The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well, I finally started the much lauded Lords of the Underworld series. I was happy with this book. However, it does have some issues with it that I felt detracted from it as a stellar read. I felt like there was a roughness in some of the writing. I have a theory about this. I think that the publishers really put a lot of pressure on the paranormal writers to put out a series quickly. This takes time away from the authors that they need to polish each book so that it can be at its best. I felt like scenes jumped around a lot, and some things got left out, so I had to go back and reread scenes. It also felt like a set-up book. The mythology was a little more vague that I wanted it to be. It refers to the Greek gods as "The Greeks" and the Titans as "The Titans." Who are they? I wanted to know more about them. I was left with big questions unanswered. Perhaps this will be revealed as the book progresses. I just wanted to see some of this information get integrated into this book. There were some things I didn't like about the setup, like the Hunters. I'm not sure that they are formidable enough enemies. Maybe this series will come to show that there is a more dangerous menace for the Lords.
Okay, you are probably asking why this is a four star book, having said all this? I'll talk about that after I get the issues off my chest. Don't get me wrong. I love these paranormal series, but I wish that as much energy went into the first book, so that the quality is consistent. It's really hard when you try to recommend books to people, but you have to say, "But don't give up if you don't care for the first book." I hate when that happens, because then that person thinks, "Hmm. What's up with her taste in books?" Not that I think that, mind you. But you worry your friend will think that.
Okay, let's talk about the positives with this book. I loved the concept of these warriors who have been cursed by being inhabited by ancient demons that were released from Pandora's Box. Yes, the Pandora's Box of Greek Mythology. Pretty darn awesome premise. And the execution is very good so far, minus the issues I expressed above. The characters were interesting and I wanted to learn more about them. Each warrior stands out from the other. I already feel emotionally engaged with the Lords, and I want to see that happy resolution for each of them. I think Gena Showalter's imagination is really apparent in the characters she creates, and the storylines. She's really funny, too. I like the way the Lords interacted. What can I say? I'm a big fan of the group of guys who live together and fight together. They're friends, most of the time, but sometimes they can be antagonistic with each other. But at the end of the day, they would die for each other.
Ashlyn was adorable. Not just that. She was pretty courageous. Some might consider her too sweet, but I like sweet heroines. I thought she was a perfect match for tortured Maddox. I like how drawn she was to him from the beginning. He made the voices stop, but she was very attracted to him, and almost was the pursuer in this book. Maddox was a good hero. You liked him and felt for him. I think how he suffered was pretty awful. I don't think the dark elements are as dark as they can be in a paranormal romance, but I can't quibble about that. I know there are darker series that I can read for that. And at the end of the day, I love the sweetness of Gena Showalter's stories. I really want to smile when I finish reading them. I loved the end of this book. It was so satisfying that I read the last page again.
The steam factor is higher than her prior books. And she did well with that. The love scenes are hot and explosive, but they are loving. The best combination. You want the couple to be together. I loved all their scenes together and the way their attraction unfolds. There were parts that made me sigh, and other parts that made me want to fan myself because the scenes were hot.
This is a good book that will give you some enjoyable hours of entertainment, and you'll definitely want to keep reading the series. And if you're kind of iffy about this one, don't give up on this series, or the author (Grin).
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