Friday, October 18, 2013

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #24)

Styxx (Dark-Hunter #24)

Published September 3rd 2013 by St. Martin's Press
Purchase at: 

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?

Ever since I found out about Styxx last year, I'd been dying to get my hands on it. Why, you ask? Well, because while I was a complete mess reading Acheron and absolutely despised Styxx and his father, I was curious on how Sherrilyn Kenyon could possibly make me change my mind about that asshole. Seriously, he did despicable things to Acheron, playing a big role on making his life miserable. Boy, was I wrong. 
If possible, Styxx was even worse. Or better. Whatever floats your boat. In my opinion it was way more brutal and graphic than Acheron had been. But I could be wrong it's been a while since I read it. Nevertheless, I assure you that within a few pages you will be tearing up, and it just gets worse from there, I assure you. You see, I bought this book at a bookstore during a school field trip and managed to freak out at least three of my friends with how emotional I was getting over the book. Seriously, no kidding. 
But, see, that's what I love about Sherrilyn Kenyon. She's a great woman with such vivid imagination that when she creates characters I think of it as creating another human being. So far most of her characters have felt so real to me, which is why Styxx got to me so much. It's really impossible to put the book down. 
Styxx starts during the twins' childhood just like Acheron and ends somewhere this year, but with a whole lot of added scenes in which you get to see the reality of Styxx's life, his innermost thoughts and everything he went through as a child and young man. I'm telling you, neither of them had it easy because as you may or may not know, they were separated at the age of seven and led completely different lives. VERY different. 
You come to realize that, unlike what we saw in Acheron, (if you've read the book, which I absolutely recommend) Styxx was far from a pampered Prince that was loved and cherished. Gods, that was far from the truth. Everyone misjudged him, betrayed him and never, ever showed him any kindness. His parents hated him, contrary to what Acheron and Ryssa thought. Styxx went through Hades a million times, suffering the worst of the worst. That is until he met Beth. 
Bethany was actually one of my favorite characters in the entire book. She saw Styxx for what he really was, a bashful, strong young man with an immense capability of love and loyalty... if only people let him in. Their relationship was truly beautiful, and it was very touching to see Styxx give her every part of him. Hell, he was even faithful, something which most men in the book weren't. Now, my second favorite was Galen, Styxx' mentor who trained him for battle. Even though they had a very rough relationship at the beginning, the old man eventually saw Styxx, the real him and came to see him as a son. This was also one of the things that tore at my heart, the way Styxx interacted with this man and how much he came to love and depend on him as if he was his real father. I could never thank him enough to helping Styxx and sticking to his side through everything. In a world where Styxx had to look over his shoulder all the time or suffer the consequences, which could have come from either Ryssa or his own mother due to the fact that they loathed him to the point of wanting him dead, he needed each and every one of his allies-- the few he had. 
But let's not turn this review into a dissertation or anything (which I could totally do, btw, because I don't get tired of talking about it), so let me finish this with telling you that you MUST read this book asap. Or if you're new to the amazing Dark-Hunter series, start with Fantasy Love. I believe there are about 23 books in the series if I'm not mistaken, but believe me when I tell you it's totally worth it. One of the best things about this series is that, if you want, you could read each book as a stand alone but I recommend you actually start from the beginning and work your way up. Kenyon is a master at world building and creating characters that you come to love/hate with how real, strong and unique each of them are--yes, that includes the villains and even the fickle gods. With every book, every new piece of information revealed about any character you come to know them even more, and either love them or hate them. However, things aren't by any means black and white. If you get anything out of this story should be this, and Acheron's advice that "there are three sides to every story: yours, theirs, and the truth somewhere in the middle." (I might have completely butchered it but I believe that's something close to what the books says.)
So, don't be ashamed of any squealing that happens as you read the book and hear about a past character, it's totally normal. ;) And if you're a Dark-Hunter veteran, what are you waiting for? There ain't no time to waste, people! As Simi would say, you 'quality people' should get your hands on this book, but don't forget the Kleenex, because I guarantee you will shed tears. C'mon, cry me a river! 

Sexual content, because I feel like this should be taken into account for those of you new to this, is graphic sex. Also, probably torture. 
Rating: 5.0

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