Kenyon, Sherrilyn. No Mercy. New York: St. Martin's, 2010. Hardcover. +352 pages. $24.99
I hate it when I feel like I need to start out a review with a disclaimer. But here I am doing so once again.
I really like Sherrilyn Kenyon. I've been reading her Dark-Hunters series for years. I've met her once, and she's a really, really nice person - trust me, it takes a really nice person to deal with her crazy fans. At a small bookstore far enough outside Nashville to no longer be in the metro area, there were some insane women complete with fangs lined up. She's also the author of the Writer's Digest Guide to Character Names, which is an amazingly useful tool.
But this story? Well, I think I've read it before.
Samia is an Amazon who was gifted with psychometry as a Dark-Hunter power. Dev Peltier is a Werebear, who just happens to appear completely blank to Sam. Stryker is after Sam so she can tell him what Apollo's weakness is (intending to kill Apollo, who is his father). There's a chase for Hippolyta's girdle (no joke), which, of course, they find, and all involved kick ass. Except there's a new problem which will probably show up in future books that has to do with the fact that Daimons can now walk in sunlight, which they couldn't do before.
Anyway. To the "I've read this before" point.
This remind anyone just a wee bit of, well, our other favorite vampiresque series? The one written by that other really nice Southern lady and also set in and around New Orleans? The one with the telepathic girl who has problems with relationships until she hooks up with the vampires who she can't hear telepathically? You know, Sookie Stackhouse?
I am not accusing Kenyon of plagiarism here. But I am wondering just a little if perhaps she's beginning to stretch the Dark-Hunter series further than it can keep going. She's got a compelling overarching storyline that keeps getting more and more interesting (and is there going to be an apocalyptic ending one of these days to this series). But she's got to inject something new into it, because it's starting to get old.
I think that's what she's trying to do with Retribution, the newest novel which has just been released. According to reviews, it's bringing in the Native American pantheon (hey, if you've got the Greek gods and the Atalantean gods, why not Native American gods?). The reviews have also not been stellar on Amazon, but people don't do well with change. I'll be interested to see if it does any better.
There was one more strike against No Mercy for me, and please keep in mind that I was reading it last night, completely and utterly exhausted from trying to get our house ready to be shown to a potential buyer (who I really hopes buys the duplex, because he would like for us to continue to rent if he chooses to invest in the property), so the fact that I noticed this at all is incredible in and of itself. Whoever was doing the copy editing for the hardcover edition seriously dropped the ball. There were so many typographical errors that it was almost dizzying, and they were the kind of simple errors that I try to teach my freshman to look for--were instead of where, your instead of you're (or the other way around), and most egregiously, confusion of there, their, and they're.
Guys. I read fiction to escape the humdrum proofreading of my daily life. Don't make me do it on my time off too.
No Mercy - C-