Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Why this one: I’m pretty sure I read it years ago – at least I read a couple of her futuristics and enjoyed them enough that when I heard she would be rereleasing them, I wanted to give them a try. I love this genre in general.
Steam Level: Between hot and a rolling boil. Not a full boil mind you – but hot enough to enjoy
In the Ichidian Universe, the Leauge rules all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption…
HE WAS BORN AND TRAINED TO KILL
Command Assassin Nykyrian Quiakides once turned his back on the League – and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him or stop him from completing his current mission: to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father’s political alliance has made her a target.
SHE MUST ACCEPT HIS PROTECTION – OR DIE
As her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new endanger them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them the most: each other
My Thoughts: Hmmmm – this one is a toughie!! While I really enjoyed this book and found it one of those books that was hard to put down, I do have definite issues with it. I’m normally a 90/10 emotional vs. technical reader and the 90% emotional reader was quite happy. But the 10% reader in me noticed things that could have been better – or had less of. First off – in regards to the previous post, Nykyrian was an overtortured hero. As Hilcia pointed out, while not the kitchen sink exactly, the toilet was thrown in. I almost think the author went along and said how much more can we make this guy take – and I found it distracting.
This is a rewrite from a book published much earlier in Ms. Kenyon’s career and as I was reading it, it was hauntingly familiar. I just wish she had taken the time to do a bit more than heap more torture on the hero. The world building for example, could have used some more work. It’s a futuristic, but oftentimes didn’t really feel all that much futureisticy. I know – that’s not a real word, but it sounds good. There were also a couple of plot holes that didn’t make sense. For example; the father of Kiara, our heroine, hired Nykyrian, our hero, and his team to safeguard his daughter from bloodthirsty bounty hunters. Then without explanation, he wants the team he hired dead! I couldn’t figure out why. When she was returned, her father said the bounty had been lifted, but just a chapter before that, the bounty had been increased significantly and she was to be terminated at any cost and whoever set the bounty on her would not be persuaded to change it. So the fact that all of a sudden it was lifted, without any explanation just didn’t make sense. Nor did the fact that her father wanted Nykyrian and his team dead. Kind of a killer move for any repeat business he might have wanted.
Normally I don’t notice this kind of thing, but in this case, I was left thinking ‘huh?’ The low percentage of the technical reader in me didn’t really care for this reaction.
But on the other hand, the artistic reader in me was quite happy!
Nykyrian was a trained assassin in a brutal world. But when he was sent on assignment that was too horrific for even him, he left the League. Since the only real way out of the League was death, he was constantly aware he could be caught and killed at any time.
After leaving the League, he began fighting against the very thing he had been a part of. Nykyrian first meets Keria when he is hunting down some vicious bounty hunters who had captured her and were about to do some nasty things. Kiara is at first repelled by this fearsome man and horrified when she finds out who he is. But gradually she sees another side to him and as we, the reader, see his inner dialogue, we see a softer side; a man who has become what he is against his will and who has been powerless for much of his life.
As mentioned earlier, when Kiaras’ father hears about the threat to his daughter’s life, he hires Nykyrian and crew. Kiara is at first horrified to be stuck with this killer, but as she gets to know him and sees some of his past and the past of some of his crew, she slowly begins to develop deep feelings for this tortured soul. But as a princess and the daughter of the leader of their world, there can be nothing between her and this wanted man she is coming to love.
For his part, Nykyrian has had feelings for her all along. A world renowned dancer as well as royalty, Nykyrian is well aware of who she is from the first and he is strongly attracted to her. But as an assassin who is wanted throughout the universe and a man who has no softness, he refuses to allow those feelings any room to grow – or so he thinks.
I enjoyed this book, really I did. As can be agreed by many readers, Ms. Kenyon has a way of drawing in a reader despite the flaws. While yes, the hero crosses the line and becomes an overtortured tortured hero, I still couldn’t help but feeling for him even as I was aware in the recess of my mind I was being manipulated. It was a manipulation I went along with.
Now grading this one is the most difficult one I’ve ever done.
The 10 % technical reader in me gives it a 3 out of 5.
The 90% artistic reader in me gives it a 4.5 out of 5.
But because we are talking fractions and decimal points in order to find the average – the math involved in trying to figure this out gives me the hives. Math and I do not like each other. I could explain what I’m going for and ask Ryan, the math wizard, what the average would be but if he wanted to know why I want this kind of number for, and I had to tell him it was for the grade of a romance novel – well, he just doesn’t understand. He’s still trying to figure out why I called him at work to ask if my coworker could claim their new Dyson vacuum cleaner on their taxes. So this grade isn’t really all that reflective of the two opposing types of readers.