Review: Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Posted January 25th, 2012 in book review / 5 comments


Book #20 of the Dark-Hunter Series

by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (August 2011)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 420 (Hardcover)
Source: Personal Library (Purchased)
Purchase at: Amazon / Book Depository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 stars)

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 meets 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.

The Good
I actually bought this book a couple months ago when it just came out. I read the first chapter then put it down and haven’t picked it up again until a couple days ago. For some reason, Retribution just didn’t keep my attention at first. But I did start getting into it the more I read.

Jess was an interesting character. He has a past that still haunts him, but he lives his life as a Dark Hunter with determination. He’s strong, courageous, and sexy as hell. You can’t help but feel bad for him with what he went through, so you really want him to have a happy ending.

Abigail has had just as hard of a life as Jess. She was brought up to believe lies that has pit her against the one person who is vital to her destiny. She has gone above and beyond to gain strength in the hopes that one day she will defeat the person who killed her parents. But we learn that Abigail might have been fighting the wrong side this whole time.

I like when girls get to kick just as much butt as the boys, so Abigail was a fun character for me. You can’t help but feel horrible for her when she realizes most of what she has believed in has been a lie. But her determination to make things right is honorable, even if you want to yell at her to fight harder to live for the people she loves. And she does love Jess. Even in the small amount of time they had together, they find something in each other that they can’t live without. And we learn their destiny goes farther back than anyone can imagine.

The action was non-stop and Kenyon’s obvious research was very in-depth. You will learn a lot about Native American culture in this book. I loved the side characters, too. Ren and Sasha were hilarious. Choo co la tah was…interesting. At first I found him annoying because of his constant spewing of wise sayings but then I realized that’s just how he rolls. *giggles* He is a little eccentric and it actually makes him more mysterious.

The Bad
You might ask yourself why I didn’t really say anything about the actual story. Well, that’s because I just didn’t like it at all. This is probably the worst book out of the whole series. The plot was confusing because Kenyon interwove so much Native American legends and mythology that I just couldn’t keep track. I felt like she overcomplicated this story to the point that I wanted to give up trying to understand what the hell was going on.

Though I liked Jess and Abigail as characters, I did not like them as a couple. They tell us they love each other but it happens so fast it’s unrealistic. I don’t want to give too much away but their love comes more from past incidents. So I felt like we got jipped since we were not there to witness their love build.

A lot of the conversations were a little too corny for my taste. This book was filled with so much cheese that is was hard to swallow.

The ending was very dissatisfying. They spend this whole time chasing the bad guys then almost nothing is resolved at the end. Really? I mean REALLY? I don’t like pointless books. The only thing Retribution does is set up a new dilemma for the Dark-Hunters to fix. Yay. In case you didn’t catch it, that was a sarcastic yay.

The Snuggly
One sex scene that seemed so out of place that I couldn’t really enjoy it.

I only mildly enjoyed reading some of this book. I liked reading about the characters and their personal stories of loss and pain (because that’s the only time I felt emotion towards them), but that’s about it. I would have given this book one star if not for the bonus scene at the end that shows Ash and Tory having their first baby. That was all kinds of fun right there. If you read this series, you might as well read this book since events in this installment will be important to know for the next books in the series. But I would not recommend this book for people who do not follow this series. However, I would recommend the series as a whole. I have always loved the Dark-Hunters and will continue reading every one of their stories.  

“You keep talking to me like that, cowboy, and you might get lucky tonight.”

“I already got lucky tonight.”

“Mmm, so you’re a one-shot-a-night guy, huh?”

He laughed in her head. “Ah, now, sugar, I didn’t say that. The stallion never minds an all-night ride, especially when it’s a wild one.”

“Stallion? That’s some ego you have there.”

“It’s not ego when it’s true.”

Jess pulled a couple (tissues) out and wedged them into his nostrils. He gave Abigail a sheepish smile. “Sexy, right?”

“Oh yeah, baby. You’re so hot right now, if I was chicken I’d lay hard-boiled eggs.”

Audio Sample of Book:

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5 Responses to “Review: Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon”

  1. Sarah (saz101)

    This one sounds really dissapointing. Ugh, that sucks! I read the blurb and it actually sounds like a seriously cool story, despite not having read any of the NINETEEN books before it. Now I’m just kind of dissapointed… *sigh*
    You say they onyl get a short amount of time together… as in, they only come together as couple towards the end of the book? This is weird, given it’s PNR, right? Hmmmm…
    Do you like the series on a whole, otherwise?

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      I know, the summary makes it sound so good. The book takes place in about two days so yeah, that’s a short amount of time to fall in love. lol. I LOVE the series as a whole, it’s just this book that sucks. So, yes, I would recommend this series as a whole for sure.

    • Sarah (saz101)

      OK, SERIOUSLY short. Twenty books is kind of… intimidating. But I trust your judgement 😀

      Sorry this one was a bit of a fizzer. I HATE that when you’re so invested in a series… hmmmmm…

  2. Celine

    Sad that you didn’t enjoy this book, Jennifer but awesome review! I’ve never heard of this book before but the summary actually sounds quite interesting! Thank you for sharing this with us! 🙂

    Celine @ Forget-me-not

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