I’ve been reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series only since about “Night Play” or “Seize the Night.” I got hooked immediately. Greek mythology has always been a favorite of mine.
With Retribution, the series went on shaky ground. Not being as interested in mythology from the Americas or tales of the “Wild West”, I was at a bit of a disadvantage.
In Time Untime, we get into the whole Mayan calendar and 2012 apocalypse thing that simply annoys the crap out of me. Big disadvantage!
The first 3/4 of the book was classic Kenyon, very formulaic and not in a bad way. I semi-enjoyed that 3/4. Because Kenyon has moved from Greek mythology to Mayan, there was a lot of explanation necessary. And I do mean A LOT. Much of the explanation was slow, tedious, however necessary, and the story suffers for it. I understand that lengthy storytelling is a tradition in the Americas. I’m Irish and we have the Seanachaí tradition. But dear lord, have mercy! The book is written for the modern reader. Simplify. Edit.
Several of the previous Dark Hunters made cameo appearances. It was nice to have visits from “old friends,” but the visits were far too brief, making most feel gratuitous. The worst of these was Acheron. Ash is a favorite and as leader of the Dark Hunters, an appearance should never feel like it was a “oh, I’ve gotta throw him in here somewhere” moment.
On the other hand, the last 1/4 of the book felt both rushed and interminable. The impression is that the seals are weakening, the Guardians are under siege and all Hell is coming through the Gates. Because the seals are not yet broken, it isn’t a tsunami, but it is certainly high tide. Yet there is one small battle that we see and no real mention of anything else going on anywhere. There were several hints of a couple other Dark Hunters stationed in other areas, but aside from the blood-red rain and storm in New Orleans, not much was said. Hello! The Apocalypse! It’s the end of the world. That’s supposed to involve the entire world, not just the Vegas area. Yes, one of the main characters is the one who resets time so the focus is on her. But there is still more of the world than Vegas.
Acheron basically says, “I can’t be there because it’s a different pantheon. And beside, I’ve got other places to be. See ya.” Then a little later, his excuse for being there is, “Your brother should have moved a few feet to the left.” Ok, that’s just a bit of an exaggeration. My problem with that is, didn’t he know that before? Then why couldn’t he be there?
There is about a three page scene with the goddess responsible for unwinding time. She’s “untime.” If she’s part of the title, why does she get such short shrift? It would have made more sense to leave her out. The “untime” could have been the apocalypse. But at least she gave Acheron something to do for a minute.
One scene I did enjoy is the one between Ash and Nick. That was a bit too short because it was unresolved. It’s ok that there was no resolution, and had I been the editor, I wouldn’t have allowed the scene to be longer. As a reader, I would have liked more of the two together.
I found the battle scene to be long and deadly dull. The length would have been fine if there were battles in various locations. However for one, b-o-r-i-n-g! The other side of that is the ending seemed rushed. I think it’s because of the cameos. As I said, the cameos felt gratuitous, which in turn, made the story feel disproportionate. Either cut the number of participants or weave them into the story with a purpose in mind. Otherwise, it makes for a long lead in and a rushed ending. It gave me whiplash.
It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but it also isn’t one of Kenyon’s best. 3 stars is all I can give.