Any fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter books, can tell you that this is a series that requires you to pay attention. Sure, on the surface, each book is a romance featuring a different couple with some preternatural connection. But from the very beginning, these books have had an ongoing story playing out in the background. First it was just the battle between the Dark-Hunters and the Daimons; Greek mythology played a big part. Then we had some Atlantean lore thrown in the mix. Beyond Acheron's book, demons began to play a bigger role and by the time we got to Bad Moon Rising, we had a new subplot that Kenyon is calling the Hellchasers, featuring Thorn and his bad-boy gang. I made a real effort to try to connect to that because I thought that's where the series was going next. I was wrong.
Sundown's story is, in some ways, a throwback to the old books. It features characters we haven't seen much of in a long time. Characters like Sundown, himself... Zarek, Sin, Sasha, and Talon. But in other ways, it's dramatically different. Kenyon put almost everything she's been building on pause for this one to introduce an entirely new Pantheon of Native American gods and mythology. There are Dark Hunters and Daimons in the books, but at times I felt like it was unrecognizable from the books preceding it. Ash is just a mention (other than a "bonus scene" at the end.) Artemis & Nick each have a cameo. No Savitar. No Stryker, Jaden or Jared. It just felt disconnected.
That's not to say it was bad. It wasn't. The romance features Sundown and Abigail. It begins with the heroine trying to kill the hero because she thinks he murdered her parents. After their deaths, she was raised by Apollites. When she was grown, they gave her demon blood to make her strong enough to kill Dark Hunters. In her quest to get to Sundown, she kills someone important in the Native American pantheon, which sets the stage for an apocalypse. As the book progresses, she must overcome her misconceptions about Sundown and work with him to try to avert the disaster she has set in motion. And they fall for each other in the process. Kenyon is at her best when she does romance. And while this relationship isn't my favorite of hers, I did enjoy it.
(I could have done with a couple less pop culture references, though. I enjoyed the first few, but after about the 10th one, I was ready for her to reign them in. )
It seems Kenyon plans to continue with the Native American storyline in the next book. It will feature Dark Hunter Ren, who was a major player in this story. I don't know how I feel about that. The bonus scene at the end, featuring Ash & Tory really brought home for me how much I missed the New Orleans gang and the mythology I know. But I have no doubt I'll be there next year, to follow where Kenyon leads. It's never a dull ride. 3 1/2 stars.*ARC Provided by St. Martin's Press