Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Guest post with Jennifer from Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Jennifer from the blog, Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, and she will be telling us all about her favourite characters from a paranormal romance series.

The Most Intriguing Characters of Paranormal Romance History: Acheron and Simi

Let me start off by saying that if you are a Paranormal Romance fan and don’t know who Acheron and Simi are then I have no choice. *Rolls up newspaper and smacks you on the nose* Bad paranormal romance fan, bad. Now, go pick up the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon and don’t come out of your room until you want to scratch Tory’s eyes out for stealing your new book boyfriend. With that out of the way, let the Acheron and Simi praising begin.

Let’s start from the beginning. Sherrilyn Kenyon (who I secretly dislike because she can make Acheron do whatever she wants) writes the amazing Dark-Hunter series as well as the interconnected Dream-Hunter and Were-Hunter series. But since research paper sized guest posts are no fun, let’s stick with the Dark-Hunter series. Dark-Hunters are immortals that have sold their souls to Artemis, the Goddess of the hunt and childbirth, for a chance to get revenge on the people who killed/betrayed them. From then on, these Dark-Hunters are in the service of Artemis, spending the rest of their lives killing those who prey on human souls, the Daimons (a twist on the vampire). Each book focuses on one Dark-Hunter who finds love. But let’s get to the good part, right? Acheron, Ash for short, is the first Dark-Hunter. *Caution: the rest of this post will contain some spoilers but I will keep them to a minimum.* But Ash isn’t just a Dark-Hunter, he is much, much more. He is a God, one with a sordid and horrible past that will break your heart. I guess when you’re named after the river of woe, then a sad future will follow.

Kenyon made us wait for fourteen freaking books until she finally came out with Acheron, book fifteen. And through all fourteen books, the mystery that was Acheron built up into a painful crescendo. As a reader, you feared him, you loved him, you just wanted to lick every part of his body. Wait, did I just say that out loud? Oops. The sneak peeks of his true identity drove me crazy with anticipation. His skin turning blue, having his tattoos come to life, bringing his friends back from the dead. Intrigued yet? So when Acheron finally came out, you can imagine the squeals of excitement and funky dances of joy that came out of me that day. Let me give you an idea of how popular this book was. Did you ever notice that no matter how popular a series is, that its number of reviews always dwindle book after book? The most reviews are always for book one of the series and then goes down from there. Well, Acheron got double (600, 4.5 star average) the reviews on Amazon than book one of the Dark-Hunter series. I’ve never seen that before. I thought it was pretty incredible.

Before I go any further, I thought it would be prudent of me to supply everyone with the summary (from Goodreads) of Acheron:

The most anticipated story in the blockbuster Dark-Hunter series. The never-before-revealed story of the Dark-Hunter leader, Acheron. He was made human in order to escape death, but in death he was reborn a god. . .
Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.
Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence.
Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.
War has never been more deadly... or more fun.

In the first half of Acheron we are taken back in time to witness and endure the horrendous life Acheron was forced to suffer, then the second half is where Acheron finally meets the love of his life. Throughout the series Ash has never been interested in any woman. Of course, on the flip side, that could be farthest from the truth. Pretty much every woman in the series, and in the history of existence, is attracted to Ash. His perfection is boundless, though he tries to tamper down his beauty by dyeing his hair funky colors and sporting some piercings. Which probably had the opposite effect Ash wanted since he only accomplished looking like perfection but in a badass sort of way. Ash is a legend among all Dark-Hunters. No one can’t predict which Ash they will get when they call upon his help. He’s been known to be gentle and caring, aggressive and menacing, and occasionally just straight up horrifying. He has magnetism and raw masculine power beyond any character I have ever read. I can only imagine what it’s like to be in his presence, to ache to touch him but fear you will lose your hand if you dare. Ash has only ever wanted kindness but most often found cruelty. He wants someone to love him not for his body, beauty, and natural draw but for just simply being him. He finally finds that person in Tory. And I’ve hated that wench ever since she took my hopes and dreams away from me when she claimed Ash as hers. One day, Tory, one day. You, me, a dark alley, and our fists. Be ready. (Sorry, I get a little possessive (psychotic) when it comes to Ash.)

