Review of DEVIL MAY CRY by Sherrilyn Kenyon (see her website)
A DARK-HUNTERR NOVEL
St. Martin's Press, August 2007
Ex-god Sin hates Artemis--he hates her a lot. After eleven thousand years, he spends most of his time thinking about how he'd still like to kill her. So, it's only natural that he want to kill Artemis's daughter, Katra Agrotera, AKA Kat. There's this pesky detail of the world ending soon with the escape of a group of demons fellow members of Sin's Asyrian pantheon locked up eons earlier, but getting revenge on Artemis would come first.
Dark hunter leader Acheron Parthenopaeus (AKA Ach) hates Artemis, too. Boy would he like to kill her--except he's also in love with her and killing her would result in his own death. Still, it bugs him that Artemis orders him around all the time. Hate, Hate, Hate.
Kat thinks of herself as a clever sarcastic person but she acts pretty juvenile--you'd think eleven thousand years or so and she'd grow up a bit. When she meets Sin, she is initially turned off--after all, he doesn't seem to care about people, employs demons, and her mother accused him of rape. But his hot (scarred) body turns her on and he does deny the rape charge. So, time to give up her eleven-thousand years of virginity and engage in some hot sex. Not to mention working with him to save the world--when Sin isn't being all protective.
There really is the core of a great story here, along with some intriguing world-building. I enjoy the way the various pantheons mingle and battle with one another. Author Sherrilyn Kenyon (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy/paranormal romance by Kenyon) writes hot love scenes and her action scenes aren't bad either. Unfortunately for DEVIL MAY CRY, there are too few of those action scenes and too much time spent with Sin obsessing about all the betrayals in his live (once in eleven thousand years--oh the pity). When interesting things do happen (like Kat being transformed into a form of vampire--which really could have been the basis for an incedible conflict) they seem to get lost.
Kenyon is a talented author and I've enjoyed other novels by her. The writing in DEVIL MAY CRY is capable and compelling enough that I finished the novel. Although this one has its moments--and definitely picks up toward the end when the fighting actually starts--it also had its problems. For me, the joke of the Valley-girl-talking demons and the 'everyone hates Artemis' choir got real old long before the book ran out. Characters incapable of holding more than one emotion and the frequency in which the fast-coming end of the world is simply forgotten, make it hard to really form any attachment to the story. As Artemis says, so what if the world ends--the gods can create more people. Because I didn't feel like this was my world, wasn't brought into it, I didn't much care whether Sin and Kat won or lost. Too bad because there is some cool stuff here that Kenyon could have run with.
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