Casee’s review of Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Just when you thought doomsday was over…
Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.
As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.
The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished.
She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop…
My feelings about this book are complicated. After I read it, I felt so many different things. Now I’ve had over a week to really digest everything it’s mainly what, the and, fuck. When I was done reading it, I immediately texted Holly. I said something about being frazzled and my brain not working right. I was even talking to my husband, trying to wrap my brain around it. He, in turn, was trying to wrap his brain around what I was talking about.
Styxx first came onto the Dark Hunter scene in Talon’s book, Night Embrace (2003). He was a bad guy. Throughout the years, he has been Acheron’s evil twin…or so we thought. It’s been 10 years since Styxx first appeared in book 3 and this book is book 23. It’s only been the last few books that we’ve glimpsed a shred of what may have been decency. If you read this book, you’ll find out that not only is Styxx good, but that he’s been wronged by everyone in his entire life but most especially Acheron. Oh and Acheron is a d-bag.
You don’t have to read Acheron to understand Styxx, but it would be helpful. Long story short, Apollymi hid Acheron in the human realm because the Greek Fates accidentally cursed him. He was hidden in a mortal’s womb with Styxx, which really effed up not only his life, but his destiny.
602 pages (71%) of the book focuses on Styxx’s mortal life as Price Styxx heir to King Xeres and the House of Aricles. 602 pages of a wretched, horrible life. If you read Acheron, you remember that he was touched by Epithymia, the goddess of all desires. Styxx was also touched by her. He basically received all the curses Acheron did with one addition: the Atlantean gods constantly speak in Styxx’s head and he doesn’t know why.
Styxx and Acheron’s lives have always been tied together. So if one dies the other dies. Which actually isn’t true. It’s only if Acheron dies that Styxx dies. Styxx also gets to feel every beating or physical thing that Acheron experiences, which he has to hide. From Acheron’s POV in his book, Styxx always seemed like a stand-offish, arrogant sort. Now we know it’s an armor that he carries around. And Ryssa, the sister that always protects Acheron? She’s a super bitch.
My first review back and it feels like I’m rambling on and on. I’m not even halfway done yet. Or to the worst part. Styxx gets raped. By his own uncle; the uncle who took Acheron to Atlantis and turned him into a whore. Styxx actually tried to rescue Acheron. It was not only unsuccessful, Styxx was turned over by Acheron himself. There were hundreds of pages where Styxx was raped. By guards at the palace. By the Greek god Apollo. By people that were supposed to protect him. All the while the twin brother he tried to protect and the sister he only wanted to love looked at him in disgust. It was sickening. Heartbreaking. Overdone.
Styxx eventually tried to kill himself. Really, who wouldn’t? That’s when he realized his life was literally tied to Acheron’s. It was after that he met Bethany. She was actually an Atlantian goddess, but she doesn’t tell him that. He doesn’t tell him that he’s Price Styxx either. Bethany doesn’t know because when she’s in human form, she’s blind. So she just knows him as Hector, the man she falls in love with. Styxx is just as in love with Bethany and is really the only thing he lives for. In his life, that is not really surprising. His life sucks ass. Literally.
After Acheron is killed in his human life, Bethany also has to face the wrath of Apollymi. Which means that Styxx loses the goddess he loves. When Acheron dies, he finally knows the peace he never knew in life. Until…Artemis brings him back to life which brings Styxx back to life. Honest to God, this book was bit over 800 pages.
While Styxx rots on some island by himself for eleven thousand years, Acheron becomes the Acheron we all know and think we love. Yep, that’s right. I don’t love him anymore. After Styxx is forced to have Ash’s memories, he wants a second chance with him. What does Ash do? He sticks him on one of his island’s on what’s-it-called his other-worldly home. For three years. Forgets him. Then when Styxx decides he wants to just forget the whole thing, Ash dumps him in an apartment in New York or somewhere like that and forgets about him. Until Savitar tells him about the real Styxx. Then he wants to make it all better. Nevermind that he treated his brother like shit, never supported him, he lost the woman he loved, he lost a child, and he’s a stupid ass. Oh and he helped Ash save Tori and didn’t ask for anything in return.
Styxx did get his HEA, but it was a long time coming. Too long. He showed that he deserved redemption even though the only reason he went after Acheron was to end his own life. He had no animosity toward Acheron at the beginning. It eventually turned to hate, but ultimately Styxx’s goal was to die. He lost the woman he loved and the family he could have had. I can’t imagine living with that for eleven thousand years.
Yes, after this book I was somewhat confused. I had to get my brain around something. I still don’t know what it is. I’m still confused. I honestly don’t know why this book was written. I would have been happy with Styxx never getting a book of his own. Or getting a book that was 400 pages. It was just too much.
3.5 out of 5
This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.