Sunday, April 22, 2012

Challenge Review: The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter

Title: The Darkest Night
Series: Lords of the Underworld #1
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Immortals, Demons, Deities, Psychic Abilities
Publisher: HQN Books, Harlequin Books
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 379 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77522-4
Release Date: May 1, 2008
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): His Powers--Inhuman. His passion--Beyond Immortal...

Summary: All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To End the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member--a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger that calms their torments...and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction--and a soul-shattering test of love....


This first book in the Lords of the Underworld series, The Darkest Night, is full of mythology and steamy romance. But the story is kind of slow and doesn't really pick up until the end. With many books that start a series, the first book sets up the world and the characters, and that's usually what makes it seem slow. Many readers don't like books like this, but I really enjoy them because these books are the introduction to the series.

Maddox is one of twelve immortal warriors who were once protectors to the gods. When those gods chose a woman to guard a box holding the worst demons, pride overtook the twelve and they killed the woman--Pandora-- and opened the box, unleashing all the demons inside upon the world. As punishment, the twelve warriors were to house the demons within themselves and were then banished from the heavens.

Maddox's demon is Violence. This makes him the strongest, most violent, and most lethal of the twelve Lords. For thousands of years he's been tormented. But one day when the hill to their fortress is breached, Maddox goes out expecting to find Hunters invading their home, but instead he finds Ashlyn. Ashlyn went in search of the Lords hoping that they could help her control her ability to hear the voices of the past. Both know their own share of torment, and have only ever found peace and happiness when they are together.

In other reviews I've read for this book, readers found the romance between Maddox and Ashlyn full of drama and the dialogue cheesy. But I really love the relationship Maddox and Ashlyn have. I found it sweet and even fragile at times. Maybe it's the strength of their bond that I loved most. A love that is so strong that absolutely nothing can destroy it is something that we can only wish for in the real world.

We also get to meet to other women who will play major roles in upcoming books, Danika and Anya. They are both left as mysteries at the end of The Darkest Night (which is only right, otherwise there would be nothing to tell in the future). We'll get to learn more about Anya in The Darkest Kiss and Danika in The Darkest Pleasure, books two and three in the Lords of the Underworld series.

About this Author:

Gena Showalter sold her first book at the age of 27 and now, four years later, is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirteen books, with eleven more on the way in a thrilling blend of genres: breathtaking paranormal and contemporary romances, cutting edge young adult novels, and stunning urban fantasy.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, MTV, Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated in French, Italian and Korean. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”. 

The Darkest Night is the first book I've read for the Mythology Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Reading Between the Wines Book Club.

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