Author: Gena Showalter
US Publisher: Mass Market Paperback
- The Darkest Fire (ebook only) – Geyron (guardian of hell).
- The Darkest Night – Maddox (keeper of violence) and Ashlyn Darrow.
- The Darkest Kiss – Lucien (keeper of death) and Anya the goddess of anarchy. He has the ability to teleport, unlike the other Lords. She comes sans a friend, named William , who is comedic relief and trouble.
- The Darkest Pleasure – Reyes (keeper of pain) and Danika.
- The Darkest Prison (ebook only) – Atlas (titan of strength) and Nike.
- The Darkest Whisper - Sabin (keeper of doubt) and Gwen. Gwen is a harpy. And she brings her sisters into the mix.
- The Darkest Angel (ebook only) – Lysander the angel
- The Darkest Passion – Aeron (keeper of wrath) and Olivia, an assassin sent to kill him.
- The Darkest Lie – Gideon (keeper of lies) and Scarlet.
- The Darkest Secret (coming April 2011) – Amun (keeper of secrets)
- The Darkest Surrender (coming October 2011) – Strider (keeper of defeat)
- The Darkest Seduction (2012) – Paris (keeper of promiscuity)
Also see the Angles of the Dark Series – a spinoff
Way back when, the Lords were tricked really into opening Pandora’s Box. To punish the men who did this (they were originally guardians to the Gods), they were punished by having to house a demon that was originally in the box. Then, after many years together, there was a falling out between a bunch of the Lords and they split into two groups. Now, they are reunited as they battle an organization (where the master mind is Galen) who has their little fighters, called Hunters, believing that the Lords are evil because of the demons they house. When, in fact, the Lords keep the demons in check and if the Lord is killed the demon is freed. And, if the demon is separated from the Lord, the Lord will die.
Each of the women have a special power – some can see the future, etc. And one of them is actually a god. The Lords are searching for some artifacts which will help them get to Pandora’s Box before hope can and before it can be destroyed, so that the demons can never be returned to the box. They have two of them. One is the cage of compulsion and the other is the all seeing eye (which is really one of the ladies). They are also looking for the paring rod and the cloak of invisibility.
Cronus and Hera are in the middle of some shenanigans which are impacting the Lords and the story arc.
Other important characters:
Torin – keeper of disease. He can’t touch anyone without them becoming infected with something.
Kane – keeper of disaster
Cameo – keeper of misery (the only female keeper). Starting to have an odd no-touching relationship with Torin. Everything she says is said with such misery that people around her want to jump off the nearest cliff in dispair.
Galen – keeper of hope. The leader of the big bad in this series.
Strider – keeper of defeat
Amun – keeper of secrets
Baden – keeper of distrust; deceased
Pandora – keeper of the dimOuniak – the bos where all the demons came from.
Legion – friend to Aeron and a demon minion.
Cronos – king of the Titans.
The Darkest Fire: Not sure this was worth the price of the ebook. It was ok – provided an interesting little story as to how the demons got into Pandora’s box afterall. It also explained the relationship between Hades and Lucifer. And while I really liked the idea of the Goddess of Oppression, no matter what her childhood, it seems to me that a Goddess of Oppression should be such a wimp. It was a quick read – took me about 20 minutes to read it (if that) and the writing is definitely better in the later installments. This could have absolutely been an entire book – or we could have gotten some background so that we could see some of the interaction between Kadence and Geryon. Instead, we are just told that they have seen each other every day for years and years and they are propelled together to try to save the walls of hell from breaking and they are battling telling each other they love one another. Additionally, the price Kadence pays to free Geryon would have been more interesting if it was more then a sentence.
I think the story itself was interesting, but it was definitely too short for my taste. It was just barely enough to wet my appetite for another dose of the series. So, it a lot of ways, it was a disappointment even though I knew from the start the page count was small. And I must say, this is why I don’t like the ebook thing – let’s authors sort-of “half ass” it – in my opinion. It doesn’t cost quite as much because it’s not actually printed, so it’s not a big deal to dispense with an interesting story idea in very little time, with very little effort – and yet it can still present information important to the overall story arch of a multiple book series. I won’t buy another “.5″ book in this series – will just catch up on the reviews with spoilers in them. I would have liked to see the details of the story, not just the outline, which is what this felt like.
The Darkest Whisper: I realized about half-way through that I should have re-read the first 3 before reading this one. While it met my craving for a little good clean fun – since it had been a while since reading the last one I was having a little trouble keeping track of a few of the characters. I liked the introduction of the Harpey – and the twist about Galen (while I saw it coming) was a nice touch. None of the stuff in this genre is any great literary work – but I think Showalter gives JR Ward a nice run for her money. And unlike with the BDB (which I love), these don’t have the slower more tedious chapters from the “enemy’s” perspective. All things considered – it was a quick read. Fund. And leaves me looking forward to the next one. I like the demons in this – and how it’s the demons that make these men hard to match versus the tortured past lives (because there are only so many variations of that tortured past life that can be interesting and carry a series for a group of men) that they seem to have had. And the idea of trying to find pandora’s box gives more of a potential end to reach then some of the series in this genre. I like these books and am looking forward to Aeron’s story when that one comes out.
The Darkest Passion: Aeron’s story here. I like this series more and more with every new installment. I like Aeron as a character and Olivia, the fallen angel who is his love interest is awesome. I can’t remember if we found out who she was at the end of the last installment or not, but here it is confirmed that she is the presence Aeron and his demon (Wrath) have sensed during the last book.
