Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Format(s): Hardcover, 343 pgs; e-book
From the author’s website:
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.
What I’m talking about:
I adore Ms. Kenyon’s Dark Hunter Series. The mythology is extremely interesting and complex. So if you haven’t read any of the earlier books, you may find yourself a bit lost with the terms, abilities, etc. Be warned, if you haven’t read the series, this book (and review) contains spoilers from the previous books.
No Mercy picks up a few months after the end of the previous book, Bad Moon Rising. The Peltier family (a pack of bear shifters) is trying to run their family bar, Sanctuary, after the deaths of their parents. With this story, we learn that brother, Dev, isn’t sure he wants to stay around and thinks about getting a fresh start away from his siblings.
When Dark Huntress, Sam, rides her motorcycle to Sanctuary and into Dev’s heart and mind, she doesn’t expect to enjoy the peace and comfort only he can give her. The two quickly take advantage of their mutual attraction and engage in a hot, steamy one-night stand. Yet neither can shake their desire, and the attraction quickly grows into something more.
The story line focuses primary on Sam and Dev’s relationship; however, evil Daimon lord, Stryker, wants Sam for his own nefarious plans. This gives the couple plenty of opportunities to explore and analyze their mutual attraction. Their love is forbidden, and we are reminded that they “can’t be together” often. The plot involves one-time friend, turned baddie (maybe?), Nick Gautier. We start to learn more about what is happening to Nick, and it was nice to see the tie-ins with Ms. Kenyon’s spin-off YA series, The Nick Chronicles. (For a review of the first book from that series, go HERE.)
I blew through the front half of this book. Ms. Kenyon’s writing and this series are like candy for me. It was easy to read and didn’t contain the complexities that the more recent Dark Hunter books have held. The plot moved quickly and it was enjoyable. But I did find that Ms. Kenyon relied on plot twists and storylines that are almost a bit cliche.
MINOR SPOILER ALERT:
An example of this “cliche story telling” is what brings Sam and Dev together… Her Dark Hunter power is that she can read emotions and history of people by touch – that extends to touching any object that has been touched by any individual. She goes through her existence plagued by the “voices” and images of all those around her. Yet, when she touches Dev, she gets nothing but silence. This is peaceful for Sam. I don’t know about you, but I saw that coming as soon as we found out Sam’s power. I felt like “been there – done that” a few times through the book.
END SPOILER ALERT.
The second half of the book is full of old friends (we see some Dark Hunters and other figures from earlier books) and high adventure. Sam and Dev have multiple challenges to her life, to his life, etc. that they have to get through in order to be together. We watch them fall in love through it all, yet they still feel like they can’t be together. We get the standard “break up scene” – you know the one where one of the parties lies and says that they cannot be together and it was all just fun… again, it’s a “been there – done that” moment.
I think my issues can all be tied to the fact that I have set the bar high for Ms. Kenyon and this series, and in my mind, this book just didn’t stand up to many of the other Dark Hunter stories. Overall this book is good and fun to read. I liked Dev and Sam and even with their cliches. I enjoyed reading more about Nick and many of the other Dark Hunter favorites. I do encourage first time readers to go back and start at the beginning so you get the full impact of this wonderful series. (for the series reading order, click HERE).
3.5: Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)