Thursday, 26 May 2011

Review: The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter

Time for another review I think...The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter is the first book in the amazing Lords of the Underworld series. Check it out...

Title: The Darkest Night
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: MIRA Books
Released: September 2009
Series: Lords of the Underworld, Book #1
Source: My personal copy

From Gena Showalter's website:

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 . . .

Ok firstly, I love the cover! It's just, wow...I love the fact that it has the butterfly tattoo included, something all the Lords have, the design is great because it's bold and masculine...just like the Lords. Anyway this book is Maddox's story, Maddox lives in Budapest with five of the other Lords of the Underworld. As for what a Lord is....well once they were the loyal guardians of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. When a guardian needed to be appointed to guard a box (dimOuniak) inside which were demons too destructive that they could not be trusted even in Hell, (sounding familiar?) Zeus appointed Pandora as the guardian, something the Lords did not agree with about as they each believed that they were stronger than Pandora and she shouldn't guard something so important. To prove their point, all of the Lords stole the box away from Pandora and her guards, and released the demons inside.....once the demons were released however, the box vanished leaving the Lords unable to recapture the free demons. Zeus, as punishment, cursed each guardian to become a host to a different demon and cast them out of Olympus. Thus the Lords of the Underworld were born.
Several thousand years later Maddox, who is the keeper of Violence, lives in Budapest with five other Lords; Lucian (keeper of Death), Torin (keeper of Disease), Reyes (keeper of Pain) and Aeron (keeper of Wrath) and Paris (the keeper of Promiscuity). Each Lord is driven to do different deeds by their demon, else they can suffer horrendous pain. Needless to say that, as the keeper of Violence, Maddox loves a good fight. 
Maddox was the one responsible for Pandora's death after he's stolen the box from her. As punishment for Pandora's murder Maddox is subject to another of the God's curses. At 12 midnight every night, Reyes is forced to stab Maddox six times (as this was how Maddox killed Pandora) and once his body is dead Lucien escorts Maddox's soul to hell where he tortured for a good few hours. Possibly a little harsh? This nightly punishment takes up the majority of Maddox's life. As for what's left... he can't be around people for long without the stirrings of violence forcing him to lash out.
Maddox has never known love until the timid Ashlyn Darrow seeks out the Lords for help. Born with the ability to hear voices from the past (meaning she stands in one spot and is able to hear every conversation that has ever taken place there) Ashlyn is looking for a way to control her ability, and boy does she find one in the form for dark and brooding Maddox. His presence brings silence to her, where as Ashlyn's presence soothes Violence and reduces Maddox's need for it. Soon both the man and the demon crave her and brave little Ashlyn will change his life for all eternity.

All in all this is an enjoyable book, pretty well written with a new take on the Pandora's box legend and a good one at that. The men are all have troubled pasts and are haunted by the things their demons have done throughout their lives. The Lords aren't evil...but they aren't exactly angels either and their take on everyday things is certainly different as they don't exactly have much interaction with humans (well...except Paris anyway). The sex scenes between Ashlyn and Maddox are pretty graphic but don't take up a huge chunk of the book, just the right amount considering the length of the book. We get to meet some other Lords about half way through, Danika (a human kidnapped by Aeron) who causes Reyes no end of trouble, and a Goddess whose agenda is unclear. All in all an interesting story that held my attention throughout.

I look forward to reading Torin's book as he's a very intriguing character, unfortunately it's not published yet! Though I have the other Lords to keep me company while I wait, not a bad deal at all! Book 2 is Lucian's tale. Can't wait!

My Rating: 4.5/5

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