Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sherrilyn Kenyon - Styxx

Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute
destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.
As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.
The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now. She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her.
But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer.
Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it's your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?

Comment: This book was released, I received it and honestly I just let time pass because I wasn't sure I wanted to read it even despite the good opinions of people I know who are fans. I guess I just wasn't in the mood, although this series was one of my addictions in the past. I think that, as it happens with so many others, too much time between books in this series aren't good for one's focus and continuous dedication. I still like the series but I do feel a decrease in eagerness which didn't happen when I could read a book every month like it was when I first met and read the series. Now the direction it took along with the time in between made me rather aside from the feel of the series. I suppose many fans are in this stage as well, no matter how much they still enjoy the books.

This is the story of Styxx, the twin brother of Acheron. The two brothers have lived many years and each one always thought the other had the better life until the present where they leaned the truth behind each of their existences. During their long lives they had challenges and so many obstacles and tragedies happening to them, and with this book we see things from Styxx's perspective and at last, his chance to be happy and in peace.

Many people have read this book and said is is brilliant. Others say it's full of so many awful things it's impossible to enjoy. As always, taste is personal and it is the way each person sees the same things. This is exactly the lesson to learn in this book (and Acheron's), the reality is we don't get to see everything, we see things through our own eyes and we think we might know what is happening in the other's side of things. Styxx has an idea things might not be well in the lives of those around him but t times he also is powerless to change that and he has his own feelings to deal with. I can't fault him foe not saving this one or by not choosing a different path to that... I felt angry and many times sad over the things I was reading. The author certainly has a man streak by making the characters suffer through so much. But in the end all ends well and with a happier note so things not so good can be put aside.

The structure of this book is the same as in Acheron. The story is divided in two parts, the before and the nowadays. Of course, if you read Acheron you know the first part is full of tragedies, injustice, horrible pieces of a life unfair. Truly, do expect the same here, probably worse because you already know some of the unsaid and unmentioned things.
The second part is the the present, where the current action of the series is taking place. Obviously this part is the one to look for, because it's where the fans have their interest and expectations.
Still, I was overall happy with the story. But really, the past part didn't have to be so long, in almost 900 pages, 600 were horrible past happenings, so many tears and unfairness...really had to digest.
Then the present, which should be the confirmation of a much needed happiness happens, once more, in stages. The author takes Styxx from year to year through things we've seen in other books but this time from his POV until the time action finally reaches the exact date where the series is.

Honestly, it wasn't as wonderful as that, despite the fact we learn interesting new tidbits about what is happening. We see characters and clues that will certainly matter in the future.
I just can't help repeating how annoying it is for the author to take so long to develop things...she spends way too much time in the past but we do know all of them suffered and are tortured heroes and heroines! Some development is needed, please.
Then, the thing I most wanted to see considering the awful past the brothers had, well, that thing which I won't say but I guess you have an idea what might be, happens way too fast between them. After so many misguided years of thinking badly of the other, their relationship is...wrapped up pretty well, but not good enough in my opinion. I wanted more emotion, more discussing what happened and yes it can be a contradiction after saying suffering was enough, but people take time to deal with those kind of misunderstandings...

Well, the very end was quite happy and offered many ideas of what might happen, who might be part of the whole thing. One thing is for sure, the series is reaaaally populated.
Styxx as a character is lovable, likable and I felt sorry for him. So, in the end I have to be glad he found his deserved happiness. love, family and peace. 
I give this a good grade, but I confess a part of it comes from my loyalty to the series, but things aren't as powerful as they were before, in the first books. Where is the simplicity of a story where the action moves forward? I want that back, please.
Grade: 7/10

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