“Night Pleasures” #1 of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Series: Serving Us Vampiric Romance Fit For The Gods

Let me begin by saying that I chose this book as a Nook download for two reasons, originally:

1) It was “suggested” to my by B&N’s smarty-pants purchase system (e.g. I buy a lot of fantasy/horror/mystery/romance), and

2) It was heavily discounted at $2.99…and I always have good luck with B&N’s cheapies!

I have to add that what put me over-the-top were the extensive and very positive reviews..reader reviews, of course.

And I am happy to report that I was dully rewarded for my risk as this novel was a great change of pace.

This is the first of an established series with multiple offshoots all based on Greek and Roman mythology. In fact, the author is widely celebrated as a cult-celebrity and attends Comic-Con regularly. The series has been reincarnated as manga, a medium that seems to capture the visual-style of the writer’s intensity and eroticism perfectly.

Upon closer inspection (including the voluminous fan-sites peppering the internet), I would say her fan-base reflects a kind of Anne Rice-ish flare: edgy, emo, with more than a hint of the erotic. A fun group I am sure, I must get to Comic-Con this YEAR!

The main characters in the books change but are all a part of a secret society of Immortal-God-Vampires sworn to protect humans from Daimons and Apollites (essentially real Vamps). I believe that Kenyon herself says it best in this poetic account of Dark-Hunter mystique:

We are Darkness. We are Shadow. 

We are the Rulers of the Night. 

We, alone, stand between mankind and those who would see mankind destroyed. We are the Guardians. 

The Soulless Keepers. 

Our souls were cast out so that we would not forewarn the Daimons we pursue. By the time they see us coming, it’s too late. 

The Daimons and Apollites know us. They fear us. We are death to all those who prey upon the humans. 

Neither Human, nor Apollite, we exist beyond the realm of the Living, beyond the realm of the Dead. 

We are the Dark-Hunters. 

And we are eternal.  (From the Author’s website: 

http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com )

This book moves the horror/vampire genre to new heights by adding some fairly intense and extremely visual lovemaking passages that honestly had me fantasizing that I would get my own Greek God Dark-Hunter to come and ravage me…as my hands lingered across my…well you see where I’m going here, THE SEX IN THIS BOOK IS HOT!

Right then, he wanted to possess her with a ferocity that overwhelmed him. It was primitive and all-consuming. And all he could think of was Amanda. Her blood pounded in his ears. Shaking from the force of it, he closed his eyes and took her into his mouth to taste the sweetness of her body that he craved most. Amanda moaned at the feel of his tongue inside her. Burying his hands in her hair, she lifted her hips to him. He was so wild as he tasted her. So ferocious and thorough that she hissed at the incredible feel of him making love to her with his mouth. (Night Pleasures, Kenyon p. 169)

Additionally character development is solid, you care, you want the protagonists to overcome the many obstacles the many antagonists throw their way. If there is a criticism about the book it is the writing itself. It feels overly simplistic and almost stunted at times. When Kenyon is describing a scene she flows nicely, however here and there a piece of dialog can sound canned or rote and unnatural. However, this is the first book in a series of MANY and so it’s quite possible she just hadn’t found her voice in this initial piece.

Overall, Night Pleasures represents an entertaining, imaginative, and solid novel in the horror/romance genre, I highly recommend indulging in its sensual depths and god-like ghouls…and promise that…you will be screaming for more!

xxx c.

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