24 May 2010

A Dark-Hunter reader’s review of Sherrilyn Kenyon's INFINITY


~purchase~
~author website~

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312599072
ISBN-13: 978-0312599072

Genre: YA Paranormal
Book one in the Chronicles of Nick (has a connection to the Dark-Hunter series)
Main Characters: Nick Gautier - Cherise Gautier - Bubba - Mark -Kyrian Hunter - Acheron and more.
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Blurb:
At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that.

My Review: While I feel INFINITY loses no value as a YA novel if you haven't read the Dark-Hunter novels, I am already entangled in the adult life of Nick as I’m an avid reader of said DH 
series. This is why perhaps my review probably will make more sense to those who are also familiar to this series.

When I heard Nick’s back-story would be told in a Young Adult series I promised myself I would buy INFINITY and my reading experience would decide whether or not I would continue buying and reading this series. I’m not an avid reader of the YA genre and the only reason I bought INFINITY was because it was connected to the Dark-Hunter series and the fact that Nick is still one of my favorite characters. This was my mind-set before I understood that the Chronicles of Nick would also reveal secrets regarding characters such as Cherise and especially Jaden and Jared. It makes reading this chronicle more of a necessity if I want to understand the whole Dark-Hunter arc of Jaden.

When I received my copy of INFINITY my everlasting curiosity spurred me on to crack the spine and I began to read immediately. I met Nick as we got to know him in the early days of the Dark-Hunter series, only a bit younger. His mother, Cherise, is a stripper trying to make a living for herself and her son in New Orleans. She teaches him to be honorable, but when your peers know what your mother does for a living, and you have a shirt on your back with fishes in neon colors, it is hard to get by in high school. It is why Nick cloaks himself in a devil may care attitude and give lip the moment someone makes a snarky comment. However, the fairer sex also has his undivided attention and his desire to charm them is present at the core. Then one night he is invited to join a few friends for some delinquent activities and he almost crosses a barrier. It is also the night he got beat up by his so called friends and the night he is saved by Kyrian Hunter. From this moment on there is no normal anymore in Nick’s life and it all begins with the choice he made that night. The first day he goes back to school zombies create havoc on the grounds…

Nick’s vivid personality, his cunning ways and his acerbic sarcasm pulled me in and I was surprised at how the story development kept my unwavering attention. Nick is a teenager who knows the rough side of life, he has a chip on his shoulder, an attitude to match, he loves his mother above all and has a penchant for trouble. If that isn’t all, he enters the world of Dark-Hunters, Were-Hunters and all things that go bump in the night. Even though Nick is a teenager in this series all the things I like and love about his persona are already present in this Chronicle starter.

The story begins from an uncomplicated angle where the focus lies on Nick’s school life and his relationship with his mother. It is largely due to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s way of writing and letting me be a part of Nick’s inner thoughts that instantly grabbed my attention. Nevertheless, as the story progressed, as more characters got introduced and the plot thickens it loses some of that easy going charm and bantering dialogues. There were a few characters who I already met in the Dark-Hunter series like; Kyrian Hunter and Acheron but also the younger cast of characters is not without its familiar faces like Tad and Tabitha Deveraux. It really feels like traveling back in time and meeting all these characters only that much younger but with the same attitudes. Still, there is one new character who really got to me and that is Nekoda Kennedy, a.k.a Kody. She has an interest in Nick that is not all teenage lovey-dovey and it involves so much more than meets the eye. Kenyon also ups the ante with a few plot twists that really infuses this series with major possibilities for Nick’s character development. It gives a new perspective for the future of Nick and one that really excites me. It was an element in this book that caught me by surprise, next to the well-paced flow of the story it was something that held my undivided attention. The dialogues between Acheron and Nick are some of the best in this book but I must admit, I got lots of snappy bantering and humorous dialogues between a multitude of characters like only Sherrilyn Kenyon can deliver.

Next to meeting all the characters, getting all sorts of titillating information about Nick, the great interaction and humor, it is the zombie plotline that was probably the least thing that interested me. It is the origin of how teenager’s got turned in to zombies that was just lost to me and I just couldn’t surrender myself to that fact, which was probably a glitch of the adult me. What it did do is provide a turn of events which introduced Nick to a whole new world, he finds out all sorts of background info on some of the golden boys at his school and even some of his friends. Bubba and Mark are probably some of the most prominent supportive characters whose view on life and fighting zombies will make you grin.

If young adult readers find themselves introduced to Kenyon’s characters and world in INFINITY then I think they will have a blast. Nothing is present to really make the reader think they’re missing something, everything is present; from a main character who alternates his humor, sarcasm and charm with also his teenage fears, confusions and hopes for the future. A plot arc that fascinates and many characters who add their own personality flavor. A huge entertainment factor for me was to meet characters like Nick, Acheron, Tabitha and Kyrian again but I was caught off guard by how the story kept me in its grip. I couldn’t stop reading and while I started at night, you can bet by the next evening I was finished, already contemplating how things would advance in future installments.

