Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (November 4, 2008)
While the world carries on unawares, Stryker, who leads an army of demons and vampires, is plotting an all out onslaught against his enemies—which, unfortunately for us, includes the entire human race. To avenge his sister, Stryker prepares to annihilate the Dark-Hunters. But things go awry when his oldest enemy returns. Enter his ex-wife. Zephyra. Just when he thought nothing could stop him, he’s now embroiled in a centuries old war with a shrew who gives new meaning to pain.
After hearing much about One Silent Night and after the frustrating wait for my paperback copy to finally arrive I was just about fed up with this novel before I even read the first word. So I placed it on my bookshelf and lost myself in the holiday season. However, as I entered 2009 the red cover started humming unto a point I could no longer ignore it or Stryker. What can I say; it was with the mere first pages that confusion was already a part of my reading experience as Stryker conjures an ancient War God to kill his two most hated enemies. Once, a long time ago, we started with the Dark-Hunters and the Daimons, with Were-Hunters and Dream-Hunters as secondary races. Now we have been introduced in the last couple of books to Gallu Demons, Chthonians, more Gods and Demi Gods than I care to remember with a hierarchy that basically says, I have incredible powers…but there is someone else who has even stronger powers than I and can kick my ass any day of the week. Add to this vast world the new Malachai kind, Sephirii kind, the Sephiroth kind, The Source and then some more characters of yet to be determined race and you can witness this reader practically begging Sherrilyn Kenyon for a GPS system to navigate her world!But okay, this is my frustration and for those who have it all under control, please bear with me as I will get to an actual review! When I have invested myself into a series I want to have a global understanding of the world and the characters in it. I enjoy the perception of good versus evil, I can be thoroughly surprised if an enemy doesn’t turn out to be so…..nasty and has a hidden side. But I feel Kenyon is overstepping her philosophy that everyone has a point of view from which a story can be told. The balance in her world is shifting dangerously towards tipping the scale into chaos of storylines and character introductions/development that, instead of deepening her world, she turns it into a shallow one. I can be wrong, perhaps the last few books have just been much on introducing the new and shifting in storylines to get ready for the new arch and closing on Acheron’s one. For now, it stirs chaos and I’m starting to lose myself in it.
Is it all negative you might wonder? No, Sherrilyn Kenyon wouldn’t be the kind of author to entice the curiosity with certain characters and plotlines. In One Silent Night there is, once again, a tortured hunk that has my mouth watering and raised my interest where he fits in this world of the author. And the end signals for a dawning of a new era…or story arch for that matter!Strykerius, or Stryker as we come to know him, together with Zyphera, his ex-wife, take a shot for the romance in this story. It basically tells that there’s a suitable man for every woman and vice versa. Now, Stryker always had an unusual code of honor which only he has the privilege of understanding and this sometimes results in allowing the enemy to live or, could mean instant death without mercy. What I think was well done, was the fact that Stryker remained consistent in his character traits throughout the series and in this novel. He doesn’t turn all roses and daisies on us, he doesn’t go all starry eyes over a woman, let’s face it, Stryker is just not that kind of man. He will always remain scheming with evil intentions, but in One Silent Night there is also another side to him born from events in the past. It reveals a bit where he was coming from regarding his actions throughout the series and thereby presenting an insightful moment or two in this story. I am not saying I suddenly turned into a Stryker fan, because I still don’t trust him or his motives. But even bad guys fall in love, even they desire someone to stand by them in rough times. And to Stryker this someone is Zyphera, who proves to be his match and equal in all that he throws at her. Her spine is strengthened by what she also has endured in the past and eleven thousand years makes the term: Hell has no fury for a woman scorned a Disney slogan. Nevertheless, I’m just that much of a romantic soul to be glad for Stryker and Zyphera’s happily ever after…as long as Acheron and his gang knock them out in the good versus evil department, I can live with the fact that the Daimon King has found his Queen (again).
The romance is more of a road trip on memory lane for both Stryker and Zyphera with a swift progress in mutual understanding. Their very natures are on edge with unfulfilled desire and revenge turning the interaction to be brisk as it is also acerbic. This of course erupts in mutual passion though it is a minor element in this tale. Inserted to this entertaining love story is a bitter fight with one kick ass War God and includes major character development for one of the most beloved (ex) squires of the Dark-Hunter series, Nick Gautier. If it is my unwilling mind that cannot wrap itself round all the changes or not, I feel there are some inconsistencies surrounding Ash’s character that doesn’t seem to add up. I can’t specify due to perhaps the spoilerish nature of it but how can I fuse one with the other regarding Ash and how did it come to be in the first place? Perhaps I missed a sentence here or there in previous novels to explain this fact to me?The signature writing style of Ms. Kenyon steered me towards reading page after page, desperately wanting to know how it all would fit. I am frustrated for some parts but I must admit, the ending predicts whole new things for the Dark-Hunters, Daimons, Demi-Gods, Gods, Gallu Demons etc. In the end Sherrilyn Kenyon does it again as she stirred my curiosity for the next book and I’m writing down the release date of Dream Warrior. For me Kenyon’s novels have turned into a double edged sword bringing both pleasure that equals my frustration.
Quote Zephyra to Stryker:
“You know I’m not the same weak-kneed fool who couldn’t cut her own meat that you married. I will kill you.”