who should be having a hissy...(p.263)" It's nothing but juvenile comebacks with this one, which make it hard to care what happens to her. The hero, Ravyn, while not annoying, was merely generic Dark-Hunter. Betrayed by lover, and then by family, he's really tough and has not felt close to anyone for years, until Susan and her big mouth start his cold heart beating again. Nothing particularly new or interesting there.

Even more problematic, I felt that (much like Sins of the Night), their love story took a back seat to advancing Acheron's (the leader of the Dark-Hunters) story arc. Some major conflict was set up between Ash, Nick Gauthier and Stryker, the leader of the Daimons. Their parts of the book were more interesting. And boy, Nick's character was assassinated. Talk about a whiny bitch! At one point I laughed my ass off when he accused Acheron of being responsible for the destruction of New Orleans because he didn't call off Katrina. Only in a paramormal romance folks! Conveniently, there are two books about Ash coming out next year.

Kenyon spent the first five or six books of the series building her fictional world, and has spent the last three books playing fast and loose with the rules of she created. I ignored it before, but it's getting jarring. All you have to do to become a squire, apparently, is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. So much for secrecy. And forget about the big ol' rule about Dark Hunters getting involved. Now they can get married to humans or Apollites or anybody, and screw that silly getting their soul back issue, such a big deal in the other books. I have a feeling that Kenyon had to end the book and was just like oh well, he doesn't really need a soul anyway. At least they had the "mating mark", unlike in Unleash the Night.

Other things that bugged: there was one scene where all the Dark-Hunters are trapped together and attacked by Daimons. If you are not a reader of this series, I'll just let you know that when Dark-Hunters get together, their powers begin to drain. So they're all in a circle, getting converged upon. And the Japanese one's got his nunchakus, and the African one's got a gold chain (???) and the Wild West outlaw's got her bullwhip...and no one's got a fucking gun. Geezus kee-rist, that might even the odds a bit. Just take'em all out. I don't how I never noticed that before. I also have to mention the following sentence: "As far back as she could remember, Jimmy had kept anal notes in his journal (p.143)" Am I crazy, or is this a weird sentence? I stopped and was like, "Notes about anal sex? Notes from his anus? Oh, she means he was anal-retentive about keeping his journal." No? Maybe it's just me then.

This book was hard to finish. Only my obsessive need to be complete about things kept me reading. And I haven't given up on SK yet. She's got two novellas coming out later this year, and then the Ash books. I'm stubborn like that. I can ride on the enjoyment I got from her past books for a long time. I will continue not to buy them, though. That was one thing I'm thankful for, that I didn't spend 20 bucks.

8 comments:

Holly said...

AMEN! You said all the things I was thinking and feeling whilst reading this rather pathetic addition to the DH's.

I think the thing that bothers me the most about the direction her series is headed is her refusal to stick to the rules SHE created. I understand that these books aren't based in reality. But if you're going to create a world, then you have to follow the rules you set for that world as well, right? Well, SK hasn't done that. I also hate that she's changing the core of characters we've known since the beginning.

Yes, Nick is pissed about the whole deal with Ash, but he's just acting like a whiny little kid, IMO. WTF?

Basically, I'm with you..I'm so glad I borrowed this book, rather than spending my hard earned money on it.

Very good review, I really like thos blog! ;)

Mailyn said...

If you are not a reader of this series, I'll just let you know that when Dark-Hunters get together, their powers begin to drain. So they're all in a circle, getting converged upon. And the Japanese one's got his nunchakus, and the African one's got a gold chain (???) and the Wild West outlaw's got her bullwhip...and no one's got a fucking gun. Geezus kee-rist, that might even the odds a bit. Just take'em all out. I don't how I never noticed that before. I also have to mention the following sentence: "As far back as she could remember, Jimmy had kept anal notes in his journal (p.143)" Am I crazy, or is this a weird sentence? I stopped and was like, "Notes about anal sex? Notes from his anus? Oh, she means he was anal-retentive about keeping his journal." No? Maybe it's just me


LMAO!!! Dude I like your style, I have to visit more often. I was actually LOL at work! Priceless.

Devon said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I will remain optimistic that these books will get better. I really think that Kenyon needs to cut back on her schedule. She's got like, what, 5 series going on? This book, in particular felt kinda slapdash to me, particularly the ending. It really confirmed that the 'romance' was secondary to the Nick/Ash doings.

Holly said...

Yep, I totally agree with that! She really needs to slow down and pay more attention. Because the way things are going now, I may not even read the next books in the series.

Kristie (J) said...

What you've pointed out bothers me too. She seems to have forgotten what this series is supposed to be about in her rush to get more of them out. I totally lost interest in them a few books back and when I see the first ones in my pile I kind of sigh at what was.

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Nikki said...

I totally agree with you. This book was her last chance for me. I don't think I will read any Dark-Hunters to come. She has let me down so much that this was the third strike. She's out!

Anonymous said...

As a huge fan of SK I have to agree,Dark Side of the Moon ,was one of her bad novels i have read, but every author has to have a bump on theroad,and I would say Dark Side of the Moon and Sins of the Night was just bringing the entire series down hill .