This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers*
The first and second half of this book were so completely different. I almost feel like I should be reviewing two separate books. (I've seen it numbered in the main Dark Hunter series as 12, 14, 15 or 16 depending on which book site you use -- author's website says 14.)
Full disclaimer: I've only read a couple of out of order books in this series. Seemed pretty typical PNR with alpha males and predictable romances. Liked well enough, but not blown away (or always in the mood to read). Barely remember the reads.
The first half of this book was very different from what I remember of the series. Full of a pantheon of gods including familiar Olympians. Origin story, drama, family angst -- really remniscient of a lot of what I consider "mythology." Surprising bit of worldbuilding including Atlantis. I did get into the characters of God Acheron and his human sister Ryssa. Although not the most explicit I've read, fair warning -- it overall winds up a grim story with lots of betrayal, torture (including child abuse). While less explicit, it's very clear he was not only raped as a child, he was trafficked.
I'd have given it ★★★★☆ if hadn't read second half. Which took place in modern days and really rather did little with Atlantis (okay, neither did first half but kept me hoping and in second half there was an artifact from that different forces wanted for different reasons) and little with the pantheons despite small appearances from Artemis. The stereotypical PNR saved because I did still like Acheron and initially the heroine/love-interest.
I could have done without a lot of male posturing and probably would have enjoyed the humor and what seemed like cameos more if had been more familiar with series to be invested in the guest stars.
The ending, well, guess gods and goddesses get it easy.
The glimpses of the worldbuilding in this series, the tales of how Dark Hunters came to be, and the bits of more storylines hinted at by cameos have made me want to read more in series. It's more interesting seeming than what I initially dismissed as another not very original, fated mate PNR series. I will read on when in the mood.
*©2018. All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.
Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:
★★★★★ = All Time Favorite
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average. Okay.
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking. (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews. Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)