Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I started reading the Dark-Hunter series over a decade ago. I only got up to about number seven, but I loved the majority of what I read. When I saw that Sherri was going to be at Dragoncon this past year, I made a mad dash to get through half of the entire series, which I did, in time to decide which ones I wanted autographed. But that’s another post for another day. I was on the fence for the longest time about reading the Chonicles of Nick because it was a young adult series; Kenyon wrote these books for her sons, so I knew they weren’t going to be exactly what I had with the rest of the series. But then I saw that my library had them, and I figured what the heck? I like Nick, maybe it’ll eventually catch up with the DH series and go into him and Ash and all that mess. Not what I got.

So Nick Gautier is a Squire, a daytime helper and defender of the Dark Hunters. He’s one of the few main-stay supporting cast present throughout a good bit of the series. Each DH book is set around a different Dark Hunter, but certain characters keep cropping up such as Ash and Simi, the leader of and original Dark Hunter and his demon, and Nick, the smart-ass Squire. What I wanted out of the Chronicles of Nick was more of a behind the scenes of the world of the Dark Hunters, Nick training to be a Squire. Something more in line with Dark Side of the Moon, which brings a human into the world of the Squires. But CN ended up being half high school, and half demon escapades. While Kyrian and Ash and others make appearances throughout the series, it feels like that world has been pushed to the side, and more so with each installment.

Not gonna lie, there were two points in the first book that threw me off guard: 1) a similar conversation with Ash to the one which happens in DH #3, and 2) meeting Simi, DH #7; both when Nick is twenty-four, not fifteen. And then Kenyon explained it. Nick goes through some major shit in the DH universe. Many, many years in the future he gets his hands on some blood from a demon who can time travel, and has gone back in time to try to set things right. Not only that, but this is not his first attempt; it’s his (I think) sixth and final attempt, and every time he’s tried to set things right, events in his life have changed and have remained altered. So if that’s not clear: we’re following the young Nick whose life has already been changed from what’s happened in the DH series. Honestly, I’m still not quite sure how I feel about that. To me, it kinda gave me permission to discard all of this as cannon, and I have.

The main reason why this isn’t my favorite, and one of my issues with this series is that Kenyon made Nick a demon. The king of demons, to be more precise: the Malachai, with an army of generals and everything. Maybe I just haven’t gotten that far in the DH universe yet, but I’m not digging it. Not only that, but certain people in his life aren’t fully human either. It just feels wrong to me, like it doesn’t fit with the world I fell in love with.

I’ve read through book 7 out of supposedly 12 (they’re still being written). Towards the last bit, it loses me a little. So many different flashes of things that have happened, or haven’t happened. And then everyone seems to have multiple names. Like, I get it. Certain characters are ancient beings that have been around for centuries and have gone by many names throughout those years, but in the end it’s very disorienting, especially when you’re not familiar with it. Not to mention Kenyon keeps connecting these characters to the ones in the DH series and while I love it, it’s difficult to keep straight. I kinda need a family tree that I can go back and reference, preferably one that updates in real time as I’m reading with all the revelations of how everyone’s connected to each other.

There are also times when I felt like I missed some information somewhere. For instance, Nick is given a book that will help him and give him cryptic answers to his questions about the demon world he’s now a part of. Well at some point the book has a name. That one took me a minute to figure out who they were talking about. Then it turns out the spirit that dwells in the book is actually an enslaved…something or other. I don’t remember if she’s human or demon or whatnot; can’t say I remember learning about that either. But Nick knows this and manages to set her free without really dwelling on it. Like, that wasn’t a point in the plot, it just happens.

Honestly, it’s lost me. With each book Nick’s list of allies grows, as does his list of enemies, and more revelations and connections are made. Between that and who’s plotting against who, I just can’t even deal. And I read the DH series and recognize at least half of the names! I don’t think I can continue with it. I’m starting to feel like I’m drowning. Caleb is my favorite thing of this series, and it saddens me that we probably won’t get to interact with him again.

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