But before there was Tory to take care of my man, there was Simi. Simi is a Charonte demon who protects Ash. She was a gift to Ash long, long ago when he needed a friend. As Ash walked the world alone, even amongst a crowd, it was Simi who was there for him. She is his protector, friend, and in way, his daughter. But most of all, Simi is freaking hilarious. Though she’s thousands of years old, she is very young in demon years. She talks and acts like a five year old and dresses like a lusty gothic school girl. Her akri (what she calls Ash, it means something like master in demon language) spoils her rotten. But when Simi does something bad, like eats people, she gets her plastic (credit cards) taken away and her QVC is shut off. Simi does not like this because she loves to shop (especially for sparklies) as much as she loves to eat anything with barbeque sauce, like the heifer goddess and moo moo cows. Except for tires, they give her heartburn. She doesn’t eat quality people though, like Tory, but meanies get what’s coming to them, especially when they threaten her akri. She also refers to herself in the third person which I wish I could pull off. Tried it for a day or two. Got some funny looks, but overall good times.

So, yeah, Acheron and Simi are the most intriguing characters in paranormal romance history. Acheron was a mystery for much of the series, so when his story came out, it was pretty much world changing. For me, watching Acheron interact with Simi was the best parts of every book. So far, I’ve read Acheron eight times, and I doubt I will ever get bored of reading any book, page, paragraph, sentence, or word that has to do with either of these characters. There will never be anyone like them again, and I treasure that I got to be a part of their journey.

Be on the lookout for my upcoming reviews of this entire series on my blog Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance:

Thanks Jennifer for such an amazing guest post! I must admit to being one of those bad paranormal romance fans who hasn't read any of this series yet *ducks and hides from the rolled up newspaper*. But these books are now firmly on my TBR list.

So, who else has a lot of love for Acheron? Let us know and I'll try and stop Jennifer from beating down your door in a jealous rage *grin*


Not Your Momma's Book Blog said...

Great guest post! I haven't read Acheron yet but I have read several of the other Dark Hunter books. LOVE THEM! Now I can hardly wait to get to Acheron which is sitting on my bookcase giving me the evil eye.

I am spared from the rolled up newspaper! :)

P.S. I'm a new follower and I responded to your comment on my Chasin' Eight review.

Jennifer L. Bielman said...

Thank you so much for having me. I hope everyone enjoys my rant on Acheron and Simi. This Paranormal Romance month was great idea, Chrissie!

Shelagh said...

Acheron and Simi are both great characters and I liked Tory because she will look after him properly. ;)

But I must admit that I dove into this book with gusto and ended up being disappointed. Maybe I should try reading it again because I really enjoy the Dark Hunter series and LOVE Ash and Simi.

Jennifer L. Bielman said...

Shelegh: Aww, :( sorry you didn't like the book that much. Is it the best book in the series? No. I could name a few problems. But overall I still LOVED reading it because I LOVE Acheron and Simi. I could probably watch them do laundry and be tickled pink with excitment. lol. And, yeah, Tory is awesome too, though I hate to admit it. It was more that I was so happy to finally read Acheron's story that I didn't even mind the minor problems. You should try to read it again and see how you feel the second time around. :)

jackie b central texas said...

Having waited and waited and waited some more, like you Jennifer was so happy to finally read his book did not worry about what was wrong with Schreiner but just rolled with the story as it unfolded. And Simi is priceless, there is no character to equal her in any series!

I started the series when Kenyon was still fairly unknown, now all those years and books later she is still in my top five authors.

Great post, glad to find another fan who enjoys thus series as much as myself!

Jennifer L. Bielman said...

Jackie: Yaay, another Kenyon fan. I found her about three years ago and quickly bought all her books. She is a great writer. Anyone who can create characters like Simi and Acheron are pricelss. :)

jackie b central texas said...

Jennifer I totally agree. I also really enjoy the Dream Hunters, the Were Hunters and besides Ash and Simi am in love with the crazy duo of Fang and Fury too.

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