Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before.
Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date.
The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.
No Mercy is the eighteenth book (including Dream Hunter books) in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s phenomenally popular Dark Hunter paranormal romance series. Once upon a time it wasn’t necessary to read these books in strict series order (I know I certainly didn’t) but eighteen books in there is a huge amount of back-story and characters from previous books for readers to aware of, so it’s kind of a prerequisite now to be up to speed on the previous books before attempting to start this one.
Bad Moon Rising, the Dark Hunter book released prior to No Mercy, was a bit of an odd one in terms of the timeline it covered. Instead of continuing on the timeline that had been reached through Acheron, it went back to the start of the timeline for the Dark Hunter novels and told the story of a romance that spanned years, events that readers had already experienced were retold through the eyes and perspectives of characters who hung out at Sanctuary. That story finished with a big fight that brought the timeline back to the present and gathered the characters for No Mercy together. Back in the present day (although present day is a fairly relative term in a story where time travel is possible) the focus of No Mercy is still on the Peltier were-hunter family who live at the Sanctuary bar. Long time series fans will be pleased to see Dev’s character explored as he finds romance in the unlikeliest of places with Samia, a member of the Dogs of War, a group of Acheron’s fiercest Dark Hunter warriors.
If you are a fan of the Dark Hunter books then you should by now know what you’re getting when you pick up one of these books. A richly imagined fantasy world that combines the gods of Greek myth with the legend of Atlantis at the same time as combining vampires with demons, and hot heroes with evil villains, is a given. So is humorous banter, scorching romance and fast paced plotlines where the fate of the world hangs in the balance. No Mercy doesn’t lack on any of these fronts but somehow the story just doesn’t grab the heartstrings in the way that previous series offerings (such as Acheron, Kiss of The Night or Dance With The Devil) do.
Personally, I felt that the romance part of the plot was sadly lacking in romantic development. I like to experience a little will-they/won’t-they romantic tension and some relationship development when I read a romance. (Yes, even when I know that it’s a romance and the ultimate outcome is a given.) In No Mercy ten minutes of flirting lead to Sam and Dev falling straight into each other arms, immediately followed by great sex. Their arguments after that felt contrived to keep them apart, at least until the end of the book, where they suddenly fall back into each other’s arms and live in happy ever after land.
While the whole new evil Daimon plot to destroy the world did give the story some fast-paced fight scenes and dramatic tension it seemed hard to sustain pacing and interest throughout the novel. If anything, No Mercy seemed like a vehicle to move the overall series story arc on and introduce readers to new characters, at the same time as reacquainting fans with favourite old characters. It is a lot to cram into 340 pages and Dev and Sam’s romance suffered as a result. The problem came when as a reader I became more interested in the love-life of Ethon (one of the secondary characters) than in Dev’s (the protagonist) – that’s just wrong in a romance.
All-in-all No Mercy is a bit of a muddle… but it’s an enjoyable muddle. Return appearances from favourite characters (Acheron, Nick, Fang, etc.) give series fans little cause for complaint and the introduction of some intriguing new blood ensures that the next Dark Hunter novel will be eagerly anticipated, not to mention destined for the bestseller lists.