Inferno is the fourth book from the Chronicles of Nick about an alternate version of teenage Nick Gautier and the trial and tribulation of being a future Malachai. In this series. The future alternate version of him, the Dark-Hunter/Malachai Nick Gautier or Ambrose, is trying to set things right in this dimension so that he won’t become a demonic Malachai and fulfilling the prophecy of him as a destroyer of the world. At the start of this volume, Ambrose found himself changing into his demonic self and thus the events of this novel mirrored what the future might be for Nick.
Inferno is one of the April’s release I’ve been waiting to read but I was quite disappointed by this volume. Set after the events from the last book, Nick found out that Nekoda was sent to kill him and he broke up with her due after feeling betrayed by her. However, life as Nick doesn’t go much smoother as he was still being targeted by various being in the universe that want to see him dead including his Malachai father, Adarian.
Despite being a lengthy novel, I find the pacing of this book diminished from the previous novel. Instead, it was filled with forebodings, old and new characters and minor plots which made the novel quite confusing to be exact. Since I have read majority of the Dark-Hunter series which made the book somewhat less confusing to begin with, I still find that Kenyon is trying to cram everything in this book. The saving grace of this book was probably the fact that I learn about Nick more easily than his character appearing randomly in the swath of Dark Hunter series.
One of the most obvious things in this book that Kenyon tried to do was making it accessible to teenagers by giving the old awkward years motivational issues as character development. I had my issues being social pariah at five schools in my life and at some moments in university but I find this does get repetitive, This is coming from me, a woman who read Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series most of the time in highschool and university which have paranormal storyline and random smut in it. I just felt kinda put out with the whole chicken soup thing since I think she did just fine by making kick ass female characters pairing up with brooding dark hunters and trying to turn the guy into lovable someone for the rest of his life. That is inspirational for me.
Truthfully, reading the dark hunters series make my life alot easier in my late teenage life. But reading the whole, uplifting inspirational quotes and paragraphs after paragraphs of them is making it hard for me personally to enjoy the book. It bulk up most of the book which can be frustrating.
I have dark moments in my teenage life… I don’t advertise it constantly but once in awhile, I would talk about it. My Anti-Bully letter is simple. It would be in the middle of one page with the words “Frak off”. Thats it. Short and sweet. I am twenty four years old now but I have loads of story that stick on me now. Take the recent ten years or so… during highschool, I have one sexually confused guy who wanted to be a girl started to harass me for not being a girly girl then some group of boys started to harass me for money and for a kiss and spread bad rumours of me being pregnant. If I want to go back in time, I would have just told everyone to fuck off because I am not going to change things just because they think I should be. Thats what I appreciate readers to learn from me… about being better about the way you are and not dwell on things they try to do because bullies seek easy targets to release their own dissatisfaction in life. Now I learn to empathise with them.
These experience is not something I try to dwell on in my life. I probably would remain miserable like that if I dwell a lot by making the issue consume my entire life. But it make me think about humanity in other people even more. Which is one of the skills in life I rather not part with. As for the bullies, they probably have their own issues of their own that they blame you for not having them and they’re too immature to see the world you way.
Take the psychopathic bully in Chronicles of Nick which never seem to stop harassing Nick in four books. Now, I just felt he stayed being that way because the author tried to give a character to hate at Nick’s school. Which is sad really. I like it better if the author choose to explore more with her side characters instead of enforcing Nick. Which is again, getting repetitive.
But then in my case, I move out of the school after several years in that hellhole and came back being the sarcastic bitch I am today. Because like hell I am going to suffer that way again. This is a public service advisement about the bullying issue which I try to sum up from the majority content of this novel.
On the other hand, I was a bit worried about the whole mother and son relationship this book have. Cherise Gautier does really have a great parenting problem. I am starting to see that her characterization will never change in the subsequent years of the series. There’s the constant joke about her being a nasty chihuahua about Nick’s safety and it does get tiring and one dimensional. Another reason why I felt this book failed in its minor character developments besides the major characters in this book. Thats why I point out the ‘motivational issue’ that this book try to bring as a stark flaw as it ate a lot of pages that should have reserved on other developments instead of being overtly ‘educative’. I like those kind of stuff in fiction but I like it better if it was more subtle than the whole ‘in your face’ thing. Its just not effective for me.
Now, the worldbuilding. As I said, it was compacted with the whole mythology which is fine but then I was a bit dissatisfied when some of the things in the end especially when some of the plots that was crucial in this book or from the last book was left hanging until the next Nick book. Considering the author announced that there’s going to be a Dark-Hunter tv series and Chronicle of Nick movie series, it’s safe to say the wait is quite bearable now to wait a year for the fifth book but then again, I still felt a lot of disappointment with this novel.
But the one thing I like about this book was the foreshadowing of the future book in Dark-Hunter series which is the September 2013 release of ‘Styxx’, which is a sort of continuation of ‘Acheron’. Now its just a couple more months of waiting. Again.
I have a love-hate situation with SK books but this volume does felt like an intermediary to the next book which is a concept I hate in any series. This is why I like Dark Hunter series more as it is moderately satisfactory as it have a mixture of closed end storylines with open ended ones. Plus, this book’s cliffhanger is exactly like the last book of Mari Mancusi’s Vampire Academy series. Tabula rasa is bad in the business. I could feel it.