INFINITY was the kind of story where I expected nothing but turned out to be a surprising and highly entertaining read. Some YA elements might not catch on with me but I feel that Sherrilyn Kenyon set-up a dynamic and intriguing angle to one of the most beloved characters in the Dark-Hunter series. I’m confident Nick will find its way to many readers, both in the YA genre as for the fans of the DH series.

4 stars

Quote Ash and Nick:
Nick rolled his eyes. Ash’s glib answers were started to irritate him. He wanted an answer and he wanted one now. “Oh, come one. I have to know about the who-do voodoo that you do. Most of all, I want to know how I can become immortal…well, not at my age ‘cause that would suck. But in a few years when I’m filled out and in my prime.” He grinned at Ash. “Make me immortal.”
Ash wasn’t charmed. “Look, Nick, I don’t like talking about my powers and not a lot of people know what I can do. I’m trusting you with a secret and I expect you to keep it. If you can’t…” He titled his head down as if he was looking at him over the rim of his sunglasses. “Well, I’m sure your mom’s going to miss you.”
“Not as half as much as I’d miss me if you killed me.”He blinked like a girl and leaned against Ash’s shoulder. “Please don’t hurt me, Ash. Please. I don’t want to die while I’m still a virgin. At least let me get laid before you kill me – which according to my mom I can’t do until I’m married and I can’t do that until I finish college. So you have to wait a good ten years before you snuff me. Deal?”
Ash shoved him back onto his side of the car. “You’re really not right, are you?”
“Yeah, I know. It was all the paint chips I ate as a kid. They were good, but chromosomally damaging. Ash let out an audible sigh and forced himself not to laugh at Nick’s antics.

Quote (contains spoiler!:
A loud “Yee-haw” sounded as the truck doors were slung open and Bubba, Mark, Caleb, Nekoda, Simi and Alex spilled out with weapons galore (well, not Simi; she came out bearing only a large bottle of barbeque sauce while licking her chops, and interestingly enough, she wore a large white lobster bib).

post signature

22 comments:

  1. I was so worried when i heard Nick was being made into a YA, but i should have had faith in SK, she writes so darn good! Im glad you liked Infinity Hun, cant wait to get my hands on it and see all my favourite characters again (swoonies for Ash) Great review, you made me want to read it even more! =)

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  2. I've been WAITING for a review!!! :) So four stars, huh? Good to know..I think I will be picking this up.

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  3. Okay, color me confused about one thing. How is Simi in the book when Nick doesn't know about Simi until the unfortunate incident and the fact that Ash can't mess with Nick's mind to make him forget Simi if he ever met her! Trying to not spoil stuff for people who haven't read the DH series.

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  4. I loved your review! It should be interesting to see how this builds up to Nicks DH book...

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  5. @Sparklybearsy - I was concerned too about the YA series about Nick but the set-up is very promosing!!

    @Mandi - It was very good for me :)

    @Lynette - Girl, that piece of info totally slipped my mind *eek* I'm altering review a bit to make it as spoiler free. I always place a warning in my review or keep my review spoiler free!!

    @A Buck Eye Reads - I look forward to finding out too LOL

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  6. Hey everyone!! It is no suprise to me that SK would make this one work. With so many of the Paranormal authors branching off into YA in the post Twilight age, Infinity was the perfect choice for SK to start with. I personally do love some of the YA books out there today. (Side note to Leontine: Please tell me you have read the YA series the House of Night, you who are NOT an avid YA reader. If not, you are really missing out).

    SK was the first author I read in the paranormal genre and being a HUGE Si-Fi fan, I fell in love with the men (and women) in the DH series a while ago and was so glad to hear she was going to do a Nick arc "series" since he was such a huge part of DH books, just a single book for him just wouldn't do. I really wanted to know more about the relationship between Nick and Ash and Nick an Kyrian, because I got the feeling in the DH boks that they, along with his mother,Cherise, were the reason Nick reacted so strongly to certin events in the DH storyline.

    Being a big lover of audio, as well as print, I was overjoyed to hear that Holter Graham ( the reader of Acheron and a couple of other of SK's DH books), was reading Nick's book Infinity.

    I can't wait for my copy on Infinity to reach my door.Way to go Sherrilyn Kenyon!!!

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  7. I thought my reading love affair with SK was over but your review is tempting me back. :)

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  8. Relieved you enjoyed this on Leontine, I'm primed to pick it up as soon as it's released. Sounds like SLK characterized Nick right!

    Thanks so much for sharing wonderful review.

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  9. @Ducky -I really wanted to know more about the relationship between Nick and Ash and Nick an Kyrian This series definitely is the platform for SK to do it on and as this series is going to contain, what, 12 books we've got quite some years to go in both Nick and Jaden's story arc.

