Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review of The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter for the DIK Book Reading Challenge

Gena Showalter
The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld, #1)

HQN | May 1, 2008 | ISBN 9780373772469 | 374 pages

Genre & Keywords
: Paranormal, Demons, First of a Series, Violence, Immortality

Rating: êêêê
Heat level:

The Back Blurb:
His powers -- Inhuman
His passion -- Beyond immortal . . .

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 than 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 . . .

Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive -- and unimaginably powerful . . .

I’ve read this book for the DIK Book Reading Challenge.

When I started blogging and bloghopping a couple of months ago I quickly discovered that a lot of bloggers out there were really big fans of the paranormal genre. The whole romance genre was pretty new to me, and so far all I’d read were contemporaries. I could not imagine what was so hot about this paranormal genre. Hah!
But, the curious little cat that I am, I started asking around for recommendations. And one of the first peeps to help me out was Leontine. She offered to send me some of her paperbacks and emailed me a list with names and book titles. One of the writers she mentioned was Gena Showalter, although the book she told me to start with, The Darkest Whisper, was the fourth(!) in the series, lol! I bought it as an ebook to have a quick start but discovered quickly that there were three other books I should read first, because, yeah, I’m that anal, I have to read in order when I know about it. Well, in the end it took me a while but I finally bought and read the first book of this so called Lord of the Underworld series!
It’s not the first paranormal romance I’ve read, because in the meantime I got some other recommendations too, but it is the first paranormal I’ve read that is part of a series like this - with the whole world building thing going on. While reading it you sense there’s so much more and you can feel it’s big but you can only guess how big.

To cut to the chase: I’m sold! I can totally understand the fandom for this genre now! I never guessed that I would like it so much. But I do. These Lords of the Underworld are freakin’ appealing and I want to know all there is to know about these hot immortal warriors!

This first book is the love story of one of the warriors, who all carry a demon inside of them. Maddox’s demon is Violence. That’s bad enough, because it causes him to have outbursts of uncontrollable rage and well… violence. But on top of that he’s also cursed to die a painful death every night because he’s the one who killed Pandora, keeper of the box with the demons inside. After she got killed the demons escaped and took possession of the immortal warriors’ bodies (there are a lot of them, and we meet them all in this first book).
So Maddox leads a life full of torment and pain. But then he meets his significant other: Ashlyn. She has her own nightmare to live with: she hears voices from the past everywhere she goes and where other people have been. When she meets Maddox the voices stop and a blissful silence takes over. No wonder she wants to be with him from the beginning.
While their love story evolves other elements are added to give more insight in the whole war of the gods and demons. A hunt for Pandora’s (empty) box is started, and I’m sure we’re going to see more of that in the next books. It’s complex, because there’s not only the gods against the demons but apparently there’s also quite some animosity among the gods themselves (the Greek vs the Titans) and among the demon warriors as well.

I devoured it all! There was not much I didn’t like in this story. Although it felt a bit like the first book of a series, with many better things to come, it was in itself a wonderful story. Maddox is a deliciously hot alpha hero and Ashlyn is strong, sweet and just right for him. I totally bought their falling for each other. It was a bit tooth aching sweet in the end, but I’m not complaining.

All was written in a way that made it hard for me to put the book down. Ms Showalter’s writing is very compelling and she certainly knows how to keep her readers at the edge of their seats. That’s partly because of the high rate of action and new developments but also because of the sexual tension between the h/h. I have to say that the smexing wasn’t disappointing at all. It was postponed quite some time, but the pace was just right for this couple. And their chemistry was good.

I’m looking forward to the other books in this rather dark series. The next one for me is The Darkest Kiss, Lucien’s story. He’s the warrior who’s bonded to the demon of Death. We’ve yet met his love interest in the first book: Anya, goddess of anarchy, and she had me laughing already. Gena Showalter’s humor showed itself in a couple of scenes and I can’t wait to see more of that as well.

My conclusion: Very good first book of what seems to be an intriguing series. I’m definitely going to read the other books too. And, I’d like to declare myself a fan of the paranormal genre, it’s official now! Where can I get my PNR membership card, please?


  1. You will love this series, I promise you that, Janna! :)
    Good review!

  2. Great review!

    This is one of my favorite series!! And I am shocked that Leontine would advice you to start with The Darkest Whisper! So much relevant info on the overall story arc and the background of some of the Lords who will (have) their books in the the first three books! And besides that it's a shame to miss out on Maddox, Lucien and Reyes.

  3. The books get better! I liked the first one enough to actually read more but I've liked the subsequent books even more.

    There is a prequel but I didn't care for that one.

  4. @Mar: Thanks! I'm pretty sure I will, hon! Especially now you say so. :)

    @Pearl: LOL! You know Leontine and her reading out of order! I think she accidentally mixed the titles up ;) I think it was you or Marissa who pointed out to me the importance of reading the first 3 books first :) Nope, I wouldn't want to miss out on Reyes, Lucien or Maddox!!

