Review: Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title:  Retribution
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Series:  Dark-Hunter (#20)
ISBN:  9780312546595
Also available in audiobook and ebook formats
Author site:
Rating: 4 – You Need to Read


Blurb:  Harm no human…A hired gunslinger, William Jessup Brady lived his life with one foot in the grave. He believed that every life had a price. Until the day when he finally found a reason to live. In one single act of brutal betrayal, he lost everything, including his life. Brought back by a Greek goddess to be one of her Dark-Hunters, he gave his immortal soul for vengeance and swore he’d spend eternity protecting the humans he’d once considered prey. 

Orphaned as a toddler, Abigail Yager was taken in by a family of vampires and raised on one belief — Dark-Hunters are the evil who prey on both their people and mankind, and they must all be destroyed. While protecting her adoptive race, she has spent her life eliminating the Dark-Hunters and training for the day when she meeting the man who killed her family: Jess Brady. 

A gun in the hand is worth two in the holster…Jess has been charged with finding and terminating the creature who’s assassinating Dark-Hunters. The last thing he expects to find is a human face behind the killings, but when that face bears a striking resemblance to the one who murdered him centuries ago, he knows something evil is going on. He also knows he’s not the one who killed her parents. But Abigail refuses to believe the truth and is determined to see him dead once and for all.Brought together by an angry god and chased by ancient enemies out to kill them both, they must find a way to overcome their mutual hatred or watch as one of the darkest of powers rises and kills both the races they’ve sworn to protect.

Brynna’s review:  As a human, Jess “Sundown” Brady was the baddest of the bad. A notorious gunslinger, he was anybody’s assassin…for the right price until he met Matilda. For her, he changed his life. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, a bullet between the eyes ended that future. Artemis gave him vengeance in exchange for his soul. Now as a Dark-Hunter, Sundown spends his nights protecting the human race from Daimons. 

Through a twist of fate, Abigail Yager was spared the night her parents were murdered, but the one clear memory of that tragedy haunts her, her friend Sundown’s reflection covered in her parents blood in the dresser mirror. Taken in by Apollites, she is trained to kill Dark-Hunters. Convinced he murdered her parents, her misguided hatred fuels her hunt for Sundown Brady. 

When Abby kills Tsalagi (Cherokee) guardian Old Bear by mistake, she unleashes a rash of devastating plagues on the city of Las Vegas. Realizing she’s been used all along she joins forces with Jess and the other Vegas Dark-Hunters to restore balance between the Tsalagi (Cherokee) gods. 

As mentioned in a previous post about this book, Abby’s venom surprised me. I wasn’t sure if Ms. Kenyon could turn those emotions around in one book and make it believable, especially since they were directed towards the hero. Shoving Jess and Abby into one horrifying situation after another, scorpions, bloodfire, wasps, even mountain lions, makes them frenemies at first, though both have a strong attraction to the other. After Abby learns her adopted family betrayed her, she acts on her feelings for Jess. She isn’t the kick your butt female warrior Ms. Kenyon usually writes, rather she’s more human, weaker both physically and emotionally. 

For a Dark-Hunter, Jess exhibits alot of patience with Abby and the other DH’s. Not much ruffles his feathers. Their romance is a flash fire, instant and hot, but missing the tension build-up we’ve seen between previous couples in this series, but then they are constantly racing toward the Valley of Fire. Not to mention Sasha, Renegade, and Choo-Co-La-Tah are in the same room with them for most of the story. Kind of puts a damper on the hot and steamy scenes when you have several DH chaperons.  Although, I don’t think I’ll ever look at a drive through car wash quite the same way again. lol.  

I enjoyed the bonus scene. I don’t want to give the story away, but maybe the birth of Ash and Tory’s son will see these characters happier in future books. The change in Artemis is unexpected and welcome. I wish both she and Nick could find peace. If not with each other, than someone.

In short, I give it a “you need to read” for story. You’ll be lost when Ren’s book comes along without reading this one. You’ll enjoy the fast paced chaos, just don’t expect tons of steam. Like AcheronRetribution is character (as opposed to reader) driven. Some stories an author just has to tell the way a character tells them too, even if the reader would want something different. Retribution is one of those stories. The new pantheon was interesting. I’m looking forward to reading Ren’s story and finding out more. 


*Copy checked out from the library