Instead of killing Aeron for his violation of the rules (he summoned Legion and now Legion is no longer bound to hell) so Aeron must be punished for this transgression and the only punishment that the “One Deity” can proscribe is death. So, Olivia, who was a “joy bringer” angel with her new found golden fluff in her wings (designating her a warrior angel) have been sent to kill Aeron. The only problem is that Olivia doesn’t want to kill him.
Some of the bargaining that goes on between Olivia and Lysander and Aeron and Lysander is a little convoluted and I am still not sure where Lysander and Lucifer and the “One Deity” and the other angels all fall in the grand scheme of things – since I had accepted the greek god pantheon as being the religion we were working with in this universe. Instead, now, I am just all confused as to the pecking order of the greek gods versus the One Deity and are there now 2 different categories of demons – Lucifer and the christian ones and the demons that were in pandoras box, or are they all related? A little clarity here would be nice. But I gave up on that so that I could just enjoy the story.
I really like the inner dialogue that Aeron has with Wrath. It made me chuckle so often. And Olivia was great. Calling her make over the “slut-over” was great. And I love how she not only told herself that she was aggressive and assertive – but says it out loud a few times too – to convince others as well as herself.
One of the best things I think this series has going for it is the overall story arch that has the warriors seeking Pandora’s box. Unlike the Brotherhood stories (and before you crucify me, I am a HUGE BDB fan) where the chapters about the enemy are skimmable, here they add to both the individual story each book concentrates on, as well as the overall story line. Without reading it, you would be missing quite a bit. I am wondering though here, how Hope survived Legion. I won’t say more so as to avoid the spoilers, but I am eager to learn more about that.
As for Legion, wow. What a complicator to the Olivia/Aeron romance. It was a little disturbing given the fact that the reader has always been conditioned to look at Legion as Aeron’s child. So, Aeron wasn’t the only one taken aback by the transformation there.
The book was a great fun, quick read. The steaminess – well, 4 on a scale of 5. The scenes that there were – were intense and wonderful. But, there just didn’t seem to be as many as there were in past books. I want more!
The end – was surprising. In so many ways. I won’t give it away, but I thought the last 4 or 5 chapters were the best part of this book. I do wonder though about a number of new loose ends that this book put in front of us – but I guess that’s how to keep me coming back for more!
I love this series, and this was definitely one that reminded me why. I will happily get the next one as soon as it comes out.
The Darkest Lie: I really liked this one. This is the story of the Lord of Lies and his woman.
Gideon and Scarlet are wonderful characters. And I love the demons and the manner in which the woman “tamed” Gid’s demon. It was a fresh look. And Scarlet’s demon – and her story was wonderful. It was great to see that she’s not some weak woman who needed to be saved.
This book contained a few twists that I didn’t see coming. And that was awesome. Normally, these books are so formulaic that there’s really nothing really new to read here with respect to the plot. But that was certainly not the case here.
It takes a little getting used to sometimes the “Gideon speak” – since everything he says is lies. But, most of the time it’s easy to decipher.
Cronos and Rhea are getting a little tiring, as I can’t see an end to this series that will leave me satisfied. However, in the mean time, I am totally enjoying the ride. My biggest complaint in this particular installment isn’t Cronos and Rhea, since even though I am tiring of them they actually earned some points in this book – by finding a way to get Scarlet and Gideon together in the end. No, my biggest complaint is the little side trip into Hades to rescue Legion. Really? That’s where we had to go? After her antics in the last installment, I would have preferred she be left there. And, given the cost that was paid and the fact that Aeron was so selfish and felt it necessary to sacrifice, potentially, 2 friends to rescue her really bothered me. We haven’t really seen a ton with respect to Amun but I so hope he gets saved and gets a book later.
Gideon’s constant hatred for Cronos, yet demands that he appear, and please for help were a little much at times too. Although why the author had Cronos answer all those please, well…. being ignored migh have made the story a little better. However, **spoiler alert** when we discover the truth about who’s memory is right (Scarlet vs Gideon), and the goddess of memory and how she plays into the whole thing, I almost dropped the book. What a great twist that was!!! I never expected Scarlet to be the one who remembered certain things wrong. And while I read a review that criticized Scarlet for becoming weaker, after the reveal, who wouldn’t become unsure of herself? I personally, felt that her weakness made her more real. And therefore, I liked here that much better.
The dialogue was a little hard to deal with at some points. While the author translates everything Gideon says, I didn’t mind that. It confirmed what I thought he meant at those times where it wasn’t obvious. So, I wasn’t bothered by that. I did miss the interaction between the Lords though – prior books usually had a little more of that (that wasn’t so depressing, since what we had in this book was mostly between Aeron and Amun and William, and that was just awfully depressing given the mission they were on).
Finally, I discovered that I really like Nightmares and Lies. And the reveal as to the relationship between them was great! I liked the descriptions of them, their interactions with each other, and even how lies actually manages to tell the truth at one point. It was at times gut wrenching to see how Lies reacted to Scarlet/Nightmares and it was awesome at the sam time. When Rhea pretends to be Scarlet and how Lies reacts… that was priceless. It was also wonderful to see how Gideon figured out what was going on there.
I was a little puzzled but some of the overall story arch – the cloak and the hunters without the tattoos. Something seemed missing. And after the conclusion of the story, I am still not sure how some of this stuff happened in this book. I would have liked to have felt like the overall story arch progressed – even just a tiny bit – but it didn’t. So that was a little disappointing. In fact, it sort of seemed like this book confused that and took us a small step backwards.
All things considered, it wasn’t the best in the series, but it was close. I don’t know if I can wait until Spring 2012 for the next installment! Hope it’s Amun or Paris (since I am dying to see how that all works out!) we see next.