Review of Deadmen Walking (Deadman’s Cross #1), by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I borrowed a copy of Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Deadmen Walking through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:

Deadmen tell their tales . . .

To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane―an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn―an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates . . . gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn’s behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen and, together, they are humanity’s last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms.

But things are never so simple. And one of Bane’s biggest problems is the ship they sail upon. For the Sea Witch isn’t just a vessel, she’s also a woman born of an ancient people he wronged and who in turn wronged him during a centuries long war between their two races―a woman who is also sister to their primary target. Now Marcelina, the Sea Witch, must choose. Either she remains loyal to her evil sister and almost extinct race against Bane and his cause, and watches humanity fall, or she puts faith in an enemy who has already betrayed her. Her people over the totality of humanity―let’s hope Bane can sway her favor. 

Review:

Sigh. Do you know what one of my biggest book pet peeves is? It’s when Sequels and spin-offs aren’t well labeled. What’s more, I honestly believe that authors and publishers do this purposefully so that readers who might not pick up a books 5 or 15 or 25 in a series will be tricked into picking up a book one in a poorly labeled spinoff that is actually book 5 or 15 or 25 in a previous series. 

That’s how I feel about Deadmen Walking. I’ve long wanted to try a Sherrilyn Kenyon book. But Haven’t really known where to start, since there are so many of them. But when I saw book one of a what I thought was a new series, I gave it a go. Big mistake. 

Deadmen Walking has no world building, a confusing muddle of mythologies and several characters (of which there are far too many) were barely introduced. It felt enough unlike a standalone book that I finally did some investigation to discover that it’s a spinoff of the Dark Hunter series. 

Outside of the spinoff series issue, I also just didn’t think it was very good. It wasn’t complete shite, but it felt VERY formulaic and shallow. I saw no reason why characters who’d lived together for centuries suddenly saw each other in a different light and finally accepted love. There was no development in the romance, (again, they’d lived together for centuries). There were too many characters to keep straight and several were basically pointless. A second romance was tacked on at the end that hadn’t been developed at all. (And it felt like the female character was originally meant to be the primary love interest until Kenyon changed her mind, so she had to be matched up somewhere.) I didn’t understand the villains motivation or how she got so powerful. Bane seemed to develop abilities randomly and the pacing is inconsistent and the pacing seemed super inconsistent. 

I no longer fear I might be missing out having never read a Kenyon novel.

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