Having been tricked into believing that Acheron is really a Daimon, a group of Dark-Hunters in Mississippi has gone rogue. Ash has every intention of judging and meting out punishment upon the instigators before things get out of hand, but when his second-in-command, Alexion, gets wind that an old friend is the ringleader of this treacherous band, he requests a chance to try to save those involved by convincing them to reject the lies. Ash grants Alexion's petition and sends him to Dangereuse St. Richard, a female Dark-Hunter, who happens to be friends with all of the traitors.
Danger doesn't want to believe what her comrades are saying about Ash, but they've presented some very compelling evidence. When Alexion shows up at her house, she recognizes him for what he is and is none to happy about his presence. It doesn't take long for Alexion to convince her of Ash's true nature and that he is really there to save her and her friends who are in mortal peril. The two of them set out on a quest to get her friends to believe the same, but a dark force even stronger then Alexion is behind the plot and is killing Dark-Hunters. That enemy will stop at nothing short of ending both Danger's and Alexion's lives just as their love for one another is beginning to blossom.
Sins of the Night definitely had the potential to be a really good book, but in my opinion, it simply didn't live up to the promise. I've had a kind of up and down relationship with the Dark-Hunter series, but for the most part, either the main love story catches my attention, or if not, there is usually some significant advancement to the overall series story arc which keeps me on the edge of my seat. In this case, I couldn't help feeling that Sins of the Night was something of a throw-away book, because in my opinion, it didn't really do much of either.
Alexion and Danger were both likable enough characters, but I still had a hard time mustering up much enthusiasm for them or their relationship. I think this may have been due to a lack of character development as I didn't feel like I got to know them very well at all. Readers are told the general backstory of their lives and the events which led to where they are currently, but it felt like little more than a narrative that was nearly as "soulless" as the protagonists. When I realized Alexion's true identity and that I had met and liked him in a previous novella, I was rather excited, but my enthusiasm died pretty quickly when I realized that this new beginning for him seemed to hold little meaning. I did feel rather badly for Alexion living without the benefit of human touch for several millennia, only interacting with them every few centuries when there was a Dark-Hunter uprising, and for his cruel betrayal in the past. I also felt for Danger having been sold out by her husband in her human life. However, my feelings just didn't go as deep as I thought they could have if the story had been written differently. I also just couldn't seem to bring myself to buy into them falling in love so quickly. For the most part their attraction seemed to be purely physical, only there to make the love scenes "fit in" later on, and lacked true sexual tension. When the author occasionally tried to put a bit more emotion into a scene, it helped a little, but I still didn't feel an intense love connection between them like I have with some of the other couples in the series. I also couldn't understand how two characters who had been so horribly betrayed in their former lives could come to love and trust each other so quickly and easily. It just didn't make sense to me.
Shockingly, there weren't a lot of secondary characters in this book, and those who were present primarily inhabited the periphery. Normally, I don't like the plethora of supporting players that Ms. Kenyon always seems to fast and furiously throw at the reader, but in this case the lack of them seemed to be a detriment to the main characters. They didn't really have anyone else to play off of besides each other which led to too much dialog and sadly had them resorting to talking to themselves as well. The characters who did put in an appearance from previous stories were Acheron, the Dark-Hunter leader, and his demon companion, Simi, who are in nearly every story; Stryker, the evil god who has an axe to grind with the Dark-Hunters and who I'm still having a hard time figuring how he'll ever be redeemed for his own book (One Silent Night); and Kyros and Ias who were two of the original Dark-Hunters. Those readers like myself who are religiously following the series in order will recognize that they were first introduced in the short story, The Beginning. There were two new characters introduced who I suspect may have an impact on future stories, Savitar, a god who is something of a mentor to Ash, and Xirena, a Charonte demon with ties to Simi.
Overall, Sins of the Night just didn't hold my attention very well, and I found my mind wandering frequently. Especially during the first two-thirds or so of the book, there is a whole lot of talking but not much action. During these periods of interminably long discourses, there weren't enough details of facial expressions or gestures to draw me into Alexion and Danger's exchanges and some of the dialog was, in my opinion, rather juvenile. I felt the narrative in general was too simplistic with the plot being too convoluted. The majority of the book was written in "be" verbs which means lots of telling and not nearly enough showing, a mistake I might expect from a novice, but not a seasoned writer like Ms. Kenyon. I found a number of continuity errors, or at the very least, things that were confusing and could have been better explained. As has been the case with some of the author's previous books, there are several things which occur a bit too conveniently, and in this case, I felt like it was glaringly obvious that she was sloppily trying to make certain plot points work rather than putting more thought into them. If nothing else, I can usually count on Sherrilyn Kenyon for some scorching and emotional love scenes, but even those were lackluster for me. First, I just couldn't seem to invest myself in two people who were hopping into bed together after only 24 hours, when Danger had been resistant to the idea right from the start and then suddenly changed her mind with little explanation. Secondly, the scenes were lacking in details and over almost before they got started. Unfortunately, it felt like Ms. Kenyon rushed through the writing of this book and consequently, in my opinion, it was definitely not one of her better efforts in the Dark-Hunter series. That is regrettable, because after finding out Alexion's identity, I felt like he deserved a much better story. I'm giving Sins of the Night three stars because I liked Alexion and Danger even if I did feel they were underdeveloped, and I also still felt that with the couple of new tidbits being added, it was a worthwhile read for fans of the series. It just simply won't be a memorable one for me.
Sins of the Night is book #7 in the Dark-Hunter series. There are currently a total of 19 full-length novels in the Dark-Hunter series and quite a number of related novellas and graphic novels as well, with more still to come. A complete list of all the books and their recommended reading order can be found on Sherrilyn Kenyon's website.
Note: Ms. Kenyon changed the ordering and organization of her Dark-Hunter series twice in 2009. We will endeavor to keep up with any future changes as well, but readers are advised to check her website for the most up-to-date information on the series.
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