Retribution (Dark-Hunterverse #20)
This is embedded into a long series of books titled Dark-Hunter. I have not read anything else in the series. Yet it was easy to step into. I didn’t realize it was part of a series until I was part way through the novel. Reading the other novels isn’t necessary to understand the plot. It sets itself up well, establishing the world and concepts in a way that allows the book to stand on its own. I’m giving the book one half star for this.
The narrator, Holter Graham, did a fair job with the voice of this character. But not a new favorite narrator. Nothing that gives it stars or evokes the desire to seek out other novels read by him.
Let’s get into the meat of it, shall we?
The main character, William Jessup Brady is a hired gunslinger, that is until he dies. Finding his true love, he decided to forsake his previous life style and now desires to settle down and become a good man for the woman he loves. Cliche. He is killed by his partner who isn’t interested in leaving the hired killer work behind. Once killed, Jess is returned to life as a Dark-Hunter by a Greek Goddess. He gives up his immortal soul for vengeance on the man who killed him. He then is obligated to protect mortals. Also a cliche plot point. Bleh.
On the up side, Jess is hilarious. I found Jesse weird and fun. It gives the book the second half star. I found myself frequently laughing. The novel is written from his perspective which gives the book quirky character. Unfortunately, I was often laughing because the plot and characters were just that ridiculous.
The other main character is Abigal Yager. She’s raised by vampires and believes that Jess killed her parents. This motivates her to hunt him down. Another classic plot dynamic. She holds the belief that Dark-Hunters are evil and need to be eradicated. She is a force to be reckoned with as she moves through the world hunting and killing Dark-Hunters as she seeks her revenge. She is a arch type character that comes across pretty flat. Then she meets Jess and suddenly becomes the classic female in distress. What happened to all that bad ass power and thirst for vengeance?
Of course, it is Jess’s job to find and terminate the assassin who has been laying waste to the Dark-Hunters. When he finds Abigail, he discovers that she looks like the woman he loved in his mortal life and left at the altar upon his death. Then the plot moves into another cliche direction in that they now have to work together to defeat dark powers that threaten to destroy the world.
One of the many issues I have with the novel is the way that it handles the many races in this world. The Dark-Hunters seem to be vampires themselves, but the novel never makes it clear how they aren’t. There is no clear division made between them. Then there is the demon race that engages with the human race in the usual manner; slaughtering for no reason and devouring the corpses. Abigail is some weird experiment that fuses her with either demon or vampire essence, I was left being unsure of the nature and origins of her power.
Abigail tries unsuccessfully to kill Jess and he kidnaps her to get info on the Dark Hunters she has killed. Then they fall in love. They are spouting “I love you’s” within 48 hours. Insta-love is always unbelievable, and sometimes I will even excuse it, but in this case – no way. Abigail beheaded Jesse’s close friend the same night she tried to kill him. And, then he falls for her within hours? No. Not okay. It’s stupid. Then insert the completely unnecessary sex scene that is horridly written and takes place while they are under attack with no apparent escape with the potential of being killed at any moment. Yeah… right. Because who wouldn’t want to bang the woman who killed your best friend and started the Apocalypse.
The book is corny as hell, which I found funny most of the time. But when the romance entered the book the corniness exploded in a way that completely destroyed the initial charm. The quoting of proverbs and the robbing of general cultural tales got to be too much. Pick your foundation and stay with it. Straying all around made the novel loose focus and felt like a hodge podge of snippets. There was Plato, Confucius, and a bunch of Native American sayings. Oh, and of course, Nietzche. Who can resist pulling from Nietzche? It was distracting.
So, don’t read the book. I don’t know how the rest of the books in the series are, but this one left me no desire to explore further. It really was terrible. The novel is so bad that it really isn’t worth effort of writing a review. Can I just delete this experience and replace it with a book that was worth my time?