No Mercy – Sherrilyn Kenyon
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 opens with Dev Peltier working the door of Sanctuary, the New Orleans bar owned by his family for centuries. Dev is missing his parents who died a few months prior and reflecting on his life, questioning his current station. He has all but decided to leave his family home and strike out on his own when his thoughts are interrupted by the roar of a motorcycle engine. When the cycle skids into an Evel Knievel type of stop in front of the bar and a long legged Amazon warrior, Samia, climbs off Dev quickly forgets his morose thoughts. Standing before him, shaking out a riot of loose blonde curls, is his personal version of Sex-on-Wheels.
Dev realizes that she is a Dark-Hunter who fought alongside his family during the recent attack that resulted in the death of his parents. Sam recognizes Dev as well and the two strike up a flirtatious conversation, their mutual attraction already evident. As one of Acheron’s Dogs of War, a special services branch of the Dark-Hunters, Sam is now stationed in New Orleans as part of a group of Dogs charged with riding herd on, guarding and training Nick Gautier who has reached a very shaky truce with Acheron. Sam informs Dev that they have received a report of Daimons day-walking, which he scoffs at since all Were and Dark-Hunters know that Daimons can not walk in the sun.
Samia enters the bar and questions the rest of the staff about the Daimon sighting, only to encounter much the same response that she did from Dev. She leaves the bar to patrol the city but returns several hours later, right around the same time that a slug demon threatens the Sanctuary staff and then self-combusts all over the bar and Dev. Through the use of her psychometric abilities Sam is able to “read” the demon’s remains and confirm that the Daimons have acquired the ability to day-walk and the group shares a collective “oh shit” moment as they realize that the Dark-Hunters who protect humanity are now at a huge disadvantage as they themselves can not face the day light. Sam leaves to warn the rest of the Dogs, other Hunters and squires, but not before she gives Aimee a note for Dev, requesting that he pay her a social call once he has had a chance to clean himself up.
Dev does visit Sam and spends “the best damned morning of [his] life with her”, during which he not only quickly finds himself falling for her but also realizes that Samia has personal demons of her own that she is fighting. Not long after their shared morning Samia wakes to find a couple of Daimons in her bedroom, intent on capturing her. It seems that Acheron’s nemesis Stryker has learned of Sam’s psychometric powers and he is determined to capture her so that he can use her to get revenge on his father Apollo for forcing the Apollites to become Daimons in order to live past their 27th birthdays. Dev comes to her rescue and they are able to fight the Daimons off but they know that they haven’t seen the last of them.
Not yet knowing exactly why the Daimons are intent on capturing Samia, Dev makes it his business to guard her every chance that he can. Their relationship begins to deepen, even as Samia fights her attraction to Dev and occasionally pushes him away. Eventually though Samia is captured by shape shifting Demon who is working for Stryker. She manages to break free with the help of a Dark-Hunter who has been off the radar for years, only to find herself taken captive by an yet another unknown being.
While all of this is taking place Dev turns to his brother-in-law Fang for help in locating and retrieving Samia. Fang agrees and takes Dev to see Thorn, the leader of the Hellchasers that Fang now works for. While negotiating with Thorn Dev and Fang discover that Thorn now holds Samia but that he is doing so in order to protect her from Stryker and his minions. He agrees to release Samia to their care on the condition that they first retrieve an ancient Amazonian artefact that will ensure Samia’s safety if she wears it. They agree to the quest and Fang arranges for a couple of his fellow Hellchasers to help him draw Sam’s spiritual essence from her body to allow her to assist them with their search while keeping her physical self safe with Thorn.
After consulting with Acheron for advice the trio embark on Thorn’s mission, but not before being joined by two of Sam’s fellow Dogs of War. They enter a nether realm where they are forced to contend with otherworldly creatures and hazardous geological features before encountering the guardian of the artefact, whom Samia must defeat in an extreme Survivor/Amazing Race type of contest. After Sam defeats the guardian the warriors return from the nether realm and Samia’s essence is returned to her body.
Once back in New Orleans Samia and Dev discover that they are mated. Before they can come to terms with this latest development Stryker captures Dev and uses him as bait to finally lure Samia to him. She willing goes with Stryker and uses her psychometric abilities at his bequest to determine how Stryker can avenge his people against Apollo. Unfortunately for Stryker the answer that he receives is one that he never fathomed. He releases the lovers who return home only to encounter yet another battle. Eventually Acheron intervenes, the battle is won, and the powers-that-be allow Dev and Samia to finally consummate their mating.
The book ends on a positive note, with lessons having been learned, alliances strengthened, a few secrets having been revealed, and everyone recharging, knowing that while a series of battles have been won, the war is far from over. After all, there still remains the little problem of day walking Daimons to contend with…
So much happens for Dev and Samia as individuals in this book yet so little changes in the Dark/Were Hunter world in general. Unlike previous books Acheron and Bad Moon Rising, No Mercy is not a pivotal book in the overall story arc of Kenyon’s Hunters. It does however serve to introduce new characters in Samia and her fellow Dogs of War and re-introduces the long absent characters of Cael and his wife Amaranda, while further entrenching Thorn and the Hellchasers that were introduced in Bad Moon Rising, into the Hunter’s world. I see this book as acting as a bridge to things yet to come in the series.
No Mercy also gives readers a look at how Nick’s character is progressing as he continues to adjust to his new powers. There is some suggestion that he may one day be able to come to terms with the role that he believes that Acheron played in his mother’s death, but that day has yet to come. Perhaps, just perhaps, his involvement with Artemis isn’t the completely horrible idea that it at first seems.
Samia’s psychometric powers are well used as a character development tool as it is through her visions that we are finally able to learn what happened on the night that Dev and Aimee’s older brothers Bastian and Gilbert died. We are giving the key to Dev’s personality with that flashback and I for one was reminded why I really disliked Nicolette Peltier. In addition, her flashbacks provide the reader with a rare glimpse of Apollo that shows him in a more positive light than any previous book. The conversation that he had with Artemis about the Apollites and Stryker’s reaction to what Samia revealed to him about his father served to remind the reader that not everything is black and white, cut and dried, good or evil. Neither situations nor people are always what they seem to be. Just like in real life, there are plenty of grey areas in the Hunter world and it is how we navigate those areas that shape our reality.
I give No Mercy 3.5 Bites out of 5.
Rating: Fairly Tempting
September 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm