The League, Book 1: Born of Night,
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
I read this twice in a few days – that’s how much I love this book.
I purchased this because I was intrigued to see what Kenyon would do with assassins, seeing as I have an odd, twisted soft spot for them. And before I read it (several months after purchasing it), I kept sneaking peeks at random passages. Every time, I’d catch something new that made me want to read it all the more. Bits of the dialogue and narrative were incredibly interesting and surprising at times.
When I finally sat down to read it, I fell in love. It was a curious blend of what I was expecting and not at all what I expected. Those little glimpses reeled me in, but they certainly didn’t ruin any of the story. It turned out rather different – and that’s great. At the time I purchased it, I didn’t realize it was a romance. But as luck would have it, I think I love romances this way. It makes Harlequins look like they’re YA.
First off: I absolutely love the darkness entangled in the entire story, through the characters and the plot. It’s what drew me to the series to begin with.
Second: I was empathetic from the start. The relationship between Nykyrian and Syn is brilliant, and their individual stories and personalities kept me glued to the page. Their banter is hilarious.
But there’s more. I found it engaging and intense with awesome images I could hold onto. Some of the dialogue was an absolute joy and at certain points, I couldn’t help but laugh rather loudly. It was a roller coaster of emotions: sometimes I felt really sad for the characters; other times, I could’ve slapped the heck out of them. I’m a sucker for raw emotions and characters working through their pains, and this offered all of that.
Why this is a 4 out of 5: There were several points where I thought the editing wasn’t at the level it could’ve been. Too much repetition, not just of the same words, but descriptions, over and over. The head hopping also threw me at several points, especially when things would change every couple paragraphs. I also found it frustrating how Kiara would seem to “get it” and start to understand how things were, but then she’d turn around and revert back to “I don’t get it” the next time, even though things were similar.
Then there was the last third of the book, which was a bit lacking. The first half of the book was amazing and I couldn’t stop reading. But once Syn showed his more snarly, aggressive side, it kind of started moving in a funny direction. The last third seemed rushed relative to the rest of the story; a bit chaotic, like cramming a lot of things into a small space, and making a couple situations a little too neat and/or underplayed. I didn’t get to savour them like I’d hoped.
However, it didn’t stop me from reading it over again just as soon as I’d finished. I enjoyed the world-building, creating a more science fiction/fantasy blend that I got into really easily. And I fell in love with the male characters. Nykyrian’s a keeper. I loved Syn in the first half, and then Darling upstaged him (I’m *dying* to know more about Darling). Hauk was hilarious and Jayne sounded fun, just underutilized.
Favourite scene: the exercise room. I seriously can’t get the scene out of my head and the “prissy” comment. Kiara gets brownie points galore for her part in that situation.
Overall, it was a brilliant read. I’m so, so, so happy I bought it and I’m wondering how I never came across it before. But I’m buying more of the series ASAP. Must. Know. More.
(I also have to wonder if Drowning Pool realizes their song “Bodies” makes a fantastic anthem for assassins?)
Born of Night on Goodreads
Born of Night on Amazon (available as eBook and in print)
Sherrilyn Kenyon on Goodreads
Sherrilyn’s website: sherrilynkenyon.com
* One of my ultimate favourite author websites. Totally to-die-for. Character pages, playlists, book trailers, and so much info, including personal messages from SK. AWESOME.
Sherrilyn on Twitter
Sherrilyn on Facebook
Sherrilyn’s Amazon Author Page