    @Fiction Vixen - My Phoenix Flame of love for SK had dwindeled to a warm glow and that's why I had no expectation. Especially since I'm not an avid YA reader LOL But yeah, SK delivered it for me :)

    @Lea - Bookdepo send my pre-ordered copy a week early and i was so very curious about Nick. You're right, she did characterize him right and with the plot arc it is more then a bit intriguing!!

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  10. I've been wondering about this book,if it was tied to her Dark Hunter series. Which I have not read.I like to read things in order(even though you mentioned I wouldn't be lost reading this first),so maybe I'll wait with this one.

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  11. Oh thank god you reviewed this one. I have been on the fence about Nick's HEA being postponed into YA.

    Fab review, I think I might get this one my curiosity is just too strong to ignore.

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  12. This Nick sounds like a great guy. I haven't read this series yet, but the first books are on my tbr.
    Btw, I like the trick you did with the spoilerish quote! :)

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  13. Loentine,
    To help understand the books a little better, here is a quote from SK's website on the books:

    "Nick’s series will run until it intersects with Night Pleasures and then Nick will have his own novel in the Dark-Hunter world.

    Book one, Infinity, begins when Nick meets Kyrian.
    Book two will pick up the next day after Infinity ends and will be out Feb 2011."

    So Nick's books will intersect the DH books at some point and the his BIG book. Can't wait!!!

    Also will you answer my question, knowing you have'nt read a lot of YA books, have you read the House of Night series by PC and Kristen Cast?If not you should. I don't want this question to take away from the topic today which is totally Sherrilyn Kenyon's book Infinity.

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  14. @Elaing8 - I was so behind on any info regarding this YA series but on goodreads I was informed that SK said the Chronicles of Nick will contain info on Jared and Jaden.

    @Janna - The quote trick is an option in blogger editor :) I do not like to spoil and when Lynette asked me a question I was oh oh...did I unexpectedly gave away something *eek* So I used it. Nick is awesome but has major issues to work out :)

    @Ducky - There was a time where I held all the info on this series too *blush* As for your question: have you read the House of Night series by PC and Kristen Cast? No I haven't, the only other YA that sits on my shelf it THE HUNGER GAMES. So no, I haven't read the House Of Night YA series. Something needs to trigger me in a BIG way for me to read and buy YA LOL I am familiar with the Goddess series by PC Cast though ;)

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  15. I am so behind on the dark hunter books and now this, oh man I will never catch up

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  16. Leontine! Glad this was a hit for you and I loved the review.

    However, I'm just not interested in going back in time to learn about Nick. Unlike you, he's not a favorite character of mine. Besides, I've kind of given up on the Dark-Hunters and all that entails because I'm grossly behind and fear that I'll never catch up. The backlist just keeps getting longer and longer! Its kinda of terrifying actually...

    Anyway, I'm glad that this was a hit for you. Nothing feels better then an anticipated read being really good.

    HUGS, VFG

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  17. I really want to read this YA series about Nick, but it is so hard to wrap my head around going back to when he was a teen. I plan on reading it at some point, but will probably wait until the books come out in paperback.

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  18. Thank you for your review.

    Well dang.... I really don't want to pick up this series - it's going to be 12 books until Nick gets his HEA in the DH series! I adore the DH series and are a must read for me. But when I found out that Nick's spin off was going to be 12 books at a book a year - I just couldn't do it. I figured I would wait a few years and read a group of them together.

    Now with your great review (well written!) and the fact that we are going to learn import information (like about Jaden/Jared) I'm feeling the pressure to get this and read now. GRRRR... (Were secrets spilled in this one?)

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  19. I am so happy to see that you liked it so well Leontine!!! I have to say I didn't know about making Nick's story into a YA I'm not a fan of YA books at all really. But I love Sherrilyn and will definitely give it a try!

    I hope you are doing well my dear and had a great weekend.
    Big hugs to you! :)

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  20. @Blodeuedd - I can understand the reluctance to pick the series up again if you're so far behind. It never got so far with me, at the most 1 or 2 books and Sk writing remains easy to read :)

    @VFG - If Nick isn't a character you're very much interested in and you're so far behind, yeah, I can understand your horror :)

    @Twimom227 - Oh yes, a major plotline is revealed IMO and I understand it all. I'm not a fan either of 12 books, with one released each year. The fact that this YA series is so intricately entwined with the DH series but SK is my first vampire author, I love the Dark-Hunter world and while not everything may by as good as those firt 8 books or so I still return to this series, each and every time LOL

    @jennJ - I know, YA and I are also not very familiar with each other and I really feared I had to arm wrestle myself to read these books but color me surprised, I want more :)

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  21. I thought Infinity was pretty decent, but found it a little cheesy in sections. Other times I found it very laugh out loud worthy. Check out my review at amandarosetew.blogspot.com

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  22. I've just installed iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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