    @Tracy: I could feel the next books can get better. This book had a lot of the necessary introduction and world building info that can get skipped in the next books (hopefully).
    I've read the prequel and didn't care for that one either. And I think it's not necessary to read that at all! :)

  5. Gasp where is your PNR virgin badge?!

    Gena is one of those author's that gets better and better with each book. I heart Seduce the Darkness (Alien Huntress Series), Devyn is her best male character to date. Funny, sexy, & slutty. Just the way I like 'em.

  6. @KC: Don't have one :( *puppy dog eyes* maybe 'somebody' will make me one... lol!

    *makes note* Have to check out this Devyn guy!

    Funny, sexy, & slutty is exactly the way I like them too! *sigh*

  7. I read PNR before I started on m/m and everyone recommended Gena Showalter and for some reason she and I just didn't mesh. I never even finished one of the books. No clue why, just one of those things. Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters though had me totally enthralled. Now the alpha guys don't do it for me much. Glad you enjoyed it though, it is a fun genre.

  8. And I that just left the club for Uf ;)

    I have this one but have not read it, but I did let a friend borrow it and she really enjoyed it

  9. @Tam: I love the variety I guess :)
    The Dark Hunters series is already waiting on my ereader. The first three books that is. It's a little bit overwhelming how many there are in that series, lol!

  10. @Blodeuedd: No!! You can't leave now I'm joining! That's just rude. LOL! You better get reading this one, hon. :)

  11. Gena's sort of compulsively readable, isn't she? Of course, now that I'm on a pretty steady diet of m/m, I wonder how I'll do with the next book that comes out...

  12. @Chris: You can call it that, yes! :) Well, you know me and my issues with m/f... I had no problem with this one because it's so not realistic. Probably. Or I was just mild mannered maybe.
    I'm curious about your take on The Darkest Passion (yep, I did my homework ;)).

  13. So happy you liked it!
    And the books are getting better and better.
    All of Gena's books are fab in my opinion but I think I'm the biggest Gena fangirl ever.
    Great review!

  14. @BLIS: Thanks! I'm pretty convinced that I have to keep reading them, lol! Is there a fanclub? ;)

    Ps: I'm always wondering which one of the 'Staff' members is behind the button today? *whispers* Is that you, Susi?

  15. Yea!! I'm so glad you are finally getting into the books! You know how much Bells and I LOVE the Lords. You definitely need to read in order, but I think I told you the prequel doesn't do much for the story on whole. Yea!!

  16. I would never purposely let you start with book four in a series NEVER!!! *sigh* It was just me going on the top of my head in that e-mail - which shows how scrambeled my brain is...

    And I got Kenyon, Ward and Kresley right!!! Don't I get points for that! :) Glad you enjoyed the 1st in the LOTU series Janna :D

  17. When you received your PNR membership card, let me know. I wanna apply too! LOL

    Glad you enjoyed it! I was able to see the book from your perspective coz I didn't enjoy it when I read it. :( I've written the review, but it hasn't been posted yet, due to the contest we've been having this week. Anyway, when it's posted, hope you can drop by and let me know what you think.

  18. @Twimom: I can see now why you and Bells love the Lords so much, Jen! They are intriguing! And let's not forget hot ;)
    You did tell me that the prequel doesn't do much for the story, but I'm just that compulsive sometimes... okay most of the times, lol!

    @Leontine: I know, hon! It's just funny ;) And you definitely get extra points for the other good titles, lol! I have the first 3 books of Kenyon waiting for me on my ereader, and the first Kresley too. But I think I stick with the LOTU first before I start the Dark Hunters. I don't want to get confused ;)

    @Silver: LOL, I haven't received one yet.
    Too bad you didn't enjoy it, hon! I definitely drop by for your review. I look forward to learn about why you didn't like it!

  19. Congrats - I see that you were a winner over at Cecile's place. :)

  20. @Chris: Really? Yay! I didn't know yet!! Don't have much time for bloghopping during office hours these days. Thanks for the heads up :)

  21. Welcome to the PNR club - I was getting a little lonely with everyone disappearing in favor of MM ;)

  22. @Bronwyn: Lol, thanks! I think you know that my first non-contemporary romance was one of your books! :)
    I like the variety and so far haven't restricted myself to M/M alone. And PNR is definitely a genre I want to discover more from!

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. I love that cover. I have tried a Gena Showalter book before, but it didn't work for me. After reading your review I'm wondering if I should try this series...

  25. @orannia: it's really hot, and I love all of the covers of this series. I'm sorry her writing didn't work for you. Maybe this series is different. I didn't like the writing style of the prequel either, while this first book worked for me after all...

  26. Janna, I am late for this post. But I wanted to come here! I read this series before I started blogging and OMG... I love these boys! My boys, lol!!! I am glad to hear/read that you are loving this series up too!!!!
    Hugs to you honey! I hope you have a blessed Happy Easter!

  27. Hi hon, no problem :) I know you love the Lords, but no way that they're all yours *grin* I want a piece of them too, lol!
    Same to you sweetie! :)


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